Phiona, owner of Burlington, Vermont-based nido always closes her emails with “warmly,” and warmth perfectly encapsulates her shop. The brick-walled retail store and sewing hub just turned three years old (and had an enviable party!), and just visiting the online branch gives a sense of comfort, coziness, openness, and inspiration. She carries the finest modern fabrics by the likes of Anna Maria Horner, Nani Iro, Melody Miller, Echino, Liberty of London, and brings Australian indie designers Ink & Spindle and Pippijoe closer to American hands. The pattern selection (including Colette, Wiksten, hard-to-find Japanese company Linnet) is also tops. I’m thrilled to finally have Phiona by for an interview and giveaway today! Stay tuned to the end for a giveaway and coupon code.
Burlington sounds dreamy. Would you tell us about what it’s like there — the surroundings, the weather, the people — how big is the town? And what is the sewing/knitting community like?
Burlington is a thriving community filled with locally owned shops, community supported agriculture and edible delights. The seasons are drastic which makes you appreciate each one all the more. I like to think of nido as an integral part of the community, supporting the many crafters who both reside here and who are visiting the Queen City for its booming tourist attractions. It really is as fantastic as it sounds!
Please tell us about yourself — what did you do before nido? What brought you to open the store?
Before opening nido in 2009 I was the media coordinator for a local nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen collective efforts between social, environmental, and ecological justice. I thoroughly enjoyed the work that I was involved in. After the birth of my son I had a surge of creativity and inspiration but Burlington lacked the resources I was looking for. There are traditional quilting shops in the greater Burlington area but at the time, none offered the more contemporary fabrics that were available in larger cities and online. After much thought and late night discussions with my business savvy husband, I decided to switch careers to become a small business owner. Three years later, nido continues to carve a nitch for itself in the craft scene, both locally and online.
Nido started out as a brick and mortar, correct, and the online shop followed? Or were they more simultaneous? And nido is *literally* brick and mortar — please tell us all about it (the atmosphere, the location, the classes, the customers, etc.).
nido started as a brick and mortar shop and after the rhythm of things got going, the online shop followed. One complements the other. It works out really well. I just wish that online customers could actually see the shop itself! It’s warm and inviting and uncluttered. You walk around taking everything in and discover carefully placed stacks of packaged nani iro bias tape or a knit elephant propped up against a vintage set of suitcases. It is filled with inspiration and beauty.
You carry yarn! I do knit but it’s been a while and I feel very out of touch with that world. What’s hot in knitting these days?
nido is definitely more fabric focused so our yarn stock is typically local and/or regional yarns that are made in small batches, minimally processed and hand dyed. Because the yarn itself is so spectacular, many of our customers choose to keep it simple, making cowls, shawls and hats. All very functional items for Vermont winters!
You seem to have a very lovingly curated inventory, which I would describe as delicate, sophisticated, and modern, with more independent designers and hand-screenprinted fabrics than most shops carry. Please tell us about how you’d describe it and the decisionmaking process behind your shop selections.
Why thank you for the compliment Kim! Purchasing inventory for the shop has always been the easy part. Really, it’s just a carefully curated selection of what’s currently inspiring me. The real joy is seeing others inspired by the same products but in a different way. In turn, I am then inspired by their creativity and it’s a continuous, contagious cycle!
Thank you so much for sharing this peek into your shop, Phiona!
nido is kindly offering one lucky True Up reader a $40 voucher to be used online. Just leave a comment — I will draw a winner randomly on Monday, October 15, 2012, at 9pm central time. nido only ships to the U.S. so, we have to limit this to U.S. readers only.
Also, for all true up friends, 15% off online purchases with code TRUEUP2012 now through the end of the drawing on Monday. (And don’t forget that shipping is always free on orders $50+ and $5 otherwise.)