Cranbrook now has a one-stop-shop for all its crafting needs as Kootenay Arts and Crafts opened its doors at 1109 Baker Street on March 2. Fred Searle, manager of Your Dollar Store with More right next door to the new craft store, said he had been hearing that people needed somewhere to get craft supplies in Cranbrook for a long time.
“Everybody’s saying we need more crafts, we need more crafts,” Searle said. “I didn’t have enough room in that [the Dollar Store] for more crafts plus party, which are our two biggest sellers, so the owner of the mall here, (Philip Jones, owner of Colebrook Industries) he says, ‘well this has been empty for a while why don’t you do something with that, why don’t we put something in there?’”
And so now, the Dollar Store has expanded its stock of party supplies and there is a whole separate store next door dedicated solely to crafting. Some of the big sellers include knitting supplies, art supplies and of course painting materials.
“There’s a lot of crafty people [in Cranbrook],” Searle said. “A lot of people with some major talent. Like if you look at on our wall here these are people that just brought in stuff that’s to show off, and I thought that’s a good idea.”
On the back wall of the store you’ll see a myriad of artwork displayed by local artists. Additionally, if you come into the shop and can’t seem to find what you’re looking for, Searle has a suggestion box where you can write down what you’d like to see in stock.
“This is just something that everybody’s been asking for for quite a long time and I wasn’t sure how it would go and spring break is a slow time, but it still went quite well. If you look down at some of the holes we got, it’s like yeah okay, lots of people paint in this town.”
In addition to local traffic Searle says he also gets a lot of customers in from Creston, Fernie and Kimberley. He added that it’s good he is all set up and running now before the summer sets in, when foot traffic will really skyrocket. Plus, the craft store and neighbouring dollar store are two of the only businesses open on Sundays. Searle says he is happy to see an upwards trend in downtown revitalization.
“I think just get more people down here, realize what’s here and during the summer we do get a lot of walking traffic, tourists and stuff that come down here and take a look, so that’s the plan, hopefully everything’s going to work out in the end.”
You can find Kootenay Arts and Crafts on Facebook.