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Personable Needles & Pins owner will have you in stitches

Donna DanielsStaff Writer

The Downtown Shop Girl now has a shop of her own.Snuggled into the refurbished first floor of the St. James Hotel at 712 Blake St., across from Hotel Denver and the train depot, is a new stitchery shop owned by Ginny Saliman. The little Victorian that houses the shop is festooned with brilliant flower planters splashed with red and fuchsia. Over the top hangs a welcoming sign on a shingle that reads, “Needles & Pins.”Saliman is a familiar face in downtown Glenwood Springs. She’s worked at so many shops up and down Grand Avenue, stores such as Threads, Confetti Design and Mountain Peddler, that she calls herself the Downtown Shop Girl.Now she oversees her own stitchery shop, a sunny room filled with cross stitch, needlework and embroidery patterns, as well as thread, fabrics, frames and accessories. Holding pride of place is a large worktable where stitchers come together on Wednesday mornings to work on projects and visit over a warm cup of coffee.The shop is a vision-come-alive for Saliman.”I always wanted to have my own business,” she said. After years in the medical profession as an X-ray technician and pharmaceutical researcher, her career took a sharp turn when she realized that commuting to Denver two days a week was not the life she wanted for herself.”I decided I needed to do something different. A couple of years ago I had a wreck in the canyon,” she said, and that prompted the switch. She found work in downtown Glenwood Springs and found she liked retail.”I found I love selling. I have the gift of gab and that really helps,” she said.Without any preconceived ideas about what kind of business she’d start, she went to friends and asked what they thought the town needed.One friend’s husband said, “Red Lobster,” she laughed.His wife, being more practical, suggested a needlework shop.As a cross-stitcher and quilter herself, Saliman thought the idea was a natural.”I wanted to create a space for people where they could come and meet with other creative women and men. I wanted to give them a place to learn and socialize in a nurturing environment,” she said. “Stitching is very therapeutic. And it costs less than psychotherapy.”Besides offering everything for the stitcher, Saliman will also hold classes.The first class, children’s cross stitch, begins Tuesday, Aug. 6, and will run Tuesday and Thursday through the month.She’ll also offer classes for adults, with the first one beginning in September. The project will be a Halloween cross stitch sampler.Future classes will cover teacup pin cushions and huck or Swedish weaving.Saliman also has a plan for an elegant tea party – “with hats and gloves” – in the postage stamp backyard. “It will be an annual event at the turning of the leaves, the Flaky Quaky Tea Party,” she said.The shop has now been opened for seven weeks and Saliman is pleased with how her business has grown in that short time.It’s a business maxim that location is everything. The shop’s position next to a major hotel and close to the train station is ideal for attracting tourists. Plus hobbyists look for something to take home from vacation.”When you travel and you have a hobby like stitching, you look for a stitching shop,” she said. There are plenty of items to choose from. Saliman’s good taste is evident in the patterns she’s selected. There are Beth Russell needlepoint kits with designs based on 19th century furniture maker William Morris, who was in the vanguard of the arts and crafts movement.The patterns themselves have the look of Medieval tapestries.”My goal is to have things you wouldn’t find in Wal-Mart or Michael’s or Hobby Lobby,” Saliman said, “things that are out of the ordinary that people come here to find.”She also carries cross stitch patterns from Lavender and Lace, Marilyn Leavitt Imblum, Mirabilia, Shepherd’s Bush and Lizzie Kate. They range from the simple sampler to a silk fabric that requires a magnifying glass to stitch.Saliman also has embroidery floss and stitching thread, including Anchor and DMC, in every color available.”It’s like a painter’s palette,” she said.She also carries Kreinik metallic thread and John James needles in both steel and gold. She has stretcher bars and fancy scissors, a tool to make cord, frames for finished work and seamstresses on call to sew a completed piece into a pillow. She even offers special hand lotions from Crabtree and Evelyn to keep your hands soft for stitching.”I’m a full service store,” she chuckled.The shop is welcoming and so is Saliman.”I wanted to set up my shop so it would be like coming into my house. I love people and I love to have them come visit. People don’t drop in like they used to. I was raised in West Virginia where people dropped in,” she said.”I thought if I created this space it would be a kind of social hub for me. So far it’s not been like coming to work,” she said.Needles & Pins is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday or by appointment. Wednesday’s stitching get-together begins at 9 a.m. Call 945-2074 for more information.


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