Melanie Knight had long considered opening her own little fabric shop.
Learning to sew at a young age, Knight took an applied fine arts weaving program after graduating from high school.
“I loved everything about textiles and fibre arts. I always worked in fabric stores. Why not own one?” she said.
Meanwhile, Michelle Kushniruk was starting to build up a collection of hats she had made.
“As a maker, I noticed there was a gap. There was so much talent in the city and so much skill,” she said.
“It just needed an outlet, somewhere people could display and sell their works. I felt really strongly about the boutique … for a while.”
About a year ago, the two women met.
Friday, they celebrated the grand opening of their new store, Common threads Quilting and Yarn.
‘We were both geared in the same direction, so here we are with a quilting and yarn store and an artisan boutique,” Kushniruk said.
The store, the business partners feel, fills in a gap in the city. It serves as more than just a place where people can pick up fabrics, pre-cuts and yarn.
It also gives artists a place where they can sell their creations, a common space for people to meet and stitch, and a workshop where courses can be taught.
“There’s huge potential,” Kushniruk said.
“There’s so much talent and knowledge out there that just needs to be elevated and brought to the forefront, brought to people’s attention. I think it’s god for the community to have that outlet and have that permission to create.”
Allowing people to sell their creations through a commission model will help those who can’t attend trade shows or are looking for a way to market their hard work.
The coffee and creation nook, meanwhile, will help to build community and allow people to share their skills.
“This is for people to come, meet a friend, meet new friends, learn a new stitch from someone else and support each other,” Knight said.
‘We have long cold winters here. Now you have a place where you can get out, have a cup of coffee or tea and visit people and make something.”
Part of the vision of the business owners is to support local artisans in Prince Albert.
Their workshop is available for drop-in use, classes, meetings and parties. Beginner sewing, knitting and crochet lessons are available for those who have wanted to learn and the boutique has an assortment of items from across the local area.
‘The vendors create a wealth of knowledge to tap into and are offered the opportunity to hold classes in our workshop,” Kushniruk wrote in a grand opening invitation.
While the store, located at 2901 Second avenue west beside the Great Asian Market, only just opened at the beginning of the month, the reception has already been positive. Friday morning, about a half dozen customers had come and gone by 10 a.m.
“There is generally something for everyone in here,” Kushniruk said.
‘”It’s not often someone walks out without taking something with them. We’ve been thanked for opening a store like this.”