The Hive Innovation Center in Lo Schiavo was bustling on Friday as students came with their best designs to decorate tote bags with paint, markers, and rhinestones at the Craft Club’s kickoff meeting: Craft Night.
With roughly 40 attendees and a lengthy RSVP and waitlist, Craft Night’s turnout proves one point saliently: little is more important to USF culture than tote bags.
Attendees prepped by frantically scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram, trying to find the perfect inspiration photos for their totes. With the blank canvas of the tote in front of me, I also felt myself beginning to panic, and my mind went blank. I looked through my own collection of inspirational pins before settling on the simple, yet reliable subject of flowers.
What emerged from everyone’s brainstorming was a vibrantly colored, eclectic collection of designs: natural landscapes, slogans, portraits, patterns, and even Pokémon.
Christina Weatherford, a fourth-year biology major, painted a landscape of a field with bright pink flowers overlooking water. Above the landscape she wrote, “Take a Hike,” as an ode to her love for hiking. Weatherford said hiking calms her down when school is stressing her out. Going into Craft Night, she said she was “excited to meet some other craft-minded folks,” and that she was inspired by the “individuality in each person’s approach.”
Alice Brenengen, a fourth-year business analytics major and president of Craft Club, said it’s “pretty crazy [that] almost 80 people wanted to come.” She said the executive board has been “grateful to get all of the attention” that’s come from Craft Night.
Elizabeth Velez, a fourth-year marketing major and marketing director of Craft Club, said that many attendees “feel stress relief, which is our main goal.” Stella Doolan, a second-year management major, said the energy in the room was “creative and happy,” and that she “had a great time and was able to meet a few people.”
It’s easy to see why many students were able to unwind. The easygoing atmosphere in the room gave rise to lively conversations as students bonded over their design processes. As midterms begin to roll around, Craft Night’s opportunity to destress through a low-stakes activity was much needed.
“I think Craft Club is a great space for everyone who wants to express themselves through art,” Weatherford said. “Everyone is welcome with kindness and enthusiasm.”
Nia Ratliff is a third-year design major, and a deputy writer for the Foghorn. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.