Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shepherd's Bush & Fancimats & More (Littleton, CO) - Norden's Needleworkers

Tina and Teri of Shepherd's Bush
How long have you been a stitcher and how did you first learn about

Because we are sisters, we share some common experiences from our
childhood. We grew up in a family that loved creating things together, so it
seemed like someone always had a project spread out on the kitchen table.
Sometimes it was our brothers and their monster models or paint by number
sets, and sometimes it was our parents cooking for days preparing for
enormous neighborhood backyard barbecues. But from the time that we
could hold a needle, our oldest sister had us embroidering stacks of dish
towel sets. You know the kind: Aunt Martha’s iron on transfers with a
different design for each day of the week. We still sell these in our shop, and
it always makes us smile.

Here's a SNEEK PEEK of the

When did you begin designing your own patterns and how did that turn into a business?

When I was in college, I got a job at a knitting store. After Teri graduated from high school, she came to work there when I went to Germany to school for a year. A year or two later while we were both finishing college and still working at the knit shop, the owner brought back a huge box of Aida cloth and a few patterns from Ginnie Thompson and Leisure Arts. She said that this was the newest thing at the market and could we figure out what to do with it. She never had any interest in it, but we took to it with a passion. Teri stitched her first piece on 11 count Aida--with brown floss--of a farmer and his wife for my sister’s in-laws, and for some mysterious reason the wife ended up at least 30 stitches taller than her husband. I was surprised, but she was undaunted, framed it up, and gave it to them for Christmas. It hung on their wall for years. Oh well, it could only go up from there. We then began to design patterns to go with the patterned pillow fabrics in the knit shop and I began to do freelance designing for a friend of ours who had begun Vanessa Ann Designs.

In 1984, we left the knitting business to open a cross stitch store of our own
in an historic building that had been built as a carriage/blacksmith shop. We
completely renovated the space and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime.
After 4 years of designing kits and patterns for our customers and handdyeing
the fabrics for a line of 5 little sampler kits, we decided to take them
to the market in Charlotte, NC. We had a tiny booth in the furthest back
corner of the upper floor and were scared to death. But we couldn’t wait to
go back the next year--and have never stopped.

What are a few of your favorite themes when designing a pattern?
With a name like Shepherd’s Bush, how can we not love sheep. Teri also
loves her bees and beehives--after all Utah is the Beehive State. She loves all
holidays and delights in creating designs to celebrate the seasons. I have
always loved samplers and have enjoyed creating my own versions of them
with different stitches and techniques. I love working on tiny count linens
and Teri--who claims to have bad eyes--loves to work on the fun larger count
fabrics. However, I know that she can stitch over 1 thread as well as anyone.
I like to stitch my own pieces so that I can change the design and colours as I stitch. But my good friend, Lynnette, always stitches my stockings for me
each year. Watch for our newest addition the middle of September. ( Teri
begs anyone she can find to stitch for her. ) We both draw our designs out
first with a pencil and graph paper. From there we stitch the piece, changing
the graph as we go. And once it is completely finished, we graph it for
printing. Teri uses a computer for the final graph because she knows how. I
have to do it with a pen and ink.

How do you compare the products that are available in today’s market
compared to 10 years ago, and how that has changed your designs over time?

Things have changed a lot over the past 30 years that we have been
designing. From Aida cloth and DMC cotton floss we have evolved to fine,
overdyed linens and overdyed silk and cotton threads. We began
embellishing our pieces with beads, charms and buttons many years ago and
have loved the relationships we have fostered with all our embellishment
companies. How much more fun it has been these past few years to embark
Bird Song
on a piece and have so many beautiful fabrics, fibers, and buttons to choose from. I think that one of the true joys of the needlework market today is the connections we have with so many other creative people in the designing of a
single piece of needlework.

How important is social media in the cross-stitch industry and how do you
make use of it for your company?

