Canvas Works, a longtime downtown destination for those who need yarn or other supplies to knit, sew, or replace a boat cover, will close next month, the family-run business has announced.
The owners of the business, Gary and Nancy Graybeal, are retiring to spend more time working around the house on their 10-acre property, said Amy Chartrey, one of their two daughters who worked at the business.
“They are just ready to be done,” said Chartrey about her parents. “It was a fantastic business that was well supported by Olympia.”
A store-closing sale is under way and will continue through Dec. 2, the last day of business for Canvas Works, she said.
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She said her parents owned the building at 525 Columbia St. SW but have sold it. She declined to name the buyer, but expects the new owner to announce it soon. Canvas Works opened in 1979.
The closure was announced late Sunday after an email was sent to customers, notifying them of the decision.
On Monday, many of them showed up at the store.
“It’s quite the crowd,” Chartrey said. “Lots and lots of people who are sad but understanding. It’s just bittersweet.”
In addition to providing supplies for knitting or other related endeavors, the business also operated a “maker’s space,” where customers could use Canvas Works sewing machines to work on their projects.
After the store closes, Chartrey said she will devote herself full-time to running a business called Yesterday’s Homebuilders. Her sister, Lia Miller, said she will miss the “Friday Night Knitters” at Canvas Works, but plans to seek out new golfing adventures with her husband.
Longtime employee Claudia Clark-Engstrom plans to travel and spend time with her grandchildren.
“Keep on stitching!” Chartrey said her in email to customers. “And thank you for being part of our families’ lives.”