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Dayton’s Not Dead: Now and Zen DIY Studio

Now and Zen DIY Studio

Now and Zen DIY Studio | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian

Mother-daughter duo Paula Willis and Alleah Cooks turned their passion for nature and creativity into Now and Zen Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Studio. Their products and services promote creativity within the Dayton community. 

How they started 

Willis and Cooks always shared a bond for plants and nature. Eventually, they began to make their own terrariums as a creative outlet. However, this quickly turned into a business idea as people began to inquire about buying their creations. 

Their business journey began at Dayton’s 2nd Street Market. Business thrived and customers began to express an interest in learning how to construct their own terrariums. 

Willis and Cooks used this opportunity to expand their business and began hosting workshops at various rental facilities. Over time, they decided to open a brick-and-mortar location. This enabled them to host regular groups of people looking to create terrariums and other craft projects. 

“My favorite part is watching people create their own designs and encouraging them to experiment and work with nature. At the end, it’s nice to see how proud they are of their designs,” Cooks said. 

This transition was so successful that they are currently in the process of moving to a larger studio in order to accommodate more customers. 

Moving to a bigger location 

Until approximately the first week of December, in-person events and shopping are temporarily closed. They are currently moving from their location on St.Clair Street to a larger location at 121 East Third Street. However, customers can still shop online for DIY kits on their Etsy and on their website

These DIY terrarium kits are available for immediate delivery or customers can schedule their delivery closer to Christmas. This is to assist customers who may not want to deal with the plant’s maintenance until the holiday. 

Now and Zen DIY Studio
Now and Zen DIY Studio | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian

Willis and Cooks are eager to settle into their new location so that they can assist more people in finding their artistic side. Hosting these events allows them to connect with the community and directly impact the lives of their customers. 

“People come here to have fun and be creative. They thank us and say that we have enhanced their day and enhanced their world. It’s gratifying! For my daughter and I, it really doesn’t feel like work,” Willis said. 

Wright State University (WSU) students are encouraged to check out Now and Zen DIY Studio’s website and Etsy until their new location opens in December. Once confirmed, they will announce the official grand re-opening date on their website and social media platforms.

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