BY ROSIE PIGA PIZZO
Adrienne Tootle and Jake Alexander were keeping with both a Bloomington trend to shop local and family traditions when they opened a local craft supply store. It’s a homey answer to chain and big box stores, and they call it Bloomington Craft Supplies.
“There was not a local option for most of the stuff we carry,” Alexander says. “And we’re into shopping at local places.”
Both Alexander, 23, and Tootle, 28, came from families who owned retail businesses, and they decided it was their turn to own and operate a store. “It was like a big light bulb,” Tootle says. “I do a lot of crafting, and I’ve collected crafting supplies over the years. Friends would come to me for supplies anyway, so we thought, why not open a craft store?”
Opened in November at 804 W. Kirkwood, its shelves are stocked with a variety of items that are needed by almost any kind of crafter. Along with woodcraft materials, beads, clay, fabric, mesh ribbon, and kids’ crafts, the 1,000-square-foot store carries supplies and tools for jewelry-making, printmaking, scrapbooking, art, sewing, and soap and candle making. Storage boxes, craft books, and seasonal items are also for sale, as are second-hand supplies at a discount.
“Because the store is small and not crazy busy, I get a chance to talk to everyone and ask what they’re doing with crafts,” Tootle says.
“It’s a lot easier to take in than a big place,” adds Alexander. “And we love to help people out.” This includes, he notes, placing special orders for items the store doesn’t routinely stock.
According to Alexander, people living in the area have embraced the new shop. “People in the neighborhood stop in and say, ‘I live just two blocks from here, and I’m so excited you’re here,’” he says.
Alexander and Tootle are also interested in crafters who would like to sell their crafts and handmade supplies in the store, and in the future they hope to offer workshops and classes.
Hours are 11 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday and noon-5 pm Sunday.