The Hen House expands, adds inventory

Although steeped in tradition, the Hen House is threading contemporary products into its eclectic mix of supplies for primitive quilting and crafts.
After 30 years, founder Nancy Conn retired in early summer and offered ownership of the popular shop in Charlotte's historic downtown to Carolyn Rosier, a long-time employee.
"I gave it 24 hours of thought and prayer before I decided," says Rosier. "Or really, not even that."
Rosier purchased the Hen House to fulfill her dream owning a business, and to maintain continuity and increase options for the folk art community in Greater Lansing.
As a quilting and craft store, the Hen House stands apart with its penchant for the primitive arts. The shop at 211 S. Cochran is packed with more than 1,100 bolts of fabric that include reproductions of cloths from the Civil War and early prairie periods.
"These are akin to fabrics that you may have seen on people who were traveling West," says Rosier. "They aren't what you would call high society fabrics, but the basic fabrics that everyday people wore."
The Hen House also carries bolts of wool and over-dyed wool for hooking and penny rugs, needle punch and felting supplies, paints for floor canvases, some cross-stitch supplies, and threads, notions, books and patterns.
Rosier recently began carrying batik cloth, handmade soaps and lotions, artisan jewelry and items from the local weavers guild. To accommodate a growing inventory, she doubled the space by expanding into an adjacent vacant storefront.
"There was an existing doorway between the two stores that had been covered up for decades," says Rosier. "It took four women and a crowbar, but we eventually were able to go through three layers of drywall and dress it up a little with some paint and décor."
The extra floor space enables Rosier to expand her classes and community areas for various guilds and groups. She plans to continue with popular classes like basic quilting, and to add courses in rug hooking, weaving, spinning, punch needle and embroidery.
"Each generation finds its own take on traditional arts," says Rosier. "I strive to help people make that quilt or other piece they will enjoy and then make one to give to someone else."
The Hen House employs five people and works with eight or more instructors.
Source: Carolyn Rosier, Owner, Hen House Quilt and Craft Supply
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor
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