I think that social media is certainly the way of the present and the future, but Teri and I are not really the best at it. It takes a lot of time, and what we would rather be doing is stitching. That being said, we do try to stay up with
the current trends which means--websites, blogs, and Facebook--which we neither understand nor execute very well. Thank heavens for a child who can rescue us from our facebook dilemmas. We have had a website for many years and are now in the process of giving it a complete re-design. Can’t wait! We used to publish very elaborate newsletters back in the day, but it became so unwieldy to produce and mail, that blogging has been an easier and more expeditious substitute. Our goal is to write it once a week and we generally write it once a quarter. (Working on improving that, too.) And Facebook is simply a huge puzzle to me. Teri is much better with it and when she posts something new in the shop it is amazing to me how many comments and calls we get about it. So I guess the moral is: keep up with the times. If you are inclined, please visit our website:

Have you ever exhibited at or attended a TNNA trade show, and if so what are your thoughts on it?

We have attended needlework markets every year since we opened our shop
in 1984, and we have shown our designs there for almost that long. Markets
are a lot of very hard work whether we are shopping for the store or selling
our own kits and patterns, but there is also nothing more fun or energizing.
We have met the loveliest people--shopowners and other designers and
exhibitors--and look forward each year to seeing everyone again. I know that
it would be easier and less costly to use the internet as a substitute for the
markets, but I cannot even imagine missing out on the great opportunity of
talking to customers and friends in person, or flying around from room to
room or booth to booth and see new things in person. We have truly made
the best friends of a lifetime attending the needlework markets.

What are your three favorite books?

In order to not take up any more space, I told Teri that we had to agree on the same 3 books. But then we couldn’t decide on just three, so we had to list four plus...2 of them are entire series. OK, we both love to read almost as
much as we love to stitch.  Winter Solstice by Rosamond Pilcher. (We each read or listen to this book every November/December. You might think that we would get tired of it--but we don’t)
A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff
The Three Pines series by Louise Penny--the newest one is coming out
The Duncan Kincaid mysteries by Deborah Crombie--we want Masterpiece
Theater to pick these up.

What are your three favorite movies?

My husband thinks we share a brain, so why wouldn’t they be the same 3
1. Pride and Prejudice--of course the Colin Firth version. But I am totally in
for the Kiera Knightly movie as well. Or any other Jane Austin movie made
after 1990.
2. The Wedding Date
3. Enchanted April--this has gotten Teri through so many projects she has
worn out the disc and has to now stream it on Netflix.

Tall Sheep

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

We always have music playing at the shop. In the front of the shop Teri has a
wonderful playlist of calm and beautiful instrumental soundtracks...Pride and
Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Chocolat, The King’s Speech. She is the
most delighted when customers shout out the name of the movie that the
current piece is from. She also insists on adding in her large collection of
hammered dulcimer pieces that make you want to dance--or at least dance on
back to the back.
We in the back of the shop have a more eclectic playlist which can include
anything from the Beatles, Peter, Paul and Mary, Coldplay, David Francie.
We have recently added a delightful album to our mix: Red Rock Rondo.
You have to find it on itunes to enjoy this one yourself. It is out of Southern
Utah. We used to have a few recordings of Michael Buble, but Christian
refers to it as geezer pop and has been trying to delete them all.

Would you like to share a favorite recipe?
Martha's Potato Saladby Martha Richards
• Ingredients:

• 3--5 cooked potatoes--chopped and peeled
• 1 red onion--chopped
• 4 hard boiled eggs
• Cottage cheese
• Mayonnaise
• salt and pepper
This salad is made in layers. Start with a layer of chopped
potatoes; sprinkle 1 tablespoon of onion and one chopped egg on top of
potatoes. Spread 3 heaping tablespoons of cottage cheese and 3 heaping
tablespoons of mayonnaise over the top. Sprinkle salt and pepper (to
taste) on top of cottage cheese and mayo. Repeat this layer 3--4 times.
Garish with eggs and leave in layers and stir just before serving.
Our sister-in-law Martha has been making this potato salad for years and
it is always a favorite at our Spring and Summer barbecues.

