The CARON Collection is pleased to feature one of the outstanding shops who so ably provide stitchers with not only supplies but guidance, technical expertise, and inspiration. We hope you'll support your local shops and browse through our extensive SHOP LISTINGS. This month join us as we visit...
- Crafty Lady
Craft Lady is a shop that specializes in hand painted needlepoint canvases, imported and fashion knitting yarns, exotic fibers for stitching, counted thread supplies and needle art classes, all among the most extensive found anywhere. The shop occupies 2400 sq. ft. in the heart of the Hall & Hayes shopping district in Macomb Township, a north-east suburb of Detroit. Jan Stahl, the propietress finds this location ideally suited to her business. Detroit is a city of many 1st and 2nd generation emigres, many of whom have in their background, a mother or grandmother who was skilled in needlework. These women are now themselves anxious to either expand upon or acquire those skills for themselves.
The building houses not only the store, but also the campus of The Crafty Lady University, which boasts a fully self-accredited teaching and sales staff. Billed as the place where fashionable women come to enjoy learning their favorite needle and fiber arts with old and new friends, the school is the brainchild of owner, Jan Stahl. Claiming that she does her best thinking when "standing under hot water", she came up with this concept in the shower. A regular customer had made a casual comment that" because she was taking so many classes at Crafty Lady, she should be entitled to a degree!" Spurred on by this offhand remark, Jan set about making the University idea a reality.
Classes run from September to June and students receive certificates of completion in each class. Each certificate has a credit value which converts to gift certificates or extra discounts on store purchases. Degrees are offered in all levels from Associates to Doctorate of Needlearts and Shopper Extraordinaire. Graduation is held every June, replete with a valedictorian, the industrious individual who has amassed the most credits the previous year.
The mainstay of classes are in knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, needlepoint and hardanger. More specialized instruction is available in such esoteric areas as flower construction (using milliner"s techniques), cochardes (abstract ribbon, french fold work), victorian patchwork, Battenburg lace, entrelac (a type of knitting that creates a trellis effect pattern), needle tatting and felting. Classes run from 2 hours to all day workshops for projects such as creating a victorian purse picture or an amulet bag. Throughout the year a weekly Friday night "Midnight Madness" event highlights stitching and knitting. Participants are urged to bring their projects, appetites and enthusiasm.
Jan is adamant that each student work on what she likes and feels this is especially relevant for beginners, who need the gratification of completing a project, if they are to continue onto others. She continually stresses the enormous boost in self esteem that these creative hobbies provide. As if the above offerings were not enough, Crafty Lady hosts an annual 3 day retreat at a beautiful country inn, featuring a fashion show and workshops with designers and needlework experts from around the world. The Spring 1997 theme for this event was "Textures in Design", and was held at the St. Clair Inn on the shores of the St. Clair river. A truly ambitious excursion is planned for the Spring of 1998 - a visit to The United Kingdom. Highlights of the trip will include a class in embroidery at the Royal School of London, a tour of a yarn mill, and a visit to Colinette of Unique Kolours in Wales.
Prior to opening the shop, Jan was a social worker by profession. After eventually "burning out" in that field, she set her sights on opening a retail store. Needlework was an obvious choice since, by her own admission, it's the only real hobby she's ever had. Jan did hold a very definite vision for her new enterprise. She wanted to carry only the best, which is not to say, the most expensive. For all her inventory, quality is the determining factor. This myriad of choices at Crafty Lady underscores Jan's commitment to educating her customers and providing them with products and services of the highest caliber. It gives new meaning to the term "one stop shopping" for the needlearts enthusiast, regardless of level of expertise or area of interest. And it might provide an altogether, not unreasonable excuse, to move to Macomb, Michigan, if you can stand the winters!
Crafy Lady is located at 15401 Hall Road, Macomb, Michigan 48044 , telephone: 810) 566-8008
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