HANFORD — Emily Corl started building Lego creations at a very young age as a way to relieve stress from school, and has now turned what started as a hobby into a business.
“It really relaxed me,” Corl said. “I would go to preschools and somebody asked me if I did this for parties. I thought it was a great idea, so I just kind of started doing it.”
When Corl is not babysitting, the 19-year-old is busy attending birthday parties and teaching kids how to build all sorts of things with her business, Emily’s Lego Creations.
In just the past six months, Corl has showcased her talent at 20 different events around Hanford, from birthday parties to citywide events. She has even partnered with schools by doing harvest-themed Lego events this month.
“What I usually do is build a life-size creation that fits the party [or] event's theme,” Corl said. “I take it to the event and I display it.”
Corl has acquired more than 7,000 pieces of Lego bricks — and that’s not counting special pieces like flat plates and other essential Lego pieces.
She buys them specifically from the store in a variety of colors and is constantly replacing them after parties and events.
Some of her favorite creations have been life-size figures that range from characters like The Flash, Batman and Robin and Harley Quinn. She has also created a mailbox, a suitcase, a guitar, a lion and a Lego replica of the magical rose from Beauty and the Beast.
Corl said it takes her about four to five hours to build one of these life-sized replicas. After taking the replicas to events, she tears them down to make something else for the next event that’s lined-up.
The themes are almost never the same she said, adding “everyone always has some idea.”
One of Corl’s favorite events was a Star Wars-themed birthday party where she said she helped the kids build miniature space ships that they were all able to keep as party favors.
In the past, Corl said she has done My Little Pony Legos or Lego fidget spinners for parties that kids have gotten to keep.
A lot of her work can be found around town, because when she’s not busy getting booked for events or babysitting, Corl does commission work by creating Lego replicas of businesses and historic buildings around Hanford.
So far she’s built a replica of the Hanford Fox Theatre, Superior Dairy, Hanford’s Train Station and Hanford Civic Auditorium.
For businesses like Fast Café and the newly opened children’s boutique in downtown Hanford, Snicklefritz, Corl has built storefront Lego signs of their name and business logo.
“I want to be able to have a consistent amount of parties and events that I can go to, and actually sell commission pieces and would like to have a consistent amount of those,” Corl said.
Apart from finding a way to market her work, Corl seems to have a knack for working with young kids.
“We discuss what they built, what they love to build, and I build right along with them,” Corl said. “It has been so much fun.”
She offers classes at Snicklefritz a few times a month and has even taught at some local churches like the Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church on Grangeville.
Danielle Brock, a library assistant at Hanford High School, said she has worked with Corl since she was 16 years old. As one of the past coordinators at the Glad Tidings church, Brock has helped set up Lego classes for Corl to come and teach some of the kids.
“The kids love when she comes in. She has a very good relationship with the kids,” Brock said. “Right now, she is working on a project for me and she is just remarkable and a pleasure to work with.”