Creative Endeavors store at Community Center will stay open

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 8, 2017

 Vendor Pat Kulka, an 11-year Troy resident and volunteer at Creative Endeavors, stands in front of the jewelry she creates and top- selling aprons at the store March 9.

Vendor Pat Kulka, an 11-year Troy resident and volunteer at Creative Endeavors, stands in front of the jewelry she creates and top- selling aprons at the store March 9.

Photo by Terry Oparka

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TROY — Many people who live and work in Troy may not know about Creative Endeavors, the store at the north entrance of the Troy Community Center. 

Once they do discover it, they are pleasantly surprised at the variety, the quality and the low prices of the items in the store, said store manager Donna MacGowan. 

Late last year, city leaders had considered moving the store from its current location or even closing it, but they decided against those measures. 

“It’s really amazing how many people don’t know we’re here,” MacGowan said. 

“We are happy to say that Creative Endeavors will not be closing after all and will remain in its current location, where more than 100 local artisans (ages) 50 and older sell their handmade arts and crafts,” said Carla Vaughan, the city’s recreation supervisor. 

The items in the store run the gamut — jewelry, handcrafted quilts, aprons, doll clothes, pottery, ceramics and many unique, one-of-a-kind items, said MacGowan, who works as a volunteer in the store. 

MacGowan has managed the store since 2013. She also has a part-time job working for an interior designer. 

“The vendors do it for therapeutic reasons,” she said of the items at the store. “They feel they are giving back to the community and love getting that little check every couple of months.” 

Vendors receive 70 percent of the profits from their items. The city takes 30 percent for the upkeep of the store and pays the state sales tax, MacGowan said. 

Vendor Pat Kulka, an 11-year Troy resident, volunteers at the store. She creates jewelry. 

“I was looking for a place to sell it,” she said of her creations. She had been going to the gym at the Community Center and knew about the store. “You can’t keep making it (craft items) without a place to sell it. I looked in the window and thought, ‘My stuff would go in here.’” 

She said the store gets a lot of traffic around the holidays. 

“I feel the prices are extremely low,” she said. “Most people are surprised at the prices and variety. Every week I have to go through and see what’s here. New stuff is always coming in.” 

She said that for many of the vendors, Creative Endeavors is the only place they sell their items. Kulka said that some of the vendors and volunteers are in their 80s or 90s. 

“It’s difficult (for some) to do a craft show,” she said. 

“My dad was an artist and photographer, and my mom was a crafter,” Kulka said. “I can’t just watch TV. I have to keep my hands busy.” 

Crafters and artisans over age 50 who wish to have their items considered for sale at the store should drop the items off at the store.

“We need items for boys and men,” Kulka said. 

The store is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 5-9 p.m. Thursdays. 

There will be a 10 percent discount on all items in the store during the Troy Community Center’s 15th Birthday Party 11 a.m.-2 p.m. March 11. There will be a magician, a bounce house, arts and crafts activities, mascots, refreshments, musical entertainment, and face painting at the event. 

The Troy Community Center is located at 3179 Livernois Road. 

For more information, call (586) 524-3484.

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