NEWTON – Braum’s store manager Marcie Arrowsmith asked which of her employees had an artistic bent that could brighten up the restaurant’s interior.
Customers now may notice upon entering that the restaurant has a decidedly fall theme. Shift supervisor Ashley Archie created 12 flow art panels that blend with a couple of hedgehogs and flower arrangements crafted by Arrowsmith.
“I wanted to incorporate the employees making it more of a family and community type of thing,” Arrowsmith said.
Archie said her boyfriend saw a YouTube video on flow art a couple of years ago, and she’s been hooked ever since she watched a few classes. She said people had contacted her about making displays for their homes and businesses. She said she would love to get businesses on Main Street interested, such as Newton Et Cetera Shop, Faith & Life Bookstore and Prairie Harvest. She said she could create displays on tile, wooden planks or canvas, basically any surface. For the fall display, she used silicone oil, a black light and glow-in-the-dark paint. She said the colors opened up like a jawbreaker, and each panel looks different in daylight and at night.
“That’s the secret of my painting,” she said. “Each has a different look.”
Arrowsmith said she was teaching her daughter, Cattie, to sew. Cattie wanted to make a hedgehog for a friend whose mother is struggling. Marcie decided she would make a hedgehog with a fall theme.
“It came out so well, I’ll make a second one,” she said.
Arrowsmith said a few customers had asked her what the items on display cost, but she had to tell them, sorry, they’re just for display. She said the corporate office wants employees to put their own footprint at each location. She’s planning on doing a winter-themed display and has asked an employee about having her children create snowflakes.
“We’re going to see who else has talent to share,” she said.
Archie said she likes the personal touch of the displays because it makes all the employees a family. She said each employee knew each other’s strengths and foibles.
“We’re always here for each other, no matter what,” she said. “We’re not just a machine. We’re people. We want to serve people with a smile.”
Archie said she thanked God every day for which she was able to work.
Arrowsmith said she also had received positive comments about an employee-of-the-month display created by Alli Sauer. She said it was important to recognize people and that customers liked to see appreciation for the employees. She asked each manager to name a particular employee because more than one person did a great job. She then made sure to tell each employee who received the honor what the supervisor had to say about him or her.
“It’s been a rough time,” she said. “I think it’s important we celebrate things.”