Meet Instructor Linda Laake

Linda Laake

Hi, I’m Linda Laake. I’ve been crafting for as long as I can remember, and I love how it brings people together. Throughout my life, I’ve cultivated a unique skillset of creative know-how and compassionate leadership that has served me well in collaborative ventures. Learning something new can be a challenge; and my personal goal is to make DIY projects approachable for everyone. I currently offer private workshops for small groups as well as public workshops. I enjoy figuring out how to make specific projects so I can show others the process.  

I spent my formative years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where my youthful creativity was nurtured at both home and school.  I ventured into homemade projects like piñatas, pillows, macramé, scrapbooks, candles, embroidery, jewelry, and so much more! The most thrilling were pieces made to give, surprise, or celebrate certain people in my life.

Throughout my young adult years, I found myself deeply drawn to the collective creativity of theater, so I eventually moved to Chicago to pursue a bachelor’s degree in scenic design. The immediacy of live theater continues to inspire me! Performers, lights, scenery, props, music, costumes, and stagehands must intersect seamlessly when your audience is in the room. This cultured flexibility, collaboration, ingenuity, and communication.

While in college, I advantageously stumbled upon a summer job as a camp counselor at an overnight camp for people with special needs. It was a whole new way to flex my creativity. I realized during my first summer that this line of work was a true calling. A couple summers later, I was the camp director!  After graduating college, I translated this “summer gig” into my full-time career, while still managing to dabble in theater here and there. I have since had many roles in my work with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities over 17 awesome years. They have been the willing pilot groups for many of my hands-on craft sessions! 

Most recently, I have found myself feeling pulled firmly in the direction of floral and event design as well has hosting DIY workshops. For several years now, my friends, family, and colleagues refer to me as “the crafty one.” They know I relish in the moments of sharing my creations with people as they celebrate life’s big (and sometimes small) moments. Helping to bring people’s visions to life is a joy for me. From the complexity of creating florals for an entire wedding to making favor bags for parties to designing a single greeting card, I put thought and love into it all. The culmination of my recent years of enthusiastic dabbling alongside a full-time career has led me to launch my own creative business this summer. Linda Laake Designs is open for business and possibilities. I look forward to further discovery of my creative niche.

I really love what I’ve been able to do at City Grange. So far, I’ve been leading the Garden Discovery Days workshops for kids, and I hope to be offering some for adults soon. The space is so inviting, and the team is always so welcoming. It seems like a genuine community is growing up around this place and I feel fortunate to be a part of it.