Community Focus Feature Series: Create Sabetha – crafting with friends
Women in Sabetha and surrounding areas have taken to the crafting craze with Create Sabetha: Girls Craft Night. For the last year, crafty moms and business owners Danielle Rebant and Kelsi Strahm have brought creative craft nights to the community. Create Sabetha hosts craft parties, birthday parties, baby showers and bridal showers, along with their once-a-month girls’ craft night.
The two have been friends for years and both enjoy crafting. Having both attended craft events elsewhere, Danielle and Kelsi wanted to bring similar events to the community that would encourage ladies to take a night for themselves to do something fun. It began with the hashtag to share on social media – #createsabetha. Danielle and Kelsi knew they wanted the word “create” and something to represent women in the community – eventually it just became who they were.
Women of all ages can spend time with friends while creating trendy crafts ranging from festive holiday decor to wood crafts. Complete with drinks, snacks and giveaways, Create Sabetha craft nights offer area women the opportunity to take a break from everyday life and to create something beautiful. Most of Create Sabetha events have been held at The Inspired Farmhouse, 1313 Timberlane Drive. The garage studio is decorated with rustic furniture and home decor, creating an inviting environment for ladies to create.
“We understand how important it is for women to have time together and for moms to have a little time away from home,” Kelsi said. “We love seeing our crafters return time after time and hearing the positive comments.”
As moms themselves, Danielle and Kelsi know how difficult it is to get out and do something for yourself.
“The first step is just getting it on the calendar,” Danielle said.
“Create Sabetha has given ladies the chance to unwind and unleash their inner crafting goddesses!” said crafter Andee Rettele. “These women have created the perfect environment filled with friends and fellowship perfect for novice and expert crafters. Everyone walks away with a masterpiece and memories at the end of the night!”
Crafter Keremy Bachelor has been to four Create Sabetha events and will attend her fifth this weekend.
“I love the time to be with girlfriends while learning something new and leaving with something I love at the end of the night,” she said.
Ronna Montgomery enlisted the help of Create Sabetha for her 10-year-old daughter’s birthday party.
“Danielle and Kelsi were so great to work with. They planned all the details once I finalized the theme,” Ronna said. “It was hard to give up control of the planning, but so liberating to know I didn’t have to worry about a thing!”
Ronna had three craft options to choose from with different price ranges.
“They were very transparent about the costs of the event and there were not any surprise fees,” Ronna said. “I felt like the girls enjoyed the structured craft and every little detail in between.”
Ronna said she knows that Danielle and Kelsi have hosted many private events like hers and that they make a great team.
“Danielle does an amazing job with designing invitations and fun paper goods and Kelsi has endless project ideas,” Ronna said.
Finding the perfect crafts
Though Danielle and Kelsi make the craft nights appear effortless, it’s no small feat to find crafts that appeal to the masses and are easy enough to complete within a two- to three-hour time frame.
“People don’t realize how much work we put it into the event to make it great,” Danielle said. “We shop for the supplies and cut all the wood if needed. It’s a lot of work.”
The first step is always finding the crafts. Since Create Sabetha announces their craft nights at least a month in advance, they are always on the lookout for new ideas. Once they have researched trending crafts, they have to try it themselves to see how long it will take, what is needed and potential problems that may arise.
Many hours are spent researching crafts on social media. Their favorite avenue to find fun crafts is Instagram.
“There are so many ideas out there on Instagram,” Danielle said.
“Sometimes they [the crafts] flop, so we go back and try something else,” Kelsi said.
After a craft is decided, the preparing begins. The next step is to figure out pricing and photograph the craft pieces. They post photographs on their social media to entice potential crafters.
“It’s challenging to photograph the crafts in a way that will appeal to people,” Danielle said.
When figuring pricing, Danielle and Kelsi have to take into account the cost of the materials, but most of the crafts they have done at the craft nights over the last year have been in the $30 to $50 range.
