Ken and Libby Tracy

Kris Richter, Owner and Creator of the Paint Playground, formerly known as The Craft Lab.

Meet our J. Patrick Toomey Small Businessperson Award for 2024, Kris Richter:
Kris serves as both an Ambassador and a Board Member for Milford Miami Township Chamber and works tirelessly to support our mission to develop, promote, and enhance businesses in our community.

🎨  Have you always been an active member of your community both here and in previous places you have lived, and what has inspired your commitment?

Since I was young, I realized that making connections could help me achieve my goals. So, it felt instinctive to engage with the community in my business ventures. Starting The Craft Lab followed this pattern. I’ve gained a lot of exposure in the past few years, mostly through networking and putting in effort. It’s really boosted my business.

Impacting Tomorrow

🎨 What would you like the community to know about your business including its mission, vision, and values?

At Paint Playground, we’re all about spreading joy through creativity. I believe in breaking the mold and proving that art can be a blast for everyone, even if you don’t think you’re artsy.

Picture this: It’s 2024, and I’ve created a place where you’ll want to put your phone down for 45 minutes straight. It’s for all ages and abilities, where laughter and fun are guaranteed, and the memories will stick around long after the paint washes off. Sound wild? Come try it for yourself!

Our mission at Paint Playground is simple: we’re here to create a space where self-expression beats perfection. It’s about connecting people through insanely enjoyable, creative experiences. We’re dedicated to empowering everyone to embrace their inner artist, no matter who they are or where they come from.

🎨  You connect with our community in a number of ways – with fellow artists, with families and young children, with other small business owners – what are some common needs you see and how does The Craft Lab serve them?

At The Craft Lab, we’ve noticed a shift in what people are seeking: experiences over possessions. Yet, the options available often stick to the usual routines. That’s where the Paint Playground steps in – offering an alternative to screens, sports, and bars. We’re a place where connections happen in a whole new way.

Personally, I thrive on bringing people together. It’s something that comes naturally to me. Over the years, The Craft Lab has become a gathering spot for amazing, creative individuals. I’ve witnessed and been a part of countless friendships forming within our walls and through the events we host. It’s incredibly fulfilling to see my work extend positively into the community in this way.

🎨. You are an active board member and ambassador of the Milford Miami Township Chamber. How have you and your business benefited from that association?

I moved to Cincinnati from my home state of Nebraska in 2015. I moved to Clermont County in 2018, but largely kept to myself. Being part of the Milford Miami Township Chamber has been a game-changer for me and my business. When I opened in 2021, I hardly knew anyone. The chamber gave me a platform to connect and network, which really boosted my business. Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of having a blast with paint? The opportunities and connections I’ve made through the chamber have been invaluable. And on top of that, I’ve built a strong circle of friends who’ve helped me feel right at home here.

🎨. What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business in the Milford Miami Township area?

Join the chamber. Get involved. Attend networking events whenever you can. You never know how it might benefit you. Just look at my experience as an example.

🎨. Is there anything else you’d like our community to know about you or The Craft Lab?

Exciting news! We’re undergoing a re-branding process at The Craft Lab. Initially, we started as a consignment store for local goods. But after some changes, we introduced the Paint Playground. The response from the community has been clear, and we’re listening. Going forward, we’ll simply be known as Paint Playground.

This is just the beginning of our journey! Stay tuned as we re-brand and introduce some new fun experiences this summer.

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