Biz Buzz: DIY craft studio opens in Dubuque; spirituality store comes to SW Wisconsin; retro gaming business opens in Dubuque

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque and Darlington, Wis.

A new craft studio has opened along Dubuque’s Main Street.

Maker’s Club recently opened at 950 Main St. next to Wright Cuts barber shop. The walk-in craft studio offers a variety of do-it-yourself activities, such as pottery painting, glass fusion art and polymer clay projects.

Visitors also have the choice to sign up for a $35 monthly membership, which comes with one free project a month and unlimited access to the studio’s equipment during business hours.

“I’m really hoping to offer people another opportunity to do something fun,” said owner Beverly Lee. “It’s good for families and kids, but we’ve also had some adults and college students coming already, too.”

Lee said Maker’s Club was a result of her lifelong interest in crafting. As her personal supply collection grew, she started thinking about starting a storefront to provide her equipment and experience to others.

The club is equipped with two Cricut machines for members to cut various materials for craft projects, as well as a pottery wheel, paints and more.

Lee said supplies will be modernized as new equipment or updates are released, meaning members can ensure they are getting high-quality tools without having to purchase the items themselves.

“With what we have here, you can count on having the most updated equipment, and it’s not going to become something that’s taking over your home with clutter,” Lee said.

The DIY craft projects can be completed on a walk-in basis, Lee added, and the space also can be reserved for parties or other large groups.

The studio is stocked with a variety of pottery pieces for painting, including vases, mugs and plates. There also is an assortment of holiday pieces available leading up to the Christmas season.

Instructional videos also are available on-demand for certain projects for visitors who would like additional guidance.

“With the holidays coming up, it’s good to remember that handmade gifts hold a lot of significance,” Lee said. “I have little things or projects I made as a little girl … and my mom still has them. These pieces are almost like family heirlooms in the making.”

More information about Maker’s Club can be found online at The store will be open Tuesday through Saturday, though Lee still is finalizing the store hours.

Owner has ‘vision’ for Darlington store

A new store dedicated to aromatherapy, botanicals and spiritual healing has opened in southwest Wisconsin.

The Driftless Shaman opened this fall at 315 Main St. in Darlington, Wis. The store includes a retail space as well as several by-appointment holistic services.

“I have this vision that the shop can become a true community space,” said owner Michelle Haas. “Darlington is really growing, and I think the more we have to offer (as a city), the more people we can bring in.”

Haas, a registered nurse and nature enthusiast, grew up near Cobb, Wis., before spending several years as a traveling nurse. She returned to Wisconsin roughly two years ago, drawn back by the beauty of the Driftless Area.

Her shop is inspired by the serene and natural environment of the area, Haas said, as well as Seven Sacred Pools near Sedona, Ariz., a spot Haas came to love during her time traveling for work.

The retail portion of her store includes a variety of botanicals, essential oils, lotions and more. The business also features a walk-in aroma bar full of various oils and scents.

“I want to create a space where people feel better and feel calmer the minute they walk in the store,” she said.

The space is also available by appointment for custom aromatherapy services, reiki services and M-Technique, a form of physical relaxation similar to massage. The retail shop is closed during appointments. More information about the store can be found online at or by emailing The business is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Retro gaming store offers variety

A retro video game and collectibles store has opened in downtown Dubuque.

Retro Treasures on the Mississippi opened last week at 1520 Central Ave. The store offers a variety of vintage video games, game consoles, toys and collectibles.

The store is co-owned by Justin Rainey and Benjamin Cartwright, longtime friends and gaming enthusiasts.

“We just wanted to do something a little different,” Cartwright said. “It seems like everything is going digital these days, so we wanted to have a space to show off those classic, physical games.”

Cartwright and Rainey get their merchandise from a variety of sources, such as garage sales, online auctions and thrift stores. The business also will operate on a buy-sell-trade basis, meaning customers can bring in items of their own to sell or trade.

“It’s kind of like finding buried treasure when someone brings in a box of stuff they found in their closet or attic,” Rainey said. “That’s kind of where the treasures comes from in our (business name).”

Toys, action figures and collectibles line one wall of the Central Avenue store while the other displays video games and consoles. A glass display case is filled with myriad game discs and cartridges bearing logos for classics such as Super Mario, Guitar Hero and more.

Each item was selected for its cohesion with the store’s nostalgic vibe, Rainey said.

For some visitors, a trip to the store could be the first time they see some of those items in decades.

“It just reminds you of your childhood looking at some of this stuff,” Rainey said. “You can come in at any age and find something that reminds you what it’s like to be a kid again.”

Rainey and Cartwright both expressed excitement and optimism about the upcoming holiday season, saying they hope to provide a unique opportunity for shoppers seeking a classic, retro gift.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

More information on the store, upcoming promotional events and merchandise can be found on the Retro Treasures on the Mississippi Facebook page.