Recently my friend Wendy and her two daughters visited two shops in their area that are a little out of the way for them to visit. They don't usually go visit them, but they had a great time and will go back when they can. Wendy very kindly reported back to me on Luv 2 Stitch and City Needleworks. Her descriptions of the two shops were so interesting that I asked her permission to reprint her mini reviews here. Thanks, Wendy!
Here's my description of Luv2Stitch. Sorry I don't have photos too, but I don't have a smart phone and rarely take my camera with me, though I really should improve my photography skills. The Luv2Stitch and Yelp sites have photos.
Luv2Stitch is in a non-descript strip mall in a residential neighborhood in San Mateo. Unlike City Needlework, which can rely on foot traffic, being on a popular downtown street, Luv2Stitch isn't a walk-to destination. It shares the mall with a bakery/cafe, a martial arts studio, a mani-pedi-hair salon type shop, I believe a real estate office? We didn't go into the other shops.
The strip mall building is ok, nothing fancy, which is why I was delighted when I entered Luv2Stitch. One enters through a dark painted double Dutch door, with bright gold shiny hardware, an auspicious start with such attention to detail. The shop is very big, it takes up three storefronts. We'll start with the middle room, where one enters.
To the right of the door is a nicely carved console table that hold needlework magnets and some small items. To the left is another table holding canvases. In the middle of the room is another table that hold needlework books and magazines, with some stitched samples. Many of the samples are Halloween. There are double width doorways on both side walls leading to the thread room on the right and the work room on the left. We'll go in there later.
Mounted on the walls all the way to the ceiling was the current trunk show of Shelly Tribbey Halloween canvases, 25% off during the show. Against the walls on both sides further into the room pass the doorways are glass curio cabinets that hold small stitched samples and canvases. There is also an antique dressmaker's mannequin that holds more needlework magnets. Against the back wall, straight across from the front door is the register counter. Behind that are more stitched samples and large Shelly Tribbey canvases.
Into the thread room to the right. There's a table in the middle of the room for clients to place their canvases and choose threads. The threads line all the walls, some hanging on pegs and some on spinners. Canvases hang at the top of the wall. A good selection of Asian-inspired canvases, but not as many as City Needleworks. In addition to threads, there are accessories (scissors, needles, etc.) and beads.
Out of the thread room and across the middle room into the work room, which has three large tables. A stitching session was in progress, with a teacher, I forgot her name, who was helping the ladies with their individual canvases. It looks like the shop provides Needlework System 4 floor stands for students to use, as everyone seemed to be using one and there were a couple of extras "littering" the floor. One lady was stitching an Egyptian-inspired canvas. It looked like a bird with the wings outspread or an Egyptian lady with her arms out, wearing a feathered cape? Anyway, it was gorgeous. Another woman was stitching a collage that included an Oregon license plate. All around the room were canvases pinned to the walls.
These first three rooms were large and very bright. In the work and thread rooms, bright lights were hanging from the ceiling.
Walking out of the work room towards the back of the shop, one enters a darker room that holds a bookcase with catalogs from design companies, more glass fronted cabinets holding stitched samples, and a table in the middle. The room isn't as well lighted, but this room is used for staff to kit canvases and threads for customers, and to peruse the catalogs. In the back of the room, the light is even dimmer, but is outfitted with a couch, comfy chairs and lamps and is a cozy spot to stitch alone or with a couple of other people. There's a bar cart to hold coffee, tea or other refreshments.
In the back to the right of the cash register counter are the bathrooms, but we didn't go back there.
This shop is really classy, from the front door to the layout to the shop fixtures to the lighting to that cozy stitching nook in the back. The one lady working there was very friendly. She only started needlepoint a few years ago, having done other types of stitching before. She now exclusively needlepoints because she loves it so much. She loved that the three of us needlepoint and offered to arrange a teacher to go to Sarah's school if Sarah wanted to organize a needlepoint/stitching group.
The bags are even classy--heavy weight with a bit of shine. We were fighting over it to hold out needlework projects....I won.
Luv2Stitch reminds me of Aristeia in Santa Monica, both giving off a very elegant feeling. And both occupying a lot of square footage. There's a lot of oohing and ahhing when one walks into either place.
Sigh. We all wish we'd gone with you and the girls, Wendy. Thanks for the tours!
Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright August 16, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.
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