doodlebug was founded in January, 2001 by Marnie Delaney with the intention of providing a place for children to explore and build their creative abilities and confidence. After acquiring a small pottery painting business, Marnie began embellishing it's offerings.
Camps and classes at doodlebug began almost immediately, with the first class being a "stories and art" program for pre-schoolers. More classes were added along with a summer camp program that has become a favorite with families throughout Marin.
Birthday parties and other celebrations were scheduled on the weekends and Pajama nights were scheduled once a month to let kids spend time having fun, while parents did the same with friends, often at one of San Anselmo's amazing restaurants.
There were some bumps in the road. On Christmas Eve of 2003 an electrical fire caused the loss of the entire contents of the store. Employees subsequently were able to salvage a portion of the projects that had been left in the store, but doodlebug was then closed for months for re-building of the structure, opening again in mid-2004. The local fire department became our heroes forever.
Another set-back occurred on New Year's Eve of 2005 when the entire county was beset with flooding and San Anselmo Avenue briefly became San Anselmo river. 4 1/2 feet of water and mud filled the space, essentially drowning the contents of the store (and even moving the kilns across the floor). Again, some art projects were rescued and, again, the community leapt into action to support merchants recover - for which we are grateful beyond words. We will never forget red wagons appearing with cookies and coffee, pulled by some of our most lovely customers. Many of their parents were on the spot with shovels as we moved the soggy mess onto the Avenue where it was carted off courtesy of the town, the Sanitation service and the Ghilotti's. There is a marker noting the high water mark outside the front door which regularly reminds us of those stressful, yet oddly inspiring, days.
Against all logic, doodlebug re-opened mid-2006 having re-located the studio to the rear of the store and expanding the shop offerings now located at the front. Now there was space to carry art/craft supplies, puzzles and games, toys and gifts and lots more.
doodlebug is now a favorite destination for parties, birthday gifts, a few mellow hours of painting and for classes ranging from painting and pottery-making to sewing and general art adventures. We've had awards for best party venue, best art supplies and other things. Our favorite award was for best place to inspire your child. In the end, that's why we are here.