Inspired to bring the city something creative, two UC DAAP grads launched Handzy Shop + Studio, specializing in handcrafted wedding invitations, graphic design and creative workshops. Learn more about these two local ladies (and best friends!) who are putting their handcrafted stamp on the Queen City!
Brittney Braemer and Suzy Strachan have always wanted to turn their passion for making things into a career. Two best friends who went to design school at the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program, Braemer and Strachan turned their dreams into a reality when they launched Handzy Shop + Studio, a small stationery gift shop and graphic design studio.
“In our small space in Covington we sell creative products produced by independent makers (greeting cards, local art, ceramics, jewelry home goods, and design and desk supplies,” says Braemer. “We also host creative workshops, design custom wedding invitations, and do branding and graphic design for other small businesses.”
While the two have always wanted to own a business, they spent a year apart exploring other paths before they came back together. “Now the opportunity to be a platform for other independent artists and designers is what inspires us to keep showing up for work,” says Strachan.
Handzy Shop + Studio officially launched in early 2015, when they opened their first studio and began selling and designing stationery at the City Flea and other craft fairs.
“We worked there until June of 2016 when we spotted the perfect storefront on Pike Street in Covington,” says Braemer. “We made it all happen in a month and opened our current shop and studio space in July 2016. We are getting excited to celebrate our shop’s first birthday soon!”
They also brought on a new designer to join the Handzy team, Leah.
Now, the three of them are constantly creating a number of products, although they mostly focus on greeting cards and art prints. However, they say the amazing thing about having their own studio and shop is that they can experiment and create anything they feel inspired to.
The Handzy team has made hand-painted terra cotta pots, jewelry, and other fine art collages. “As a medium we use a lot of watercolor to create the imagery for our cards and prints but have also recently been practicing our digital illustration skills,” adds Strachan.
The products created by Handzy Shop + Studio are unique thanks in part to the team’s graphic design background. “Our space is small, so we have to be selective about what we sell,” says Strachan. “When you come to shop at Handzy, you know that everything on the shelf has been considered. When we are stocking the shop we keep the word ‘upbeat’ in mind. We want this to be a happy, inspiring place!”
Products from Handzy Shop + Studio range from $2 for a sticker to as much as $250 for a piece of original, local fine art.
“We have an entire wall dedicated to greeting cards, which range from $4 to $7.50,” says Braemer. “Our hope is that there is something unique and inspiring for a range of price points.”
Thanks to the exceptional growth Handzy Shop + Studio experienced in 2016, the team is looking forward to settling in and refining what they do as a shop and studio in their Covington location.
To learn more about Handzy Shop + Studio, visit www.hellohandzy.com. While there you can also see the store’s online shop, take a peek at their portfolio, and sign up for their email list. Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.