Andee said what she loves most about the Create Sabetha crafts is that most of their crafts are not “front page Pinterest finds,” but rather classy and timeless.
Let the preparations begin
After a few teaser photos of the craft are released on Facebook and Instagram, Danielle and Kelsi launch their event. The launching includes posting full pictures of the craft displayed in a way that will entice crafters. Launching the event opens up registration and releases craft details, as well as payment information.
But they aren’t done there. There are always questions regarding registration to be answered and continuous promotion of the event by posting additional photos of the craft.
As the registrations roll in, Danielle and Kelsi start to plan the event night. Tables are always set up at The Inspired Farmhouse, so they can prepare table decorations and materials for the event night well in advance.
Other things to consider include snacks and drinks and paperware for the event, as well as all of the supplies that need to be purchased.
Once the crafters have paid their registration, Danielle and Kelsi schedule a trip to purchase the supplies and materials. Once they have been purchased, the next step is to prep the materials if needed. Prepping may include cutting, sanding and staining wood. Danielle and Kelsi like to complete anything they can do in advance to make the craft night run smoother.
“We try to make it as easy as possible for anyone who attends,” Danielle said. “We just want the ladies to have fun and not be stressed.”
After the materials are prepared, they begin set up and decorating The Inspired Farmhouse space. As much as possible, they try to reuse and repurpose decorations used in past events.
“It would be expensive if we bought new decorations every time,” Danielle said. “Plus, we don’t like to have too much on the tables where the crafters will be because it takes up space they need to complete their craft.”
If the event is near a holiday, appropriate holiday decorations will be set up. Of course the craft that is the focus of the event is always on display, along with crafts from previous craft nights.
When the day of the event arrives, Danielle and Kelsi are mostly ready. Before the crafters arrive, they are putting the finishing touches on the space, double-checking that all the necessary supplies and materials are out and ready. Then, it’s go time. The crafters arrive and the night begins. Crafters get snacks and drinks and socialize with their friends while they wait for everyone to arrive.
Once all crafters have arrived, Danielle and Kelsi greet everyone and begin explaining the crafts that will be made. During the event, both of them are ready and willing to assist crafters by answering questions, helping select paint colors or with completing their craft.
Crafter Susan Leiker, who has attended one event so far, said she enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and willingness of everyone to work together to create something meaningful.
“We take into account other craft events we have attended, how long it takes us and the ladies’ crafting abilities,” Kelsi said. “We do as much as possible to simplify a craft to be able to work into our time frame of two to three hours.”
“Kelsi and Danielle do a great job of making everyone feel welcome and allow all guests to ‘do their own thing,’ but will pitch in if you ask them to,” Susan said.
The Create Sabetha creators tout that they are fully capable of using power tools, but on occasion do request the help of their husbands.
“Sometimes the power tools can scare people, but we are proud that we are able to use them for our projects,” Danielle said. “Some ladies get a little nervous when power tools are required for a project at the craft nights. But we tell them, ‘It’s okay. We’ll help you!’”
Staying organized is the number one priority for Danielle and Kelsi.
“Lots of work is done with six screaming kids around us,” Kelsi said. “We also work efficiently during naptime and after our kids are in bed.”
Lists, charts and planners help Danielle and Kelsi with their organization – along with having each other to hold the other one accountable.
“With our own respective businesses, we only have ourselves to rely on. If you don’t get something done, it’s on you,” Danielle said. “But, when you work with someone else, you have to get things done because someone else is depending on you.”
Danielle handles all of the graphic design for the event – fliers and graphics. Kelsi manages the money. Everything else is split between them – from deciding on the craft, buying supplies to styling the event space.
“We both have the same goals for this business,” Kelsi said. “We want it to be fun and we pour our hearts into it.”
Danielle and Kelsi have been friends since they were cheerleaders together at Sabetha High School. Their personalities work well together and aid in their business relationship.
