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This article has been published 30/5/2018 (1225 days ago), the information it contains may therefore no longer be up to date.
The new owner of Sheena’s Gallery is filling the gap in Winnipeg’s cross stitch community.
Barbara Parnell-Best reopened the Sheena Gallery on May 22, five months after the store closed – the only cross-stitch specialty art store left in the province.
The Free press previously reported Sheena Buckner, the former owner who ran the craft and picture framing store for 25 years, was closing the store at the end of 2017 because she wanted to retire and couldn’t find a buyer. Then, a few weeks after the start of 2018, Buckner received an unexpected offer.
“This was my mom’s favorite store and she was so sad it closed so I was like, ‘Well I’m going to buy it then,’” said Parnell-Best, the Winnipegger of 47. years old who bought the store in late January.
“Of all the stuff we sell here, the only thing I can do is crochet, but my mom does enough cross stitches for the whole family.”
Despite the change in ownership, the store will continue to sell the same products, which include everything from cross stitch kits to specialty threads, and will offer custom frames.
Parnell-Best, a voice over artist who has worked from home since 2003 and has never owned a store before, said the idea of buying Sheena Gallery had “floated” in her head since learning its closure. She remembers joking with her mother about buying the store just weeks before going in to talk to Buckner and making him an offer on a whim.
“I wasn’t really considering this seriously until this day,” she said.
She surprised her 75-year-old mother, who she said is “really excited” about her daughter’s new project and plans to help her with the store.
Since taking office, Parnell-Best said he has received a handful of emails from relieved customers.
“People had nowhere to go,” she said.
“They could order online, but for some people it’s not very convenient.”
Located at 953 St. Mary’s Rd., Sheena’s Gallery is one of the few cross stitch stores in the country. Buckner said the closest specialty cross stitch store is near Calgary, although Needlepoint Place on Osborne Street, the city’s last needle art store, has similar products.
After months of paperwork, Buckner isn’t leaving the store yet. She will coach Parnell-Best over the next few weeks.
She has said she will miss her clients, men and women between the ages of nine and 90, but she is ready to retire.
“It’s sad, but I’ve had enough,” she said. “I want to travel, I want to do something else. I’m 67 years old, it’s time for me to do something else.”
[email protected] Twitter: @macintoshmaggie
Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the educational journalist Free Press comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.
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