The Hippie Hobby launches its first craft and cocktail night in the Deer Valley community. Founded by Heidi Koffman and Jennifer Racer in 2015 as an every-other-month craft kit subscription box, The Hippie Hobby is expanding to local craft nights throughout the valley. Deer Valley and surrounding areas are a main focus. Heidi states, “Girls nights, craft nights, birthday parties and more – we are really about bringing people together. We started at my apartment in Phoenix, with four friends drinking cocktails and making soap almost two years ago. Bringing our Craft and Cocktail night to the public at a local distillery was a no brainer!” The Hippie Hobby intends to partner with Paradox Distillery on monthly basis and are excited for the cocktail specials they are offering all our crafters! Without further ado, we want to introduce our instructor for our string art class coming May 6, 2017.

Name: Melissa Hamende

I am a dress obsessed, music snob with a passion for planning the ultimate night out. I am the proud mom of a quirky six-year-old named Andrew and three dogs that are convinced they are human. I have been married to my husband Matt for almost 10 years, and in his words I am “pretty quick-witted”. I have I have spent 11 years in public education as a computer teacher, a fifth grade teacher, and currently as a School Data Improvement Specialist. When I retire my goal is to move to a small town, work in a wine tasting room, and eat amazing food.

Tell us a little about your love for crafting. I grew up with a mother who was into crafting and had an appreciation for art, something that she made sure to share with her daughters. We were always visiting the Tole Shop in Downtown Glendale to take seasonal craft classes, perusing the aisles of Ben Franklin Crafts, and even taking those free craft instruction sheets from Michaels to help inspire our next project. In high school and college, I ended up working for JoAnn Etc. and Michaels which only fueled my love for crafting. Every day I was surrounded by possibilities and advance knowledge of sales and promotions didn’t hurt either.

What’s your worst craft fail? When I worked in a fabric store I was determined to make a quilt. I quickly realized that my attention span and need to be perfect quickly lead to disaster. It is much easier to paint over a mistake than take a seam ripper to an entire blanket.

What’s your favorite cocktail? My go-to currently is blueberries, vodka, tonic, and a ton of lime.

When you are not crafting what other fun things do you do in your spare time? I love spending time with my 6-year-old, he is perhaps one of the most hilarious people you will meet. You can typically find me exploring new places, planning excursions with my friends, wine/beer tasting with my husband, or searching for and blogging about the ultimate Mac & Cheese Phoenix has to offer with one of my besties. I also love going to concerts and discovering new bands- I firmly believe live music soothes the soul.

Craft And Cocktail Night Details:
Craft: String Art
Where: Paradox Distillery, 1725 W Williams Dr. #65, Phoenix, AZ 85027
When: May 6, 6pm-9pm
Cost: $40 plus cash bar ($5 cocktail specials!)
Sign up: Registration required. Please visit