What’s keeping sales up at Vancouver-based StitchCraft these days?
“I really think it’s the economy,” said Owner Nicholette Hoyer. “The crafting business now is booming because people are making things instead of buying things.”
While much of Uptown Village was quiet on a recent weekday morning, StitchCraft had a near-constant stream of crafters visiting for supplies, advice on clothing repairs and to show off finished projects.
The store sells cotton and wool yarn, fabric, wallpaper, upholstery and tools. Hoyer claims to have one of the Vancouver-Portland metro area’s largest collections of organic yarns.
Despite pre-Christmas snow storms, December was the store’s busiest month yet, and Hoyer and her two part-time employees are even busier this month.
“Right before the snow hit and right after it melted, people piled in and got their supplies,” she said. “I was only closed four hours throughout the snow.”
She declined to give specifics on the store’s revenue, but said monthly sales have increased steadily since opening in May.
Most of the store’s new customers come through word of mouth and Internet searches, Hoyer said. StitchCraft’s website includes crafting class schedules and a blog with photos of customers’ creations.
Hoyer started crafting at age 7 and turned her creative focus to knitting and pattern design when she became a stay-at-home mom in 2001. She created an original yoga mat bag that was so popular, Portland-based Yarn Garden added her pattern to its inventory.
Hoyer taught classes at Yarn Garden from 2003 to 2007 and submitted patterns to magazines and knitting websites. In 2006, Interweave Knits magazine published her “Make Believe Crown” pattern for children, which has been downloaded at least 85 times online.
Ahead, Hoyer hopes to send knitting instructors from the store to work with the terminally ill and to form textile-focused groups at local schools.
“I want to get involved with raising the next generation of knitters,” she said.
StitchCraft is at 2110 Main St. in Vancouver. Hoyer can be reached at 360-993-2200 or through www.stitchcraft.us.
Charity Thompson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.