Crafting builds strong sense of community at Craftworks

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Crafting builds strong sense of community at Craftworks
Stacey Incorvaia, Maer Rubley, and owner Ande Lockwood stand in Craftworks. (Photo/Kathryn Acciari)

NORTHBOROUGH – Crafters in the area have discovered a community of like-minded individuals at Craftworks. The store provides artisans and crafters with a place to both create and sell their handmade goods.

Divided into two spaces, the gift shop side of the store began as a crafters’ co-op in 1979. It features handmade works by local crafters. Just about every item is one-of-a-kind and American-made.

The yarn side of the store has existed for 10 years and is where knitting and crochet fans come for their materials and to exchange ideas.

Owner Ande Lockwood has a knack for bringing people together and turning handcraft into community. In addition to filling her store with a colorful rainbow of yarns, Lockwood has fostered human connectivity through the events that she plans.

“We hosted a bus trip to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival in October, and the first bus filled within four days,” said Lockwood. “We had to get a second bus.”

One on-site class that will be offered in 2023 is The Sock Club, which will occur twice a month and provide guidance on knitting and crocheting techniques to master.

“The shape of your foot determines the type of sock that you should make,” said Lockwood. “Our customers will learn the basics and then move on to more complicated techniques.”

In addition to classes, Craftworks offers the opportunity for customers to bring in their projects when they need help. The Doctor is In program, also starting up in 2023, will feature sessions with an in-house expert. 

In the meantime, help is always available. “We always say, ‘If we can fix it standing up on one foot in five minutes, then it’s free.’ Really, people can drop in, or schedule time with one of our experts to get help on their knitting or crochet project,” said Lockwood.

Technology has helped Lockwood expand into a global, online business. Individuals can register for lessons online, and Craftworks also participates in Virtual Yarn Crawls. Other online options include  Fiberside Chats two Sundays a month. 

“We always have notorious knitters and crocheters as the expert at our Fiberside Chat. We typically have over 250 people on the chat with these experts who share their tips and tricks,” said Lockwood

Craftworks offered its first Kids’ Crafting Club this past summer where students learned to weave, crochet, make felted soap, drew with sidewalk chalk, and did some junk journaling among other crafts.

Craftworks makes customer happiness a priority. 

“There has been a real resurgence of handcraft for relieving anxiety and stress. The mental benefit is huge,” said Lockwood. “We are very big on customer service here. Our customers know what they want, and we try to make it happen. This is their store.”

Craftworks will be closed the first week of January 2023 for inventory and will reopen Friday, Jan. 6. Visit Craftworks at craftworkscoop.com

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