Like many indoor home activities during the coronavirus pandemic over the past 18 months, cross stitch has grown in popularity.
Prior to July 30, cross stitches on the Grand Strand did not have a local store dedicated specifically to their materials. But they are doing it now.
Amy and Memory Baker opened Barefoot Needleart, a cross stitch supply store in Surfside Beach.
“It’s an old profession and it’s kind of died out in popularity, but now with COVID last year we’re seeing a big spike,” Memory said. “I think a lot of people are looking for things to do and they were stuck at home so I think it’s really starting to come back. And then, of course, social media, like everything else, supports growth. “
The store sells patterns, grids, dental floss, fabric, bags and accessories such as needles, hoops and picture frames.
Memory learned to embroider as a child from her grandmother and Amy, who has a background in graphic design, has started to embroider in recent years. Over the past three years, the couple have created and sold cross stitch patterns and charts through their business named Barefoot, which grew out of Memory’s desire to have a little cross stitch in her kitchen, that Amy decided to create.
“It just went from a tiny little owl to this,” Memory said.
The couple were looking to relocate from Charlotte, North Carolina to the coast to open a store, and their research found there was a shortage of cross stitch stores on the Strand and throughout Georgia. They moved to the Myrtle Beach area in May 2020 and opened the store in Lorraine Plaza next to a main road at 700 Highway 17 Business South.
“We looked at some places on the Georgian coast, but they just didn’t have the feel we wanted, and being from Charlotte we knew this area and it kind of made the most sense for us,” said Memory. “We wanted something that was convenient for tourists and for locals to come with good parking. We just landed on this space and it seemed like the right choice to start.
There used to be an art and cross stitch supply store on Pawleys Island called The Counting House, but it has been closed for many years.
“We moved here last year and decided there was nothing here so we could see what we could offer,” Memory said.
Barefoot Needleart will host a big opening celebration on September 18th. By then, the Bakers hope the store will be fully stocked. It is not as full as they would like as much of their merchandise is imported from Europe and the supply chain has been affected by the coronavirus and related government trade policies.
Amy and Memory take turns running the store as they both have additional full-time jobs. Memory works with Solving Autism, which provides support and services to children with autism, and Amy is a dispatcher for the Landstar trucking company.
The store’s opening hours are currently 10 a.m. at 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday.