Opening one store is hard, but prolific blogger and interior design expert Allison Griffith and several likeminded women have opened three under one roof.
Spruced Cooperative in Edmond houses a salon, a clothing boutique and a home goods store. More than a retail space, Spruced also offers visitors a creative outlet with The Makery, where local artists teach painting classes, handcraft decor, design floral arrangements, learn calligraphy, make macramé and more.
Griffith’s venture into interior design started with a blog and a risky resignation from her corporate job. She spoke to Oklahoma Gazette about her new business, her blog and the audacity required to follow a passion.
“While I had my banking job in 2009, I started a blog called Refunk My Junk following my interest in interior design,” said Griffith. “It started as a hobby outside of work. I wrote about DIY projects, being a new mom and redecorating my house. This was really a blog just for me.”
What was originally a personal blog grew over time to an interior design and furniture painting resource for a substantial audience. Griffith decided to use Refunk My Junk as a teaching tool for those with creative aspirations.
“People I knew and those reading the blog were always asking me how I did these DIY projects at home, where I got certain supplies and how I found time to actually complete these projects,” she said. “I certainly didn’t think the blog would become what it is today.”
When her blog audience grew to national levels, the former bank vice president made a life-changing decision.
“I wasn’t feeling energized in my corporate job,” Griffith said. “Changing career paths was not an easy decision, but it was a necessary one. I went from having financial security in my corporate job to relying on my blog as a full-time job. It was an slow, upward climb to get to where I am now.”
Griffith’s blog grew from a pet project to a national blog over several years and currently reaches 1 million readers monthly.
Griffith is a working mom with a full plate, and her blog hits close to home for many readers. Beyond painting tutorials and interior design, Refunk My Junk celebrates the everyday.
“There are so many highly curated fashion and style blogs out there today, but that’s just not my style,” Griffith said. “I show the kind of down and dirty aspects to my life, and people can relate. I’m honest with my audience about the good and the bad, and that’s helped build a kind of community.”
Griffith’s blog features resources like Griffith’s book The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Furniture Painting, e-courses on design projects and an array of how-to videos. The rest of the interior design community has taken note — her room and furniture makeovers have been featured on sites like Apartment Therapy, Today.com, Huffington Post and HGTV Magazine.
National acclaim never deters Griffith from her passion for the OKC metro community. In spreading her love of interior design, Griffith’s focus switched from online to a physical location.
“Spruced Cooperative started as a vision to serve Oklahomans with accessible, affordable interior design products and workshops,” she said. “I originally started with a small office space and a larger warehouse to teach classes but quickly needed to expand to a more functional space.”
In expanding beyond her workshop warehouse, Griffith sought to create a brand that reflects her personal style, teaching methods and grounded attitude toward interior design and décor.
“Customers were wanting more hands-on experiences with interior DIY projects, and I wanted to create a location that allowed people to create their own work,” Griffith said.
After finding an available storefront in Edmond, Griffith connected with Profile Concierge Hair Service’s Ali Jackson and Soulful Charm’s Jenn and Kari Lawson in a series of collaborative meetings, outlining their goals as individual business owners and as a collective group. As of Dec. 31, Soulful Charm has left Spruced but continues to operate as an online store.
“It’s not easy to open a business, especially if you’re just one person,” said Griffith. “All four of us were ready to showcase our talents in collaboration with one another.”
Now functioning as a full-fledged location for home goods, beauty and handmade items, Spruced serves Edmond as a destination for creative individuals seeking a unique shopping experience and a connection to the community.
Besides its beauty and home goods, Spruced is unique for its variety of workshops and classes.
“We offer workshops for individuals, groups, parties and businesses,” said Griffith. “Our classes are great for team building and bonding, and everyone leaves with a finished product to enjoy.”
In the future, expect partnerships between the space and a plethora of local businesses. Whether you’re seeking a new hobby or finishing a large home project, Spruced welcomes craft and design experts and novices alike.
“This is a no-pressure environment to shop, create and connect to others,” she said. “Above anything, we just want customers to have fun while they try something new.”
Print headline: Spruced up; A local blogger teamed up with other local storeowners to open Spruced Cooperative.