Sophia Martinez only opened her downtown Buckeye shop Screws and Sparkles last fall.
The response has been so fervent for the furniture and craft store that specializes in Arizona-based goods that she knew she needed more space. With Marcy George’s Farmers Insurance next door, there really wasn’t room to grow. So, Martinez and George did what made sense: They swapped units.
“We literally traded spaces,” Martinez said. “Marcy has been super helpful with everything. She saw how busy we were getting. She wanted a little privacy for her insurance. In December, she said she thought we needed more room. I said we had only been in business for three months. I thought things would slow down, but they never did. It got busier, which was crazy.”
Screws and Sparkles hosted a grand-opening party last week for the new space. Again, the line was down East Monroe Street. The new space sticks with its original theme of showcasing Arizona vendors and makers with items like homemade honey, soaps, signs, furniture and knickknacks. Female Buckeye vendors are in the forefront.
“About 90% of them live in Buckeye,” she said. “It’s the same mission we always have, which is giving us moms a place to use our creativity to provide for our families.
“I just really wanted to have something for other moms like myself. I just prayed. I said, ‘OK, God, if you ever give me the opportunity to have a store, I want to provide for other moms.’”
Martinez has been creating furniture for six years. She didn’t have it in the family’s budget to decorate the house the way she wanted, so she visited thrift stores and yard sales, and perused curbside items to find what she wanted.
“My kids and I would carry it back home, and I would paint it in the garage while they played outside,” Martinez said. “People started asking if I was selling the pieces.”
She saw the sign and sold pieces at flea markets, wishing to one day have a store. The timing wasn’t right because she wanted to raise her kids without the help of day care.
“When I was selling furniture, it was incredibly hard to find a place to sell it,” Martinez said. “I went to flea markets, which is hard because, with furniture, you have to get a trailer. We had small kids. Eating hot Cheetos for breakfast at the flea market isn’t exactly cute.”
But the furniture sales paid for extra goodies like fancy birthday parties.
“Moms, we want all the extra stuff,” Martinez said. “Unless you’re a maker, you don’t really understand what that means when someone buys a piece of furniture.
“It goes right back into us — buying school clothes or Halloween costumes. My main motivation is that my sellers shine. That’s why I give them their own space. I think that’s important.”
Martinez said the reason for the success is simple: She shares her journey with her social media followers and prospective customers.
“People are invested because of that,” she said. “They’ve been along on the journey since we opened the little shop.”