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Where creativity is cultivated

Unusual store offers a place for parents and children to connect and create together.

August 26, 2011|By Katie Bain
  • Courtney Collins, co-owner of Little Junebugs in Pasadena on Tuesday, August 23, 2011, as she makes a gift basket, preparing for the grand opening this weekend. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Courtney Collins, co-owner of Little Junebugs in Pasadena…

Courtney Collins dreamed of planting a garden. Not in her yard, or even at her house, but in a store. Here, she wouldn’t grow flowers or vegetables; she would cultivate creativity.

Enter Little Junebugs, Pasadena’s newest crafting space and gift store for children and adults. Collins, a former art teacher and nanny, created the recently opened shop with co-owners Brian Flanagan and Andrea Jensen Wader.

Little Junebugs, (named for the June birthdays shared by Collins and Jensen Wader), is a whimsical venue for children and adults to make art. The garden-themed store, located in historic downtown Pasadena, is decorated with nature-inspired handmade crafts and stocked with an expertly curated selection of books, art projects and other innovatively designed gifts for the young and young at heart.

Little Junebugs is also a crafting space. A chalkboard lists the store’s rotating selection of art project options, which include portable cardboard dollhouse kits and three-dimensional puzzles. Projects sell for as little as $6, and after purchasing a kit, kids and parents can assemble their selection in the craft studio. Glue, scissors and other materials are supplied, and a staff member is always on hand to assist in the creative process.

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Little Junebugs is also a space for gatherings and parties. On Sundays, the store can be rented out for private birthday celebrations for kids in the 3-10 age range. Party themes include “butterfly princess ball” and “snails, trails and fairytales,” and a craft project, custom handmade decorations and cupcakes are provided by the store. Food can be brought in or catered for an additional fee.

Housed in a historical building with high ceilings and lovely vintage touches, the classically designed store is also a place for adults to play. Little Junebugs will host bi-monthly extended hour evenings for grownups to come in and craft such projects as scrapbooks and painted wine glasses and coffee mugs. The space can also be rented out by bridal parties, baby showers, book clubs and other groups who want to connect over drinks, snacks and crafts.

“We really encourage private parties,” Collins says. “Our hope is that people will come to us with craft ideas so we can provide them with everything they need to have a great time making that project.”

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