You may see it parked in your neighbor’s driveway or being towed down Grove Street on its way to a party. With its cheerful lettering and proud neon flamingo, the Mobile Makers trailer is seriously hard to miss, and you don’t want to because it’s packed full of fun. Mobile Makers is the brainchild of Montclair native Allegra Baldwin and is a creative art studio on wheels, offering classes, crafting, and sensory experiences for children (and adults) of all ages. Read on to learn more about Mobile Makers, an art experience on wheels.
About Mobile Makers
Mobile Makers isn’t just a trailer filled with crafts, it’s an experience. Contained within the 6×10 foot space is everything Mrs. Baldwin needs to bring to the party. Considering herself a mobile events vendor, she sets up her own table and chairs, tablecloths, and decor, making a vignette of colorful crafting projects to keep kids entertained and engaged.
“Sensory bins are my jam,” she says, using colored rice or lentils with a combination of “add-ins.” Anything from glossy gems to magic pom poms will keep kids interested, using their hands for exploration.
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She also offers various project options like beading jewelry, painting with toy cars, building with clay, and crafting collages beyond your wildest rainbow dreams.
Mobile Makers offers pop-ups at private residences in Northern New Jersey, giving customers the opportunity to host pods of kids for birthdays or participate in “Mini-Camps” during the summer. Allegra and her trailer come to you fully equipped, ready to craft in your driveway or backyard, anywhere on your property.
Clean up is a quick 20 minutes, and she leaves no trace. Eventually, Mrs. Baldwin would like to be available at local park events or farmers’ markets with a “crafting menu.” Customers could pick and choose what craft they’d like to make, and she would supply them with everything they needed to do it right there at the trailer.
With a simple email exchange (firstname.lastname@example.org) and payment through Venmo, Mobile Makers can be scheduled in a pinch.
About The Owner
Montclair-raised Allegra Baldwin has always loved crafting. As a kid, she frequented Watchung Plaza to visit the beauty shop and Fabricville, a large fabric store where AE Fitness now resides. Homemade wallpaper, handcrafted wreaths, and tablescapes were things she made in her free time.
“I am not a fine artist,” she says, though one could argue the opposite given the art and design classes she took at Parsons School of Design in NYC at just 10-years-old. Allegra found fashion her driving force, learning to sketch, design, and sew while there but “crafts were always in the background.”
For over ten years, Mrs. Baldwin had a serious career in the fashion industry as a creative director and brand designer, working with Betsey Johnson and Kenneth Cole. “Before Mobile Makers, I ‘crafted’ brands,” she says. Then as a mother, she transitioned to freelance work, wanting to stay close to her son.
“When I became a mom, I suddenly did not want to go back to work. I wanted to be home with my son, but I also suffered from severe postpartum depression, so I began writing and crafting even more. That is when I developed a love of not just crafting but kids’ sensory art.”
“Crafting calms me,” she says, which is especially necessary being a busy mother of two. Refreshingly honest, Allegra acknowledges that juggling motherhood and her new business is challenging. She states that she doesn’t juggle it all. “Luckily, I have a gem of a husband, like a real gem, and truthfully all my boys cheer me on.”
She then began teaching at a kid’s art studio in Morris County, but Covid hit, and the studio was permanently shut down. Allegra suddenly found herself focusing on creative ideas and crafts. “I continued to explore sensory activities with my boys,” she says, “but I made time for late-night wreath-making, abstract painting, beaded bracelets…the list goes on.” That’s when the idea for Mobile Makers struck. She wanted to own her own business and started to wonder where the world of kid’s spaces was going.
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“Every few years, I feel like I have a creative dilemma/reckoning where I just say…what am I doing with my life? I know I am a wife and mom, but what am I doing with my ideas?” Mid-covid, she found herself open to starting a business. She took the leap and bought a trailer, which she customized and painted herself.
Her advice to parents looking to get crafty? Be random and spontaneous. “Kids love busy work. Don’t be afraid to get messy. It’s OK to get paint on our hands; we don’t need to wash them right away; it’s OK to not be perfect. Art is whatever you want it to be.” She adds, with a sparkly glimmer, “the same goes for adults, have fun with it.”
Stay in the know with Mobile Makers via Instagram at @mobilemakers.us.