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The Craft Shack grows in relocating to Norway

Our Town Norway

SALLY VARDA, left, and Cindy Arnold show off some of the yarn available at The Craft Shack Plus, which opened this fall in downtown Norway. Sally and Justin Varda recently purchased the Norway Masonic Corner building at 729 Main St. for the expanded business.

NORWAY — Two Vulcan women decided to take their shared love of crafts to the next level and start their own business.

Sally Varda and Cindy Arnold opened The Craft Shack in April 2022.

“We both sold our crafts at the Little Red Cottage prior to them closing,” Arnold said. “We thought, ‘Why not try to open our own shop to sell crafts and other consignments?'”

After operating at their Vulcan location for a year and a half, last fall they felt the need for a change and relocated to downtown Norway.

“It’s a better space and location,” Varda said, adding that after a short time renting, she and husband Justin purchased the building at 729 Main St. on Nov. 30.

(Terri Castelaz Daily News photos)

The Craft Shack Plus opened about eight weeks ago and offers a wide variety of homemade crafts, thrift treasurers, craft supplies and vintage pieces.

The main space is filled with hundreds of items from their 27 consignors.

In addition to the many thrift finds, shoppers can browse a large assortment of handmade crafts, including crochet and knitted pieces, button bouquets, bird houses, paintings, shirts, tumblers and new 3-D printer creations, to name a few.

“The 3-D images have become very popular already,” Arnold said. “We have frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, spiders and gnomes — he is willing to do pretty much any design for a customer.”

Arnold noted that many of their crafts and consignors take special requests from customers. “If you don’t see something in the shop, we would be happy to reach out — we have a great group of talented crafters,” she said.

From left are Sally and Justin Varda with Northern Interstate Bank of Norway representatives Penny Lewis, loan processor supervisor, and Wendy Gustafson, BP Loans.

Customers also can purchase Paparazzi Jewelry, Avon, and Scentsy in the shop.

Carrying merchandise for the kids is important for the new business, Arnold said. Many are drawn to the unique fluorescent sodalite that are collected by a consignor.

“We have a price range for everybody,” she said.

The shop focuses on gifts for holidays or season as well. “We just finished changing the space for Valentine’s Day,” Arnold said, adding they have specialty Valentine boxes that can be made for any age.

“We have new things arriving daily,” she said.

Sally Varda, left, and Cindy Arnold opened The Craft Shack Plus this past fall in a larger location at 729 Main St. in downtown Norway, after operating in Vulcan for a year and a half. They offer a wide variety of homemade crafts, thrift treasurers, craft supplies and vintage pieces, with the main space filled with hundreds of items from 27 consignors. Some of the items can be seen here, including figures created with a 3-D printer.

They plan to carry homemade soap in the near future.

Although they currently only have a few of their own crafts in the shop, both are willing to take an order. “We enjoy it — just wanted to focus on our consignors,” Arnold said.

After acquiring the building, the duo knew they wanted to open up the lower level that would give them the space to carry craft supplies.

“We have limited access to these types of supplies in town and really saw the need — especially yarn,” Arnold said.

They are fully stocked with more than 50 colors of yarn and styles, along with several knitting needles, crochet hooks and other sewing needs.

(Terri Castelaz/Daily News photos)

“With ordering yarn online, you don’t know what you are going to get,” Arnold explained.

They also carry embroidery floss, canvas board, wood planks, Mod Podge, card stock, paint and brushes.

“If there is something a customer needs or wants the shop to carry, we encourage them to let us know,” Varda said.

Both agreed the addition will help draw in new customers. “It actually took off better than planned,” Arnold said.

The other half of the space is filled with vintage pieces from six consignors.

Arnold noted that those who takes a space for vintage consignment downstairs are in charge of their own display. “Which is different in our upstairs main space — we will display and help price items if they need assistance,” she said.

The girls try to also attend estate sales to expand their variety. “We do a lot of thrifting; people really like that now,” Varda said.

Arnold strives to make the spaces appealing for their customers.

Varda noted she is always “putzing and rearranging items to showcase them better.”

Purchasing and opening at the new location provided Varda with incentive to quit her full-time job. “We met a lot of nice people over the short time we been open,” she said.

“This job is rewarding to see people,” Arnold added.

The 100-year-old Norway Masonic Corner building that once hosted the Masonic Lodge meetings was a former Ben Franklin Store. Currently the shared space includes Edward D. Jones office, Nic’s Alterations and Clover Floral Studio.

In the future, Varda hope to create studio apartments in the upstairs “It’s very neat space — it has 16-foot tall ceilings — but that will take some time,” Varda said.

The Craft Shack Plus is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The new location is handicapped accessible.

Shoppers can find what’s new to the space, as well as hours and other announcements, on The Craft Shack Facebook page. Anyone with questions or special requests can contact them on Facebook or call Arnold at 906-221-9924.

Terri Castelaz can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 241, or tcastelaz@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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