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Artsy Fartsy Boutique Opens Doors in Harrison

Crafting Into the Future: Boutique Offers Year-Round Displays for Local Vendors



Cleaver Guest Writer

HARRISON – Seasoned craft show vendors grasp the ardor and endurance that comes along with the lifestyle. The amount of time required to be in the know and signing up for booth space at all the various craft shows throughout the state can be exhausting, not to mention the letdown of being unable to get in as a vendor due to limited event capacities. Along with many craft shows taking place on matching dates, the stress and legwork of selecting which one may prove to be the most viable opportunity for one’s business can quickly become daunting to those juggling all these angles amidst their craft show journey.

Kathryn “Kate” Hutchins opened the doors to her new storefront, Artsy Fartsy Boutique, on April 26 for exactly these reasons.

“I would say probably three or four years I’ve been kicking around the idea,” Hutchins said. “Because we’d been doing craft shows, and the indoor ones especially are frustrating because they are hard to get into. And the outdoor ones are so much work.”

A storefront for her crochet business is an opportunity to alleviate the stressors that come with being a craft show vendor and allows the opportunity to support other local businesses in the same manner.

“I thought it would be cool if we just had a store, and then have everybody we know that does these craft shows have a space in the store, and just be open year-round. And you could still do the craft shows if you want to, but it’s maybe not the same burden where you don’t have to do them, or, as many of them. Instead of feeling like you need to hit as many as you can because there are limited opportunities.”

Hutchins hosts a beautiful display of her crochet work ranging from kitchen towels to scarves and elegant shawls.

“My grandmother, my mom’s mom, taught me how to crochet some basic stitches when I was a teenager – and so the year I learned those, I made some really ugly scarves,” she laughed, noting gifts she had made which her family graciously doted upon, yet she never saw worn – not even the day she gifted them.

“And then as I had kids, I always wanted to make blankets, because I had blankets that were made for me by my grandparents and great-grandparents who have since all passed away. So, I made blankets for my kids. I didn’t have patterns, I would just try different things, and that was about the extent of it up until about four or five years ago. I have MS and I started to have more and more problems being able to do some things. And I had been a stay-at-home mom, so it was really hard to have a regular job because I never knew how I was going to feel. There are some days where I just can’t do things, and my hands don’t work, and so I started doing it for that and it seemed to help a little bit with the stiffness in the joints. 

“And then my mother-in-law had a yard sale, and I thought I should make a few things and try to sell them,” Hutchins said, recounting the beginnings of her crochet business. “That would be a way for me to have some income, and I could still be home with the kids – and it kind of grew from there. I discovered I am really fast at crochet. And then Covid happened, and I was home all the time. And I sent things with my mother-in-law for some craft shows, and then I did a couple with her, and then I started doing some on my own.”

Her kitchen towels are vibrant, each one with its own unique flair.

“The towels are me,” she said. “They’re my little babies. I try to give them all their own personality. There’s a lot of them that have vintage buttons, or wood buttons I started special ordering because I hadn’t seen them used before. And I do more crochet work at the top than most people, because it has more shape.”

Hutchins eyed her work lovingly as she walked me through the wide selection available for shoppers. The boutique also hosts an adorable shelf of crocheted gnomes and figurines that were all hand-stitched by her stepson. Her 16-year-old son has a display of handmade jewelry, as well as a table of bracelets and some hand-painted crafts made by her daughter.

“She makes her own bracelets, but her brother has to tie them for her since she can’t,” Hutchins smiled lovingly at her daughter’s love for crafting. “But last year at Brethren Days – an event we had done every year since we moved to that part of the state – that kid was selling $2 bracelets and made just shy of $300.” Hutchins shook her head in incredulity at her daughter’s impeccable personality and people skills for being merely 7 years old.

Located at 3157 N. Clare Ave., Suite 3 in Harrison, Artsy Fartsy Boutique LLC is rapidly taking shape as they continue to add vendor displays and signage. They are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. From craft supplies to hand-poured soaps, and some beautiful pottery by Pottery at the Vinery, all vendors currently displayed within the boutique are local within an hour and a half of Harrison. Hutchins is still working to grow her inventory and vendor list and has some fun pop-up vendor events in the works.

“What makes any store that has vendors and space like this unique is that you allow opportunity for people who probably could not have a storefront on their own – none of us could survive if we had to do it all by ourselves,” Hutchins said. “This gives people an opportunity to find a bunch of different things from a bunch of different people without having to travel all over the place – and it gives all of us the opportunity to sell things year-round. It’s a way to bring back money and shopping to the community, and tourism – for people to have a reason to come through and stop and do things in a community they might otherwise just drive past or drive through. You’re helping people who live where you live. It helps improve the community overall, and you get a sense of community because everybody in here lives here.”

Hutchins’ passion and heart for her business and the Harrison community shone through as she spoke about the years of heart and thought she has poured into her storefront that has finally come to fruition.

As another fun feature, the back room will be available soon for vendors to rent out to host events or classes. Any upcoming events or announcements regarding newly added vendors will be shared on their Facebook page. Anyone interested in becoming a pop-up vendor, or who may have general questions for the boutique, can send any inquiries via Facebook Messenger or via email:


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