They each appreciate the work the other puts into Create Sabetha and find that their strengths work well together. Kelsi said Danielle is organized and motivated. Danielle describes Kelsi as “all in” – she is ready to go and gets things done efficiently.
Preparing for the events well in advances helps Danielle and Kelsi stay on top of everything.
Balancing it all
Life is a balancing act for anyone, and Danielle and Kelsi know that juggling it all can be a challenge. Each of them has her own separate business to manage, along with managing her family.
Danielle designs and sells stationery and paper goods as Midwest Modern Girl. Kelsi designs and paints wood home decor signs as The Inspired Momma. Between the two of them, they have six children under the age of 6.
“All of that work [individual businesses] gets done during naptime and after kids are in bed,” Kelsi said.
As for other creative outlets or hobbies outside of their businesses, Danielle and Kelsi say their calendars are full. With families and businesses to manage, the two don’t have much time for anything else.
“We have to get creative with our time,” Danielle said. “We have crafted in the park while the kids play. There have been lots of late nights too. It’s a lot of work, but we like to do it and stay home with our kids.”
The most difficult challenge for Danielle and Kelsi is overlooking the critical people. The two remain positive despite any criticism they may have received.
“We try to overthink things and make sure everything is more than ready, but sometimes unforeseen things arrive and we have to try our best to deal with the situation at hand,” Kelsi said
Unforeseen problems that may arise vary from the time it takes for paint to dry to a host of other things that Danielle and Kelsi cannot predict.
“Paint is the hardest. It depends on the temperature in the room or outside,” Danielle said.
“We hope that when we launch an event in the future that we are sold out quickly,” Kelsi said. “We hope to run a successful business where women can come and relax with friends and family.”
So far, the project for October – a wooden Magnolia-inspired “Home” sign has been a favorite of people.
“Our customers also seemed to love the round initial sign we offered in August,” Kelsi said.
Within one to two days of opening registration, the August event was sold out. It was so popular that Danielle and Kelsi opened a second night – which also sold out quickly.
In January, Kelsi’s sister Kasha Rebant will join the Create Sabetha team.
Create Sabetha is sold out for its October VIP event – which will be held Friday, Oct. 21, at The Main Event.
The two will be set up with many other vendors for the Midwest Modern Market Fall Craft Show Saturday, Oct. 22, also held at The Main Event. The craft show will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information on Create Sabetha, follow them on Facebook or Instagram or email them at email@example.com.
ABOUT DANIELLE, Midwest Modern Girl —
Family: Danielle is married to Brad Rebant of Sabetha. They have three sons – Gage, 5; Owen, 3; and Cash, 22 months.
Background: Danielle graduated from Kansas State University in 2007 with a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design. She began her own business – Midwest Modern Girl – in 2008. Her main product line is stationery, invitations and greeting cards, but she does custom work as well. Her business is primarily conducted on Etsy.
How has having your own business helped you with Create Sabetha? “I think having my own business has helped me to know how to run a business online by using social media to reach people,” Danielle said. “It’s a great way to connect with people near and far and show them a glimpse of what we’re working on.”
ABOUT KELSI, The Inspired Momma —
Family: Kelsi is married to Jacob Strahm of Sabetha. They have three kids – Emerson, 6; Hadden, 4; and Henley, 21 months.
Background: Kelsi began working alongside her mom Lesha Koch and sister Kasha Rebant four and a half years ago – as The Inspired Farmhouse. The trio painted and repurposed furniture and items. For the last year and a half, Kelsi has worked as The Inspired Momma, creating wooden signs and home decor.
How has having your own business helped you with Create Sabetha? “Our crafters love wood, anything wood,” Kelsi said. “My experience with wood, paint and vinyl has helped our events run smoother.”
Krista Wasinger102 Posts
Krista Wasinger is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2011. She specializes in city reporting and feature stories, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Krista is a 2004 Fort Hays State University graduate with a degree in communications studies with an emphasis in journalism. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and four children.