LIVINGSTON, NJ — Board & Brush Creative Studio, a concept that began as a “girls’ night out” with wine and crafts in a Wisconsin woman’s basement, recently became a new do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop in Livingston that celebrated its grand opening on Thursday. Mayor Ed Meinhardt helped his friends Julie and Craig Schachter, Livingston residents and owners of Board & Brush, cut the ribbon marking the opening of their new business at 25 West Northfield Avenue.

Guests were treated to free drinks and light snacks as they were introduced to the Board & Brush concept, which involves woodworking to create fun home décor to bring home or give as a gift. Julie, the owner and manager, said she was enthusiastic about bringing this DIY workshop to her community, where guests are invited to bring wine, food and friends to enjoy as they create their own works of art.

“About a year and a half ago I had seen this concept on Facebook, and when I saw it I just stopped dead in my tracks,” Julie said. “I was like, I need to find out what that is, I need to do it right away—and I knew almost immediately that this was 100-percent me.”

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Julie said she shared a passion for DIY home projects with the Board & Brush founder, who turned her fun girls’ night out into a business idea that has grown very quickly in Wisconsin since 2015. The concept was to combine woodworking techniques and skills with the latest trends and custom graphics while also creating a social environment for birthday parties, bridal showers, bachelorette gatherings, corporate events, fundraisers and more.

Julie explained that the workshop begins with raw pieces of wood that guests learn how to distress, stain, apply finishes like a dry rub or a white wash and paint in order to get the effect they want.

“This is definitely unique,” said Julie. “You’re making your project from raw wood that has nothing on it and you’re making a project that’s completely different than your friend’s because everybody makes what they want to make. So if you have six people at your table, all six of you are making a unique project of a unique size and everything about it is unique.”

Meinhardt, who has known the Schachters for seven years through their mutual involvement in the Livingston Soccer Club, was enthusiastic that the 20-year Livingston residents wanted to open their new business in town.

“It’s great to see them opening up a business here in town,” he said. “It’s nice to see our residents staying in town and doing stuff in town. It just goes to show that one of the great things about Livingston is that, while people want to live here, they also want to work here as well—so it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Meinhardt was accompanied by members of the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce and members of the township council to kick of the grand opening on Thursday with the celebratory ribbon cutting. 

More information about Board & Brush can be found at www.boardandbrush.com/livingston