Mother, daughter brush together

Rhonda Knights, right, and her daughter Brianna Burton paint a sign inside their new Anders Ruff workshop located on Seco Canyon Road and Copper Hill Drive. Michele Lutes/The Signal

A Santa Clarita mother-and-daughter team is looking to make a mark on Santa Clarita opening a do-it-yourself decor business earlier this year.

Born and raised in Santa Clarita, Brianna Burton noticed people lean toward the DIY culture.

“It’s something different,” the daughter and business owner said.

Rhonda Knights and her daughter Brianna Burton are learning about each other in a different light after opening their business Anders Ruff Workshop Santa Clarita, they said.

“We had to learn each other again,” Burton said. “I’m 35, so I haven’t been around my mom this much since I lived at home.”

Knights was a part of the first graduating class of Saugus High School in 1978, and Burton followed in her footsteps, graduating from the school in 2001.

When Burton was young, her mother was “more than crafty,” she said. “I would come home from school and something new would be in the house, and I don’t just mean a piece of furniture.”

“The stairs would have rod iron, or my whole room would have the wallpaper taken off and it was painted,” Burton said. “ It would be just big things.”

Knights has a background in finished carpentry.

Two years ago, she moved to North Carolina where she opened up her first AR Workshop.

“When I was in North Carolina, I was thinking of how I could set up some kind of workshop to show women how to use power tools. But then I thought of the legality of that,” Knights said.

When she wanted to start her own workshop, a woman in North Carolina asked her if she had ever heard of AR Workshop, Knights said.

After hearing about the franchise, she went to an AR Workshop near her.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, that’s right up my alley,’” Knights said about the workshop. “I contacted them and they were franchising.”

Six months later, Burton visited her mom’s workshop in Hickory, North Carolina.

AR Workshop offers private and public DIY decor workshops for $39.50 to $95.50, depending on the project. All projects are made to personalize, Burton said. Michele Lutes/The Signal

“I fell in love,” Burton said. “That’s when she talked about opening one here in Santa Clarita. I said, ‘Yeah let’s do it.’ So, here we are.”

Knights has always been self-employed.

“Yes, there is a risk,” she told her daughter. “But without risks, you never tried. You have to try.”

They took a risk together and officially opened their business earlier this year. “She’s always had a sense of wanting to create a legacy for me,” Burton said. “She wanted me to come into her world a little and be her apprentice.”

AR Workshop Santa Clarita is located near the intersection of Seco Canyon Road and Copper Hill Drive. The business offers private and public workshops along with retail.

Workshop prices range from $39.50 to $95.50 depending on the project. “Your price is for your wood, stencil, use of all of our paint and stains and for your instructor,” Burton said. “You are paying a one-time fee for you making a project here and taking it home with you the same day.”

“We want to be able to partner with the community. Maybe wineries, team building or an office party,” Knights said. “I am willing travel off site and partner with the community.”

The mother-daughter duo is making an event out of their workshops. “This is kid friendly and family friendly, too. We have had lots of date nights and mother-daughter days.”

Many people come in not knowing what to expect, and even saying “mine won’t look like that,” Burton said.

“We call it the big reveal,” Burton said. “The look on their faces, ‘Oh my gosh, I made this.’ Then you catch them staring at it for the rest of the night.”

All the projects are made to personalize, so you can make your DIY decor, match your home, Burton said.

There is a lot of diversity of where the DIY business can grow. “As things change and designs change and DIY changes, we will have to change too,” Knights said.

“She has such a great background in it and I was raised watching her,” Burton said about her mother. “It’s second nature to her, and I am in the process of still learning.”

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