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New craft shop adds to fabric of Deerfield

  • Wool-ology, a natural fiber shop, on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ

  • Deb Stratton of Whately makes needle felting art at Wool-ology on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ

  • Deb Stratton of Whately, Katie Cavacco of Deerfield and Audrey Lavine of Charlemont have opened Wool-ology on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ

  • Deb Stratton of Whately, Katie Cavacco of Deerfield and Audrey Lavine of Charlemont have opened Wool-ology on Greenfield Road in South Deerfield. Recorder Staff/PAUL FRANZ



Staff Writer
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Dreams were woven together like the threads of a blanket when three women met through their love of artistry and decided to open a natural fiber shop and makerspace.

Katie Cavacco, Audrey Lavine, Deb Stratton are the owners of Wool-ology at 242A Greenfield Road and hope their new business will become a classroom and gathering spot for art lovers and those interested in learning about textiles.

“It’s a few sort-of like-minded people who came together towards a common goal,” Cavacco said about herself and her business partners. The enterprise opened Sept. 22.

Cavacco finished a master’s degree at the London College of Fashion in last December and moved home to Deerfield, where a few months later she met Stratton at a local shop and they learned of their mutual interest and soon found the location for their business. Stratton eventually met Lavine, a former theater arts professional, at a local craft fair, and the three became partners.

“We’re just operating on a total shoestring budget,” Cavacco said, adding there was no seed money for the project, which she said required about six months of active prep work.

The three women sell their own products out of the store, which also carries merchandise of other local artists. They rent from Richard’s Automotive, which shares a parking lot with  the craft shop. All three have said the community has so far been very receptive.

“They get a good vibe when they come in, “Lavine said. “And that makes us hopeful.”

The business offers paid classes for certain crafts. The next one, led by Stratton, will be a two-hour course on how to make needle-felted pumpkins at 1 p.m. on Oct. 20. The cost is $35. Stratton had made a demonstration pumpkin but had to spend part of Oct. 3 making a new one after someone at the grand opening last month insisted on buying it. Needle felting is a process in which barbed needles interlock wool fibers to form a more condensed material. Wool fibers have scales, which when rubbed against each other, catch and lock into place to create a denser material called felt. All Stratton’s products are created with needle felting. She discovered the art form when her homeschooled daughter took classes at Red Gate Farm in Ashfield and came home with set of dice she had needle felted.

“So it really is good for all ages – because she learned when she was 6 years old,” Stratton explained.

When asked how she got the demonstration pumpkin’s stem to look so realistic, she responded, “I just went outside and got a stick.”

The shop will try to avoid selling yarn, which is the specialty of nearby Sheep & Shawl. Wool-ology’s owners said the two businesses have an excellent relationship.

“We are definitely not competitors,” Lavine said. “We are going to find ways to happily co-exist.”

“We’re trying to complement each other in terms of what we have to offer,” Cavacco added.

Wool-ology is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. More information is available at woolology.com and the company’s Facebook page. The owners can be reached at info@woolology.com or by calling 413-350-5158.

Reach Domenic Poli at dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.