People are always asking Alexa, owner of Hammer and Stain Central Florida (Clermont & The Villages studios) how she got into this business. We sat down for a casual interview and this is what she said:
“I started out just like you! I saw a post on Facebook from my local DIY studio and I was intrigued. I signed up, took one class, and I was immediately hooked! I had been working on tweaking the decorations in my home little by little and the piece I made at my first workshop completed my dining room decorations perfectly! The excitement I felt after finding a place to go and spend time with friends in a fun, safe, creative environment AND leave with a gorgeous piece was invigorating! I took several more classes (and created some awesome decor!) and then found out about the opportunity to open my own studio. The rest is history, as they say.”
What made you so passionate about opening your own studio?
“I have learned most women don’t take much time for themselves or get together with friends and family as much as they’d like (myself included!). We all have so many responsibilities and duties that it’s hard to carve out this time for ourselves. There is also a shortage of fun, safe, unique places for women to go with friends if they want to avoid the nightlife scene. That’s where Hammer & Stain comes in! We provide a wonderful atmosphere for women to come by themselves or with family and friends and enjoy an afternoon or evening out. I’ve heard women tell me that they haven’t taken time for themselves in over 5 years and now they come to a workshop once a month to relax and unwind!”
What sets Hammer & Stain apart?
"Hammer and Stain is unique in that we are not a franchise and are independently owned. This allows me complete creative freedom and the ability to offer projects that meet the specific desires of my guests in Central Florida. We also offer the most variety in project offerings of any other DIY studio in the area - we have everything from single wood planks to shiplap signs to porch planters and beverage tables. And I continue to work on new designs and concepts regularly. I never want our designs to feel stale - they should always feel fresh, new, and exciting!"
I’m not creative, would that be a problem?
“Absolutely not! I am asked this question daily and I’ve learned that we get so intimidated by people that (we think) are creative! We need to stop that false thinking. It’s not bad or wrong to “not be creative” because in reality, we are all creative in our own way. I have taught thousands and thousands of people in my studios and I have yet to meet a single person that’s not creative! It’s about the experience. We all work together, we all help each other, and remember, it’s about relaxing and learning something new!”
What else do you want your guests to know about you?
“I graduated from UF with a business degree and I’ve been putting it to use with other businesses I’ve owned and operated over the years. This has given me invaluable experience about how to run a company, but also about what my passion is in life. And that has brought me to Hammer & Stain! My passion for people and for entrepreneurship drive me. I have strong desires to run the best studios I possibly can, to have a clean, safe, creative environment for my guests, and to make each guest happy! The creative part is just a bonus!”