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Meridian resident Athena Harrison has always loved to create.

“There’s a maternal bloodline in my family of creativity,” Harrison said. “I’ve always been someone who is a jack of all trades — someone who wants to try different things in the creative world.”

Harrison is the owner and manager of AR Workshop in Meridian, a boutique do-it-yourself studio opening in mid-November at 830 N. Main St. #110.

The shop will host workshops, where participants can sign up to learn how to build home-decor items, such as picture frames, canvas pillows and porch signs. The shop will also have home adornments on sale. Residents who have something specific in mind will be able to custom order it from the shop.

The Meridian studio will be one of more than 90 AR Workshops in the nation, but the first in Idaho.

The AR Workshop stands for Anders Ruff Workshop, the last names the two founders AR Workshop: Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff, according to AR Workshop’s website.

Harrison learned about AR Workshop while living in Washington. She said she loved being able to register for classes online and not worry about collecting the materials beforehand.

“Basically I could sit on my hiney in that chair and they would instruct me,” she said.

Harrison said she would “have a blast” with her friends and end the session with a beautiful piece for her house. After her experience, she decided she wanted to open a shop in Meridian — where she was about to move with her husband and family.

“I love community and making people happy — this is just an extension of that,” Harrison said.

She said people are always happy and proud to show off their creations. Harrison said she sees AR Workshop as an event center that brings families and friends together.

When open, the shop will have five to six workshop tables that fit six to 36 people. She said the shop will also have a snack bar area.

Patty Bowen is the Meridian Press reporter. You can reach her at

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