Downtown Marion is getting more creative and crafty with the opening of the Makery.

Located at 15 N. Main St. in downtown Marion’s North Block, the Makery is both an arts and crafts studio and a retail shop. It is a place where you can create your own artwork or choose from the ones on sale or both. It is a place where anyone can enjoy creativity and celebration.

Heidi Barrier is the owner and proprietor of the Makery. People in Marion are already familiar with her amazing handiwork through the “Crafts and Drafts” events she has hosted at Refinery 13, which is located right next door to the Makery. At these events, folks can create, under her guidance, a colorful sign or a home decoration while enjoying some of North Carolina’s finest craft beer or wine. Her arts and crafts making business is called 3FeathersStudio.

After the success of these events, Barrier thought it was time to fulfill a lifelong ambition of having her own studio. But she wanted something more.

“I wanted to create a place where you can have a do-it-yourself option, drop in and do a project and take it home while also having retail space for local handmade art,” she said.

Inside 15 N. Main St., you will find Barrier’s wide assortment of creations, whether they are her wooden home décor, Christmas wreaths and her paintings.

She has always had a passion for creating art. “When I was a kid in elementary school, I got in trouble doing drawings in my math book instead of doing math,” she says.

And as a youth, she would make handmade gifts and Christmas cards for her family, instead of buying them something from a store.

“It was something I always did,” she said.

As a profession, she’s worked as a firefighter for the cities of Morganton and Hickory and the state of North Carolina. But for the past year and a half, she focused her talents on hosting the Crafts and Drafts events at Refinery 13, which is owned and operated by her sister Sarah Barrier Jacobs and brother-in-law Ryan Jacobs. All the while, she planned about opening up the Makery and this would be the new home of 3FeathersStudio.

“For the past five years, I’ve been scheming about this place,” she said.

At the Makery, Barrier is not only featuring her arts and crafts but the creations of other local artisans as well. You will find a good assortment of the popular metal signs and artworks by Turtle Laboratories and beeswax products from Sweet Betsy Farm. Karen Speer with Sweet Betsy has hosted events where people can learn to make their own lip balms using her beeswax products. Barrier said the last one was a big hit. You will find bath products and wood supplies from Angie’s Woodshed. Other local artisans and crafters are welcome to host their special events at the Makery.

Barrier will partner with Flavors on Main, which is next door on the other side, for a cooking and crafts event. The Makery is also a place where young and old can come to celebrate through making a craft or an artwork. “We will host kid’s birthday parties, adult birthday parties, a ladies’ night out, team-building events, baby showers and bachelorette events,” said Barrier.

In just a short while, this place has gotten rave reviews on Facebook.

“What a beautiful addition to downtown!” wrote Sandra Wilkerson-Queen. “Heidi makes you feel right at home in her spacious, bright new studio. Attended the lip balm workshop today (it was amazing!) and can’t wait to paint while watching a movie soon. I’m loving our new downtown and The Makery is a big reason!”

“Amazingly talented artist that helps others find the artist in themselves!” wrote Melanie Shaver.

Although she is the owner, the entire Barrier family helps with the operation of the Makery, just like they do with Refinery 13. Barrier says this is a team effort by the entire family.

Her father Avery Barrier assisted with the remodeling and woodwork. Fiancé Darrin Huffman supports her in this endeavor. Sister Sarah is right next door to lend a helping hand too. Although Cindi Barrier is not really a sibling, she is considered part of the family too.

Barrier said her best friend from elementary school, Katrina Hollifield of Crossnore, has been a major player in the success and growth of her business. “She too is like our sister!” she added.

The Barrier family did a remarkable job renovating the former bridal and party shop space at 15 N. Main St. into a first-class arts and crafts venue. The transformation of this space is exactly like what was done at Refinery 13.

Barrier hopes to transform the North Block in other ways. With the permission of the Marion City Council, she will paint the informational kiosk at the City Stage to make it more attractive and colorful. Her goal for the winter months is to create more artwork.

The Makery is open for craft making Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For shopping, it is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. And for private events, it is available Wednesday through Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. by reservation.

As one of the newest Main Street heroes, Barrier said she hopes the Makery will help downtown Marion become a more welcoming place for the arts. While there is MACA, the quilt blocks and Mountain Marquee, even more artistic expression is always a plus.

“I want to foster an environment of creativity here,” she said. “It makes a downtown more interesting and art in all forms draws people to downtown.”

For more information, you can visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/themakerymarion/. It is also on Instagram.

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