Stitch and Skein arts and crafts store opens in downtown Marion

Opening an arts and crafts store has always been a dream in Candice DeWitt’s head.

As a child, she crocheted purses for her Barbies; a skill she learned when a woman at a yard sale taught her how to crochet.

Then, about 13 years ago, DeWitt learned to knit from a book, eventually adding spinning wheels and looms to complete his designs.

So when the coronavirus pandemic hit, she decided to make her dream come true.

The result is Stitch and Skein, a yarn and fiber arts supply store in downtown Marion. Located at 144 W. Center Street, the store opened on February 13.

“There’s been a lot of resurgence in people making and making and it was a good time to take that leap,” DeWitt said. “Marion and central Ohio have a huge number of people making crafts, so the market is there.”

Continued:Downtown Marion business owners talk about challenges and successes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

Continued:Marion’s Shovel City Drinkery chosen as destination for Only In Your State

The aligned universe

The store offers yarn in a rainbow of colors, from yellow to gray and everything in between.  The owner likes to work with local vendors, like a woman from Marengo who makes alpaca wool and sock yarn dyed different colors by a woman from Columbus.

DeWitt started thinking about opening her business in earnest last year when she began to feel burnt out from her full-time job at Marion Public Health.

“What really kicked off was with the pandemic and everyone shutting down, you suddenly had these people who were home and bored and you saw a bunch of people embarking on new -time,” she said. “And then when we stumbled upon this space, it seemed like the universe was aligned and things were happening at the right time.”

Since the start of the pandemic last March, creative hobbies have seen a resurgence, such as knitting, puzzles, cooking, gardening and photography. Returning to an old job or immersing yourself in a new one is a positive way to weather the pandemic, mental health experts say.

DeWitt said Stitch and Skein’s planning was his creative outlet. A few months ago, her husband Sean DeWitt found the downtown space that was once hosted by investment firm Edward Jones. They then contacted the owners of the building, Carol and Carl Nelson, who also own Books On Center.

“We walked in and looked around and I instantly fell in love with the hardwood floors and exposed brickwork,” DeWitt said. “It also has the original tin ceiling. It has a lot of character that goes along with the handmade vibe. It’s not perfect, but it’s still beautiful.”

DeWitt and her husband signed the lease on New Year’s Day and began moving inventory and building furniture.

“It never really felt like work,” she said. “It was fun to come in and see it all start to fall into place.”

As for inventory, the store offers yarn in a rainbow of colors, from yellow to gray and everything in between. The owner likes to work with local vendors, like a woman from Marengo who makes alpaca wool and sock yarn dyed different colors by a woman from Columbus.

A warm welcome

Along with offering yarn and other supplies, Stitch and Skein is also hosting virtual knitting classes.

DeWitt said the store opened last weekend to a throng of customers from all over central Ohio.

“I brought in people from Columbus, I brought in people from Mansfield, all over the place,” she said. “They just heard about it through Facebook. I haven’t really put any money into marketing to advertise. It’s one of those kinds of things, ‘If you build it, they’ll come “.

DeWitt said she doesn’t have employees for Stitch and Skein right now, but her husband and 6-year-old son, Declan, will help out when they can.

In addition to donating yarn and other supplies, DeWitt will be hosting virtual knitting classes. The first takes place on Monday and a second on March 16.

“It will be good to see the store grow,” DeWitt said. “I like the health department, but I like it, so if I can find a way to balance the two, then I get the best of both worlds.”

About Tracy G. Larimore

Check Also

KY Holiday Shopping Bonanza! The Return of the Kraftucky Arts & Crafts Exhibit

The Owensboro Convention Center will be brimming with handmade items from many local and regional …