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Seamstress and JOANN Fabric and Craft associate Carrie Bookout cuts fabric for a customer, who is making face masks for family and friends. 

Throughout time, arts and crafts have always been a creative gateway for people. Recently, many locals have picked up where they left off or taken things to the next level by starting a small business.

Seamstress and employee at JOANN Fabric and Crafts Carrie Bookout said she’s noticed many of the store’s customers picking up new crafting projects, like sewing.

“People have been doing it for the last few years by getting inspiration from Pinterest and YouTube, but now it’s getting crazy and a little overboard because so many people are home now and have time to do things,” said Bookout.

Bookout said she noticed many customers began sewing face masks for their friends and family members, then eventually worked their way up to scrunchies and clothes.

“These customers realize they want to pick up sewing and crafting and they end up wanting to work on bigger projects,” said Bookout.

People like Perlas Ucles, who began crafting and started her own small business in June, said crafting is something that’s been keeping her busy.

“It’s almost becoming trendy in a way. Other people are starting up a business and exploring that creative horizon they originally didn’t have time for,” said Ucles.

Crafter and small-business owner Romie Nava said some people want to start creating to make money due to unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic and more people have more time on their hands since many people are working from home.

Nava said being able to craft and sew has kept her mind focused and she’s enjoying creating unique projects for her family and friends.

Bookout said many customers prefer shopping in-store rather than online because of the personal gratification they get by browsing at new items or getting inspired by others shopping around them.

“People like shopping physically at JOANN because they want to get inspired by other people’s projects. You gain techniques and ideas from other people that you wouldn’t normally think of,” said Bookout.

Bookout, a seamstress for 20 years, said she enjoys working on projects for other people and the pleasure it gives her.

“I call it my therapy because it’s all me-time — a time to escape and I get something beautiful at the end that I made,” Bookout said.

Ucles also shares her experience as a crafter since starting her own business making home decor and accessories.

“I love the feeling I get when I’m done with creating a product. That ‘Wow! I did that!’ feeling is like no other,” said Ucles. 

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