I've been talking for years about how empowering it is to learn handcrafts. From knitting to sewing to carving to baking - any act of creativity, that which engages the mind and uses the hands, not only soothes the soul, but binds us to our past and to our fellow travelers in this life.
My family went to NYC over the Christmas holiday and I got to visit the famous PurlSoho. Every knitter knows this shop. They create their own patterns for the yarns they carry. The owner, an author of two knitting books, curates yarn and fabric, selling it in a shop that is bright and airy and packed with goodies. It's divine. I arrived ten minutes before the shop was scheduled to open, and found myself in the company of several out-of-towners. We laughed and chatted good-naturedly despite the cold, an instant community. Making stuff is like that. Fellow tribe members are everywhere.
What I've learned over the past few years is that people are eager to learn, to make things, to find other people with whom to share these experiences. Humans are communal by nature. Technology has changed how we work and connect, so we need to find new places that fill the desire to engage both hands and minds.
So that's the high and mighty explanation of this enterprise.
The down and dirty is that making stuff is fun. My mind kept wandering to less than tasteful tag lines for this business: "Craftstitute, THE oldest profession." One friend came up with the t-shirt worthy "Craftstitutes do it with their hands." Another clever friend proclaimed herself "The Dowager Craftstitute." The truth is that we're all crafters by nature and there are a multitude of ways to work with your hands.
With Craftstitute, our aim to create opportunities for you to explore many crafts. We'll offer classes and workshops by talented artisans all over the area, and back it up with a studio space filled with tools, books and people who know how to do things, or can figure it out.
My partner in this endeavor is a friend I met at our community center pool a few years ago. We each eyed the other across the way, a pile of knitting in our laps, and an instant bond was formed. While I've been working at a yarn store and teaching, Lisa has been pursuing knowledge everywhere, from the local port wine museum to sewing classes to knitting and writing workshops.
We are both passionate about making stuff and we're also passionate about bringing people together.