Do you have any pets?
Teri has two delightful cats: Puff and Lance--both girls and both named by
my 8-year old when they were born on a towel under his bed. Many years
I have a beagle named Lindbergh, a husband named Bob, and two boys
named Peter and Christian who are also a lot like pets.

Featured Shop

FanciMats & More
5654 S. Prince St. #B
Littleton, CO  80120

How long have you been a stitcher and how did you first learn about stitching?
I remember being taught how to crochet by my Grandma when I was about 8.  (I still have that first chain I made and it has seen better days).  Then I was taught how to embroider shortly after that by my Great Grandma.  That is all I can remember her doing is embroidering something.   I was crafty on and off through High School and then when I moved in with a very good girlfriend, a gal where she was working showed her how to cross stitch.  So every night she came home I would watch her and see the progress, well before long I was sitting next to her and the next thing you know the needle was in my hand.  I’m very proud to say Debbie is the reason for me to have FanciMats & More to this day.  And she is more than a huge help to me…she may not stitch much but she sure has wonderful idea’s and is always helping me do something in the shop. 

How long have you been in business?
I’m working on year 5 (it was a pre-owned shop) and that will be a huge accomplishment come February 1, 2013……It has definitely been a journey and a very interesting chapter in my life.  I look back and think of all I’ve learned and how many wonderful customers, vendors and designers have come into my life.  I’ve also dealt with many life changing events that I never would have imagined 5 years ago.  I’m a firm believer everything happens for a reason! 

Who are some of your personal favorite designers?
Blackbird Designs, Little House Needleworks, Lizzie Kate, With Thy Needle, Shepherds Bush…..It is hard to pick as they are all so creative and wonderful and very unique in their own ways!!! 

What types of events do you offer at your store?
Stitch Day is the first Thursday of every month from 1 – 4.  Stitch Nights are the 2nd and last Wednesday of every month from 4 – 8.  All stitch times are wonderful and growing with the number of ladies who come in to stitch.  A pot luck has also been started on the 2nd Wednesday of every month….lots of great food!
I try and host a few different Sunday Retreats within the shop, which I always try to have a theme.  I generally provide Breakfast, Lunch, a snack and drinks and then 2 projects.  And it lasts all day long!!  My themes have ranged from Halloween, Valentine, French  but my favorite so far has been the Royal Wedding Retreat…I’m a Royal Freak….so when they announce there is going to be a baby…Yep….I’m going to have a Baby Shower Retreat….Stay tuned for that as I have some ideas that will be fun but rewarding for low income expecting mom’s.  

Royal Wedding Retret...My Aunt Connie, Beefeater, Mom and Me at the Royal Retreat.  And yes he stood like this for an hour.  He was GREAT!!!  And the attendees LOVED him!!
I have had just a few Stitching Day’s as well…..I’ll provide food and no projects!!  These have gone over really well as a lot of ladies want to work on Un-finished projects.  I hosted a Stitching Night about a week before Halloween last year and it was fun.  I ordered pizza, had drinks and pumpkin bars and we stitched late into the night.  This will definitely be an annual event. 
I have offered box, easel and Russian Punch Needle classes in the past.  And I do feel really bad as I need to schedule time for these before year end.  Where does time go? 

Is there an event or promotion that you offer that you feel is incredibly successful that you’d like to share? 
I just had my first contest, Santa Contest.  I gave customer’s 6 months to get their favorite Santa stitched (or they could enter a piece already stitched).  My 2 biggest rules were it had to be a finished piece and I had to be able to obtain the pattern in order to sell it.  You know how it works, when someone sees something finished they want it!  I was figuring I would have maybe 12 Santa’s, wrong!!  I had 30 Santa’s and it turned out more than wonderful.  I even had Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in the shop on a Saturday and of course I had homemade cookies sat out every day.   It went over so well I’m planning on another contest in January…Hearts!!  And then in July 2013 it will be a Snowman Contest.  First place was $100.00, 2nd place $50.00 and 3rd place $25.00 ---Gift Certificates to the shop!    

