Marianne Williams grew up in a small town in New Jersey. She graduated from Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey, with a degree in fashion merchandising.
But Williams ended up working for a computer company, which pulled her away from her academic training, and led her to Gary Williams.
Gary, a co-worker, became her husband and partner in raising their five children. Their biological children are Megan, 21, and Emily, 20. Gary and Marianne Williams also have Dominic, 11, Grace, 8, and Shannon, 7, through adoptions.
In 2012, when Megan enrolled in Georgia Southern University, they decided to uproot and move to Georgia themselves.
“We looked around and knew this was the type of community we wanted to raise the rest of our children,” Marianne Williams said.
Since moving to Richmond Hill, Williams has volunteered in several capacities for Bryan County Schools, including with the Parent Teacher Student Organization. Williams also was a full-time mom until just recently.
Now, she also is the owner of Let’s Create, one of Richmond Hill’s newest businesses.
Williams said she and her husband “had been thinking about opening a business in Richmond Hill for a while. I have a first love of scrapbooking and paper crafting. This is what I love to do most of all. Traditionally, scrapbooking stores are not really self-sufficient, they don’t sustain themselves. So this helped us to broaden our vision.”
Let’s Create opened in May.
“When she mentioned to me what her vision was for Let’s Create, I had absolutely no reservations about it,” Gary Williams said. “It sounded original and exciting. I truly believe that Let’s Create will be successful and a great fit for Richmond Hill’s community. Likewise, it is fabulous to be next to All Thing’s Chocolate!”
“You can do anything from a drop-in situation, or you can pick from 10 different things to do at the drop of a hat,” Marianne Williams said. “You can call in advance and ask for something specific, and I’ll make sure that is available when customers arrive. Or we have the classes that are set up during the summer, and these can be taken as well.”
Let’s Create has something for everyone in the family. The list includes card-making, scrapbooking, altered journals, to Georgia Girl Art Paint Parties and Picasso for a Night.
“We provide you step-by-step instruction and supplies for you to create beautiful, original artwork for your home,” Williams said. “At Let’s Create, the motto is turning ideas into accomplishments. It is a Pinterest board live and in person. If you’ve pinned it, you can create it right here in Richmond Hill.”
Customer Allison Debs said, “Let’s Create is a perfect place for kids and adults to be creative and express themselves through multiple forms of art. Marianne offers a variety of art camps during the summer, as well as adult-oriented art fun... Who knew I could paint so well, but with a little instruction and guidance I was able to break free from the ‘box’ I had put myself in and create my masterpiece.”
Daughter Emily Williams said, “I am certainly proud that my mom has opened this creative business. I am most proud that she is managing this business while managing a family with five kids.”
Williams said she enjoying working and having her daughter Megan home from Georgia Southern, and Emily to assist when she has time off from her job at All Things Chocolate.
“I’ve been helping my mom during the summer in numerous ways,” Emily Williams said. “I help buy merchandise, teach parties, help walk-ins with various projects. It’s been a pleasant experience, starting from the beginning to where it is now. I’m proud my mom took an idea and made it come to life. She has wanted to open something like this for a while, and I’m happy she finally did it. It’s a great opportunity for not only her but the rest of the family.”