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Weaving the Fabric of Notown Goods

Cheryl A. Cuddahy ccudday@sentinelandenterprise.comMay 26, 2019

WESTMINSTER — Notown Goods is all about American craftsmanship and is the newly opened American Craft Gallery and Gift Shop and offers handmade merchandise.

Leanne Boudreau, proprietor of Notown Goods, opened her doors on May 1, at 23 Village Inn Road, Unit B, and will celebrate its grand opening from 1 until 4 p.m. Saturday, June 1, with snacks, special deals, prizes, and weaving demonstrations. A ribbon cutting will be held at 2 p.m. with members of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.

“A few weeks before I founded Notown Goods, I visited Notown, a late 1700s settlement in what is now part of the Leominster State Forest,” Boudreau said. “It’s a really unique place in the forest with the foundations of the old homes still visible among the trees. It makes me think back to that time when Notown was still around, back before the industrial revolution when everything was made by hand.”

Notown Goods exclusively carries pieces that are handmade in the United States, with the majority of work sourced from within Massachusetts and New England.

Their goods include ceramics, jewelry, fiber, glass, stationery, fine art, wood, sculpture, and apothecary of the finest craftsmanship.”

Boudreau studied textile design, fiber art, and fine art at UMass Dartmouth, Brown University, and the Rhode Island School of Design and founded Loomination® in 2013, a full-service weaving studio creating heirloom quality household textiles handwoven in modern minimalist designs.

“I worked in arts and nonprofit management for almost 10 years before a series of layoffs had me disillusioned with traditional employment, so I decided to start my own business,” she said. “Creating functional household textiles using natural fibers, I focus on the art of the everyday, on pieces that can be used and loved. Heirloom quality that can be cleaned at home in a washer and dryer and that will get even better with age.”

Boudreau has been working full time as a hand weaver for over five years now.

“I began by selling my work at craft fairs and then transitioned to wholesaling to small independent gift shops and specialty stores,” Working with small stores inspired me to want to start one of my own.”

Boudreau’s weaving studio is based in the back of Notown Goods, so when people visit the store they can see work being handmade right there.

“Since moving to Westminster two years ago, I have loved the way the local community embraces small business,” adds Boudreau. “Having worked from home since beginning Loomination in 2013, I was ready for a change. Opening a storefront to use as my studio and to sell my work and the work of other artists and artisans seemed like a logical next step.”

Everything has an American maker behind it and a story to tell. They sell handmade goods at accessible prices, with most pieces in the store under $100 and a wide variety of items under $25.

“It can be very difficult to make a living as an artisan,” Boudreau adds. “I wanted to create a space where people could come any time and find a unique new piece for their home or as a gift and know that their purchase is contributing to the local economy and helping a local artisan to continue their work.”

Having been open just three weeks, Boudreau says she has been overwhelmed by the support of the community and their enthusiasm for the store.

“At Notown Goods you will find things that you can’t find just anywhere,” said Boudreau. “It’s like going to a craft fair and finding that one cool thing, but we’re open all the time and we always have new things coming in.”

Find Notown Goods at 23 Village Inn Road, in Westminster, online at www.notowngoods.com , on Instagram and Facebook @notowngoods. Open hours are Mondays By Chance, Tuesday-Thursday 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Closed Sundays.

For more information on Loomination, you are welcome to visit her website at www. loomination.net

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