How it all began…
My, how time flies! It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than eleven years since I agreed to ‘take over’ the needlepoint business here in Tuscaloosa. People have asked me, quite a lot recently, how I got my start in this business, and since July is National Independent Retailer Month, I thought I’d share my story with you.
I had been a regular customer of Foxgloves Alley for years and, when Linda, the owner, approached me about the opportunity, I was, admittedly, a bit reluctant. (I’d been a partner in another somewhat similar business several years earlier, but was now enjoying the freedom of doing freelance work for creative arts publications.) The tug-of-war between practicality and possibility ensued. My head kept telling me that I didn’t want to become tied to the life-altering schedule of a retail store again, while my heart persisted in insisting that the thing I missed most was the customers – the interaction with people who enjoyed my same hobbies. The prospect of surrounding myself with beautiful threads and needlepoint canvases tipped the scales in favor of my heart’s desire and I opened Serendipity Needleworks on February 22, 2003.
The shop was located in a small store front on University Boulevard in downtown Tuscaloosa. Its meager offerings were immediately embraced with delight by the local needlework community and I knew that I had done the right thing by following my heart. Serendipity Needleworks grew to include knitting during its first year of operation. (I unwittingly created a feeding frenzy when folks learned I’d purchased a handful of kits for knitting cute little purses on my first trip to market.) Nationally, knitting was experiencing an incredible revival and everyone was so eager to learn – or pick it up again – that the next logical step was to add more supplies. Knitting quickly became an equally represented needle art in the shop. (Good thing I named it Serendipity Needleworks instead of Needlepoint!) A lot of life was lived in that little shop – new friendships were established, old friendships were renewed, and we became a community of kindred spirits who continue to welcome fellow stitchers to the fold.
Serendipity Needleworks moved to its current location in The Downtown Plaza in 2008. Our ‘new’ space offers plentiful parking – and more room for threads, canvases, and yarn, yarn, and more yarn! Providing a wide array of the finest quality merchandise available has always been my top priority and we frequently receive compliments on our selection of hand picked treasures. Our cozy little shop continues to brim with color, creativity, and fun each and every day. It provides an oasis from the frenetic world outside its doors – a ‘happy place’, if you will. It’s the place where everybody wants to know your name and see your latest PIP (project in progress). I hope you’ll follow our adventures here with us and that you’ll join in the fun by leaving your comments. (I promise, I’ll read them all!) Welcome…we’re all so glad you’re here!