By Emily Bialkowski
Penny Mormann has been crafting for years and sensed a need among her peers.
She said so many craft shows have turned into resale events that don’t focus on the art of hand crafting. In that light, she opened Country Charm Crafts in early July on South Kingston in downtown Caledonia.
The colorful shop sparkles with beaded necklaces, painted wood ornaments and fluffy pet items. There are scrap booking supplies, soft spun scarves and children’s gifts.
The handmade items are sold on consignment. Crafters pay Mormann a monthly fee to use her space, and she gets 25 percent on items sold.
“So many crafters I talked to were complaining about the same thing. A lot of people wanted a place to sell their stuff and not have to compete so much,” Mormann said, adding, “I just decided it’s time to do it my way.”
Mormann, aware of the challenges of small business ownership, said she hopes her competitive rates for crafters and fair prices for customers will win everyone over.
“Not one person has complained about the prices,” Mormann said.
She was excited to report that visitors from as far away as Texas and Virginia have stopped in.
As her business grows Mormann expects to add fabric, yarns and sewing notions in addition to offering classes. “People just have to tell me what they want and I’ll try to accommodate. I’m here to have fun,” Mormann said.
Polly Heberlein, who owns Pine Cone Place across the street, said she is enjoying the company of her new neighbor. The two have worked cooperatively from the start.
“I just share in her enthusiasm. February 1 I took this over… When you have plans and goals you think wouldn’t it be neat to send customers back and forth. We want to take care of customers and keep them shopping in town,” Heberlein said.
“I’m not nervous about this one,” Mormann admitted. “You just get a feeling, and everything has been falling together just the way it’s supposed to,” she said.
Already some items have sold out, and Mormann hopes her crafters can keep supply up. The good thing, however, is that she said inventory will constantly rotate as new crafters make use of her space.
Contact Emily Bialkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org