Last time we mentioned that the Sievers Shop at one point was the Jackson Harbor Store, selling groceries among other items. Since 1979, when Walter Schutz established Sievers School of Fiber Arts, the only groceries we’ve “sold” were a jar of peanut butter, a package of tuna fish and some crackers out of our staff lunch cupboard to a hiker who was on his way to Rock Island several years ago, late on a Sunday afternoon when Mann’s Store was closed.
In those first years, the former coat room in the old schoolhouse was used to display Sievers Looms along with a very limited number of yarns for weaving. Visitors were greeted within the entry area (marked by the wooden rail) as classes were being held on the other side of that fence until 1996 when the Sophie Studio was built.
This photo shows one corner of the yarn shop in the early 1990’s. Until the shop expanded, there was limited space for yarns, books, notions and all the other items for classes. Some of the yarns and products we carry come from companies we have maintained a relationship with for more than 30 years including Berroco, Edgemont (now Great Northern Weaving), Harrisville, Henry’s Attic, Leclerc/M. Brassard, Schacht and UKI pearl cotton (now supplied by the Yarn Barn). Much has been added since then and each season brings something new.
In 1990, we were honored to be the first occupant of one of the Den Norske Grenda shops located at Mann’s Mercantile. These log buildings were imported from Norway and several Norwegian carpenters travelled to Washington Island to work alongside local builders during their construction.
Having this space allowed us a greater opportunity to showcase the fiber arts and fine crafts handmade by our students and teachers. The Sievers Shop was located at Den Norske Grenda from 1990 through 1995. Starting in the spring of 1996, when the Sophie Studio opened, the retail shop expanded throughout Jackson Studio and remains as it does today.
Besides Ann, Cindra and Carolyn, many others have worked in the Sievers Shop starting in 1979 including: Jackie Schutz, Allison Campbell, Vicki Rupiper, Laura Findlay Hagen, Jay Hagen, Evie Walter, Kathy Sorensen, Barb Cornell, Kathleen Morris, Ann Fischer, Nancy Davis, Kirsten Purinton, Stefanie Cornell, Sarah Aagesen, Lisa Andersen, Amber Jorgenson, Connie Westbrook, Lydia Foss, Patricia Hewitt, Kirsten Foss and Ellie Dunham.
This is the time of year when all the fiber goodies are chosen and begin to arrive for the new season. The handmade items sent by students and teachers are starting to come in to delight us (and later, our visitors). We’ll be open on a daily basis, from 10-4, starting Friday, May 20. (We may have reduced hours on Memorial Day and on the 4th of July.) Last year we consistently began to see visitors in early May and welcomed them during weekdays.
We plan to offer some pop-up shops again this year. Whether in person, online, by phone, email, text or FaceTime, we’re happy to either see you in the Sievers Shop or be able to bring it to you!Share Sievers with Friends...