New DIY Workshop To Open On North Shore

Ever seen a canvas print or rustic wood centerpiece box on Pinterest but never thought you had the ability to make it? Coming soon to Port Washington in February, the Anders Ruff (AR) Workshop, a boutique Do-It-Yourself workshop that offers hands-on classes for creating custom home decor in a lounge style atmosphere, will give residents the chance to create trendy farmhouse chic pieces like plank wood signs, framed wood projects, canvas pillows, round wood lazy susans, wood trays and canvas wall hangings. After Tara Wilkerson McGinn’s sister-in-law Joanna Rapuzzi opened an AR Workshop in New Jersey with great success, the two decided to open a second location in Port Washington to give Long Islanders the DIY experience.

Both Wilkerson McGinn, a Manhasset resident, and Rapuzzi previously worked in healthcare, with Wilkerson McGinn being a nurse and Rapuzzi working on the administrative side, but decided to pursue their passion for crafts and DIY projects.

“It’s exciting,” said Wilkerson McGinn. “I may miss it a little bit, but this is more my passion and I’m more excited to start something new and now it’s finally happening.”
“Anytime you can make your passion a real job, it’s a risk,” added Rapuzzi. “But we think what we’re offering to the community is something they will love and it will give them a real sense of empowerment.”

Perfect for date nights, mom night outs, parties, large groups or kids’ events, AR Workshop will guide residents each step of the way as they create the projects of their choice. All guests have to do is sign up for a scheduled workshop for the project they would like to create on the website or call in for a large group, show up to AR Workshop where everything needed for the project will be laid out and get ready to work for two to three hours.

“We have a lead instructor who keeps everyone on track and an assistant at every table who will guide you and show you different painting techniques,” said Wilkerson McGinn. “They show everyone how to get started and then you pick your own colors and techniques. Probably the most difficult part is picking out from the array of colors and techniques we have to offer.”

For those who are unsure about working with power tools, chisels and sandpaper, or are anxious about how the project will turn out, Wilkerson McGinn and Rapuzzi said that all skill levels can enjoy the class because of the extensive guidance given to each person. Wilkerson McGinn said the two live by the motto that there is no mistake you can’t fix and they will have sample projects around the workshop for those struggling with creativity.
“The nice part about the rustic trend is that perfection doesn’t exist,” said Rapuzzi. “The more rustic and imperfect, the better it is sometimes. And no matter how crafty you are, you can do the project.”

Along with the workshops that will be scheduled online six to eight weeks in advance, AR Workshop will have a curated boutique retail section to offer the perfect project pairings like candles, gifts, home decor and fillers for centerpiece boxes.

“A lot of people don’t know in addition to teaching you, we are your own local Etsy shop,” said Rapuzzi. “We can create a gift for someone or if you have an idea you want made, we can create that for you. Call or stop by or email with a design name and we’ll work with you through the process. We’ll send a proof, make sure you like it and then it will be ready for you to pick up. It’s good if you have someone who got a new house. Who doesn’t want a new sign to go with new home?”

For more information about AR Workshop, visit www.arworkshop.com/portwashington, call 516-247-6452 or email portwashington@arworkshop.com.

Christina Claus
Christina Claus is the former editor of Port Washington News.

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