A sad farewell to a village business

25 Jun

One of East Main Street’s most charming shops will soon be closing its doors.

Village HandWorks opened last September at 19 E. Main, right next door to the Village Quilt Shoppe. Owner Jenn Ratcliffe, an avid spinner, weaver and knitter herself, was hoping it would become a favorite stop for anyone interested in practicing and learning more about those and other handicrafts. She began by offering classes and in-store demonstrations, but before long branched out into retail, selling yarns and other locally-produced handcrafted items.

But interest and sales never quite got very robust.

“I saved money for a long time to be able to pay rent in a shop for a year,” Jenn said. “Hopefully in that year I’d be able to get the sales to where they needed to be to at least make a decent dent in the rent and utilities. But it’s just not doing it.”

As a result of the slow sales and other rental property issues, Jenn has given up on her dream … but don’t count her out completely just yet.

“The people are fantastic here in the village,” she said. “I love them. I’m considering keeping the shop in the village, but right now there’s no place available with decent rent.”

So for now, Jenn said, she’s going to “bring her business home.” Much of her inventory will go into a storage unit, and her 15 local artisans will retrieve their products. Then, she says, she’ll take her yarns and her looms and teach weaving and knitting out of her house for now.

“And then kind of figure out where I want to be. Where I need to be.”

Village HandWorks is located at 19 E. Main Street in the Village of Webster. The shop will be open through Thursday June 30.

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(posted 6/25/2022)

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