By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Business name: Craftworks
Address: 243 W. Main St., Northborough
Owner: Ande Lockwood
Contact information: 508-393-9435
How did Craftworks get started?
“Craftworks started in 1979 as an artisan cooperative with 14 crafters as members. Today, 35 years later, Craftworks is a store that carries high-quality and unique handcrafted items from more than 80 crafters and artisans. We also feature a well-stocked yarn shop. It’s a bit like a permanent juried craft fair in a brick-and-mortar location,” said Ande Lockwood, owner of the shop, which relocated to the current Route 20 location in 2011.
What type of crafts do you have?
“We carry a wide variety of crafts, including jewelry, stained glass, baskets, pottery, wooden items, knitted, crocheted, and quilted items, all kinds of fabric arts and so much more. All of it is handmade by artists in the United States and much of it by artists in this area and in New England,” she said.
Since the store works for the most part on a consignment basis, Lockwood noted its prices for handmade items are very competitive because the artisans are selling directly to the customers.
About a dozen of the crafters work in the shop, and many others come to the store occasionally to talk with customers and discuss their craft. Many will take custom orders.
Do the artisans produce special items for the holidays?
“Of course. Holiday products are always very popular. Many crafters are hard at work now on holiday-themed products,” Lockwood said.
“And we are a great place to find passionately made, one-of-a-kind gifts. Each item is different, and if you like it, you should get it now, because there may not be another like it.”
Craftworks is planning some fun activities for Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29, and the store will also participate in the Northborough holiday trolley festivities Saturday, Dec. 6.
And the store features yarns?
Lockwood, an avid knitter, said she added a yarn shop to Craftworks in 2012, shortly after the move to the current, larger location. Today, Craftworks offers a myriad of yarn and yarn accessories in a friendly and welcoming environment, and continually expands the selection of yarns spun and dyed by independent producers.
“One of our independent yarn spinners and dyers, Sheepish Handspun, lives right here in Shrewsbury. Her yarns include a tag with the name of the sheep and the farm,” she added.
What classes do you offer?
“We have classes in knitting, crocheting and other fiber arts at beginning and higher levels, as well as individual project classes. Most classes run for four weeks, and we offer a rolling start so people can sign up almost any time,” Lockwood said. A complete schedule is on the website, www.craftworkscoop.com.
“A lot of our classes are based on building skills rather than being project-oriented. We will also provide private lessons in crocheting and knitting if people request them.”
Craftworks offers drop-in sessions for knitters, crocheters and other crafters to enjoy a social setting while working on their projects.
“In January, we plan to start a Great American Aran Afghan class that will meet once a month for 12 months. Every afghan square will be a different design modelled on classic Irish cabled sweater patterns.”
Craftworks is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and until 6 p.m. on Thursdays; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Lockwood noted the store may be open after hours on evenings when classes are being held.
Editor’s Note: The preceding is not an endorsement and is presented for informational purposes only.