Janice Tillis, owner of the The Needlepaint Nook, grew
up on the South Shore of Long Island, in a town called Malverne.
Janice also has a sister Beth who is two years younger. Beth
is a partner in a C.P.A. firm. Their parents are both retired
New York City school teachers and their mother's and father's
consistent support during their daughters' childhoods has been
invaluable to both Janice and her sister.
Janice attended Buffalo State College and graduated in 1984
with a dual teaching degree in Elementary Education and Special
Education. After completing her education, she taught for 1 year
in the NYC school system, then got married and moved to New Jersey.
She has been married for eighteen years to her wonderful &
supportive husband, Richard. They have two bright and beautiful
daughters; Katie (16) and Jessica (13) and live in Merrick, NY.
Her sister Beth is married as well and has two daughters of her
own, twins 10 years old.
Upon moving back to Long Island in 1990, Janice was introduced
to The Needlepaint Nook by a friend, Nancy. They both
had 2 year old daughters and initially met at the nursery school
which their children attended. They were also both pregnant expecting
their second child at the same time. During their growing friendship
they happened to discover that both of them shared a love of
needlepoint. Nancy had been shopping at The Needlepaint Nook for a few years already and recommended it to Janice.
Janice and Nancy reveled in stitching together and soon became
mutual "common fixtures" at the shop. When the original
owners of The Needlepaint Nook decided to retire, they
asked Nancy and Janice if they might be interested in purchasing
the store. During the negotiations, Nancy opted out, but Janice
resolved to make the big leap and buy it on her own. Having no
business or retail background was more than a little unnerving;
it was outright daunting. But Janice's excitement at the new
venture and its creative potential and possibilities helped her
to overcome her reservations. The Needlepaint Nook had
already been in business for 23 years when Janice bought it and
she has now successfully stewarded it for almost 8 years.
Upon its purchase, Janice commenced to completely revamp and
redecorate the store, creating a bright, pretty and extremely
user friendly atmosphere. Prior customers immediately noticed
the difference. "Long-lost" customers began to re-discover,
flock back and return repeatedly. Janice was thrilled and has
never regretted her decision nor looked back.
When she took over the helm, Janice promoted a very valuable
employee, Pat, who had worked for the prior owners, to manager.
They work seamlessly together as a team and have since developed
a very special rapport. Customers are comfortable with Pat and
look to her for guidance, support and creative advice without
hesitation. Janice adds, "We are also extremely lucky to
have wonderful part-timers. Diane has been with us for 7 years,
Holly for 4, and Phyllis for 1 and a half years. They all thoroughly
delight in working together and share the same goal of giving
each customer personal, individual and undivided attention to
the client's specific needs and wants. Janice has truly created
the environment she first envisioned for a shop that is creative
and both truly exciting and relaxing at the same time.
Staff of The Needlepaint Nook
(from left to right)
Diane, Phyllis, Janice (owner), Pat (manager), Holly
Janice and Pat travel to California for the TNNA Show and
have since turned their buying sprees there into veritable Olympic
events! The shop had already stocked "Rachel" threads
from the Caron Collection for a few years because a current customer
had worked with Rachel and liked it so much. This past winter
at the Long Beach, CA. Show, Pat and Janice were on the hunt
again to find new fibers for the shop. They mentioned this at
some of the classes they took there and many of their peers suggested
speaking with Lois Caron of the Caron Collection. When they met
with Lois in her booth, she was friendly and very helpful in
guiding them through her tremendous thread collection. Janice
and Pat settled on purchasing Watercolours and Impressions. Not
only do they both thoroughly love these fibers, but to their
extreme delight many of their customers have found them fabulous
to work with.
The Needlepaint Nook stocks mostly hand-painted canvases,
with a few stamped and some kits. They carry a tremendous fiber
inventory and the whole staff loves experimenting with different
combinations. The shop also offers personalized instruction with
the most experienced and professionals. The entire staff glories
in mapping out canvases with loads of fibers and stitches. Everyone
is always on the lookout for new and different projects to experiment
with: Tic Tack Toe Board Games, Pocketbooks, Faberge Eggs, endless
categories of canvases and even Shoes enhance their inventory.
Janice employs a custom artist to personalize projects and
create original designs to her customer's specifications. The
Needlepaint Nook also offers a fabulous finishing department.
Their custom finisher is extremely talented and creative. They
also employ the services of The Spinning Wheel Shop in Texas
and Voila! C'est Fini! in Florida. The results are always very
exciting to behold! In addition, the store creates Tallis Bags,
Christmas Stockings & Ornaments, Pillows, Dreidles, 3D animals,
3D eggs, Pocketbooks and much more.
by Alice Peterson Company
Framing Treatment as Racetrack Custom Designed
by The Needlepaint Nook
Framing services are also provided which complement each piece
in its most appropriate and beautiful style. You can choose from
regular stock frames to the most creative and unique custom,
hand-made designs. Among custom projects they've completed are
Barn frames for Cow designs, Oven shaped frames for kitchen scenes
to Racetrack Themed frames for transportation and alphabet designs.
The possibilities are virtually endless and Janice and her staff
are eminently suited to help you choose the best frame to complement
your handiwork to look its finest.
Country Wreath Cow
Available from JB Designs
Framing Treatment as Barn Custom Designed
By The Needlepaint Nook
The Needlepaint Nook is located in the shopping district of
Merrick, NY. This happens to be the third site the store has
occupied since its inception, and was the location when Janice
purchased it. Parking is available within the immediate area
and the suburban neighborhood lends itself to pedestrian traffic
as well. Some long-time loyal customers travel great distances
just to visit the shop. It is close to major highways and the
staff is always eager to give directions to potential new clients
coming from any direction!
"So, come visit us," exclaims Janice, "We can't
wait to meet you!"
The Needlepaint Nook
76 Merrick Ave
Merrick, NY 11566
Phone: (516) 623-0250
Shop Hours: Wed. and Fri from 10:30 am to 5 pm
Thursday from 12:30 pm to 6 pm
Saturday from 10:30 am to 4 pm
Note: a special thanks to Janice's husband Richard, without
whose help and support this shop feature would not have been