“In such a small space, we’ll never be able to compete with the larger chains and online resources, but we try to have something for everyone,” Dockstader says.
That ‘everyone’ includes lots of children, so much so that kids’ arts and crafts are the shop’s fastest-growing area, from crayons and finger paints for younger kids to fine art materials for aspiring young artists.
“Our mission is to inspire creativity in young and old alike, whether or not you are a skilled artist,” she says. “We want to support people to try something new or re-kindle a hobby from earlier in their life.”
In addition to its retail inventory, which includes the tools for all sorts of DIY projects, including felting, stamping, sewing, book-binding, fabric-painting, embossing, scrapbooking, decoupage, embroidery, wreath-making, you name it, Once Around also offers onsite after-school classes and summer camps range from weekly knitting classes to week-long explorations of digital art on the iPad. They also run adult classes, primarily drawing.
In addition to showcasing local artists in its window each month, the shop also sponsors and manages the Kids’ Art Zone at the annual Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, engaging hundreds of Mill Valley kids with ambitious art projects over the 2-day event.