There is no greater gift in life than family. At The Gift Workshop in Mint Hill, family connections are one of its core values. For owner Katherine DePrater, establishing the business offered the opportunity to pursue her passion while still being able to focus on raising her son, Jacob. Kat treats all customers like family…officially welcoming the community through her doors in November of 2018.
Kat is genuine and friendly, a true artist at heart. After a series of heartbreaking events culminated in the ending of her marriage, followed by the passing of her father, Kat knew that a change was necessary. She would take a leap of faith and leave her corporate job to follow her dream of building a business designed around creating connections, healing the soul, and celebrating the positive moments in life.
Every great transformation story has a catalyst moment, and Kat’s story is no different. Kat spent the ten days leading up to her father’s passing having long and meaningful talks with him. On January 3, 2017, Kat was at home, alone, for the first time in a year, reflecting on her father’s words. Her son was away, her dad had passed, and she was sitting in silence. Kat remembered being aggravated by how loud the refrigerator sounded as it ran in the kitchen. With sudden clarity realized it wasn’t the refrigerator noise that was aggravating her, but the absolute silence. She decided then and there that it was time to take that leap. Gathering discarded wood from a construction site, she set to work in her garage, creating well into the night. Working with her hands released the grief and creativity within her. Processing the emotions led to answering her call as a creative instructor.
From that fateful night, Kat launched many of the project ideas that The Gift Workshop uses today. Customers at this welcoming Do-It-Yourself workshop can enjoy projects that range from woodworking crafts to bath bombs, and jewelry making (coming in July).
Customers can also purchase unique and customizable gifts from many of the local and national vendors represented in her shop. Kat is always looking to add new and exciting ideas to the class lineup as well. When asked about her plans for the future, Kat stated that she would like to continue to expand The Gift Workshop into an even more workable space for the community. She hopes to offer more mobile opportunities for classes and is looking to invite local artists to share their talents as guest teachers.
The Gift Workshop will be offering a fresh flower market every Friday this summer starting on June 21st. Customers can stop by and choose a bouquet of seasonal local flowers priced between $10-$20 per bouquet. This is a beautiful way to celebrate the end of the work week!
When asked what her advice would be for DIYers in the local community, Kat answered with sincerity. “Always put forth the effort to try”, she encouraged, “Not everything is always going to turn out perfectly. Every fail is an opportunity for growth.”
The Gift Workshop has purposely been designed to encourage self-expression. Kat’s warm personality and ease in teaching help to build her customer’s confidence in their abilities. She encourages them to own their projects, adding personal touches that make them more meaningful. She truly wants her customers to leave happy and relaxed, not worried about the final product. Her encouragement is sincere, “Belief in yourself is key. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.”
The Gift Workshop is located at 8329 Fairview Road in Mint Hill. For more information or to register for classes find them on Facebook at “The Gift Workshop” or call 980-224-8794.