 A Bit About Cindy Edwards -

Besides stitching and running your own business, what are a few things you enjoy in your free time? 
I love to be in the kitchen!!  Cooking is another passion and actually I’m a better baker than anything.  I have a great collection of cookbooks…..very similar to cross stitching….I get them out and go through them ‘often’.  And Yes I do use them!    
I spend a lot of time with Family and Friends as they are very important to me.  Whether it is just dinner, a bar-b-que, breakfast out on a Sunday morning or maybe just cocktails!!  It is all good and very enjoyable. 

I also try my best to just relax, running a business can take a toll on you!  And when relaxing of course I enjoy my stitching…my hands seem to be busy all of the time!   As my Great Grandma would say ‘Idle  hands are the work of the devil’. 

Love the Pioneer Woman...Yes I stood in line for 4 hours to get signed cookbooks and a picture.
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
I’m a Holiday Girl!!!  But if I had to pick one it would be Thanksgiving!  It is not only the food, the parade in the early morning and then football all day but the reason for the day!!  It is to be Thankful and there is always so much to be Thankful for!!  It also kicks off the most wonderful time of the year!!! 
-Would you share a favorite recipe?
My Aunt Judy made this years ago…It was so good then and is still SO good and so sinful!!!  Easy to make and everyone loves it!!  I’ve had it in the shop often and it is a very big hit! 
Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Ball

1 8oz Cream Cheese – softened
1 t Vanilla
2 T. Brown Sugar
½ c. butter – softened
16 oz powdered sugar

Beat the above ingredients until smooth.

Stir in ¾ c. chocolate chips

Chill Ball and then roll in chopped pecans.

Serve with Graham Crackers.

-Who has influenced you most in your personal life?
This is hard to just pick one person!!!  For everyone that knows me they will probably know I pick Mom as number one!!  She is the person who has made me the woman I am today.  Plus she helps me more than she will ever know, not only in my personal life but in the shop.  I look up to her A LOT and of course I want to be just like her…..And in reality I am.  We joke we are sisters and not Mother and Daughter.  My Aunt Connie would be number two….She is a rock to me and a very good sounding board when I need it.  She is always so positive and sees the good in everything!!  And then I would have to say my Great Grandma!!  I had her in my life until I was 18 and she is still in my heart very much so.  I live in her house which makes me feel so good!!  But I think of her often and wish she could see what I’m doing now and I would LOVE to know what she would think.   And from a business stand point I would have to say a boss I had in the corporate world…..he taught me a lot about business and still does to this day.  If I ever needed any help with the business I know I could count on him.  He is not only a mentor to me but a life time friend I will have and appreciate him very much so. 

Mom and I at a VERY good friends Wedding!
What are your achievements so far? 
I managed a reconciliation department for a Title Insurance Company for 11 years.  At one point I was responsible for 102 bank accounts and an average daily balance of 2.2 million dollars.  It took a lot of time and hours but I was able to get all accounts on a daily reconciliation….so today we would balance yesterday’s activity.  This was to know exactly where the accounts stood at all times and to mitigate fraud.  And then I was able to get the daily work into a paperless environment.   Very big achievement for me!!  So looking back now and owning a business I just tell myself I can do this and I can make it work and be successful.     My second achievement then would be being a Woman Business Owner.  It is not always what it is cracked up to be but I’m still standing after almost 5 years so I think, no I know  I can make it…and make it work for me!!! 


1 comment:

  1. Hey Cindy! Great article!!! And I'm proud to say that my mom, my sister, and I have been coming to your shop for the past 5 yrs! It's great and we love to look at all the fun things you always have. Keep Stitching!
    Jill Stratton