Toy, art studio opens
Store located in former bar in Waupaca
By James Card
“When I came in I knew I wanted to keep the bar top,” said Erin Kempfert, the new owner of ScaDooDLE Toys and Games.
The new business is located at 115 W. Fulton St. and the building was home to a bar that changed names and ownership over the years. It was most recently called Banjos.
The bar top was uneven and she and a friend refinished it. “It’s a great space to come in and paint or craft and have fun,” she said.
Next to the bar is the community-supported “Make Art” corner where any kid can walk in off the street, grab some repurposed crafting materials, pull up a stool at the bar and order up a helping of glue and tape with a side of scissors—all completely for free.
One of Kempfert’s goals is to get booster seats so little kids can comfortably sit at the bar and dig into a craft project.
ScaDooDLE is a hybrid retail space. For sale are sketchbooks, paintable gnomes, finger paint, craft kits, beads, brushes, puzzles, yarn, art supplies and dolls.
Of particular interest are Waldorf dolls that are simple rag dolls that have no expression on their face. The idea is that a child playing with the doll can imaginatively interpret the emotional state of the doll, as opposed to many dolls that have a frozen smile and a facial expression that never changes.
The other part of the business is all hands-on. Kempfert hosts crafting classes and private birthday parties.
She also hosts “Two-dollar crafting” every Saturday where there is a theme and guidance for a craft project.
The most recent one was making a Halloween bats.
She has coffee brewing and a parent can grab a cup while their children are busy concocting a creation.
She and her husband and their two children moved to Waupaca three years ago from southern Minnesota when her husband was offered a job at Immanuel Lutheran where he now is an associate pastor.
Before starting ScaDooDLE, Kempfert sold her handmade toys and games at the farmers market and at other shows and festivals around the state.
When Ccvid hit, all of those venues closed. During this downtime Kempfert used the time for reflection and regrouping.
“If I want to keep going, then I actually need to move on this some-day dream I had. That if I ever had a shop it would be like this. It’s really kind of where all of my interests and work history and what I’m good at converge,” she said.
As a fourth-generation artist and a third-generation educator, it all came together in the form of this shop.
About the name: ScaDooDLE is a nod to her grandparents. Her grandfather loved garage sales and would come home with all kinds of random stuff. If Kempfert needed some obscure object, she would call grandma, who would reply in a nasal Iowa/Minnesota patois, “Oh, yeah, c’mon over. We’ve got scads and oodles of it. Grandpa’s got it everywhere.”
For Kempfert, scads and oodles, is the odd and diverse assortment of raw materials that is required for the creative process, which is what her studio-shop is all about.
As for the unusual capitalization, she said that as a kid, she developed a goofy handwriting quirk of mixing up case and lower case letters and she playfully added it to the business name.