I have been very fortunate to have come across 3 very pivotal elements involving the future of Väva! Veve! The first one is that, after searching for over 2 years, through all my contacts of weavers and friends, through the internet sites of used weaving equipment, through contacting various weaving guilds across the country, and even working with the manufacturer in negotiating a possible purchase of used equipment, I finally received an email from a thoughtful weaver who knew of a group of AVL IDL looms being sold. A GROUP of them!!! The pricing on them is equal to 1 new AVL IDL!! The owner will not break up the lot of 5, so I either need to find the funds to purchase all 5, or find a couple of weavers who want to buy one. Also in the interest of raising money for these looms, this evening I am to be one of four contestants on a show in Minneapolis, MN being sponsored by UPS in their "Salute to Small Business". I will have 3 minutes to pitch my business in front of four judges and 200 people in the audience, telling how I could use the $5,000 in my business. My hands are sweating even now! Send powerful good thoughts my way tomorrow night!!
The second pivotal element involving the future of Väva! Veve! was my discovery of Rebecca Burgess, founder of Fibershed.com. It all began when I resumed my internet search of flax, or even better, linen yarn which I hoped to find somewhere in the western hemisphere. My concern for our environment had increased as the years had passed, and the thought that perhaps I could find a local source for linen kept me looking, hoping. When I came across Fibershed.com, the thought that came immediately to mind was that this must be a community of fiber people all under one roof, or shed as the case may be. But it turned out to be even better. In talking with Rebecca, I found out about her philosophy and was amazed at how much it resonated with me. She felt that like a watershed, fiber should have the same impact on its region. I learned that Fibershed is about getting to know and work with your neighbor, it is about local community and economy, it is about growing, sourcing, fabricating, and consuming goods made locally, sustainably. It is about living more while consuming less. I suddenly felt like I could make a difference in our environment by doing something that I loved to do! I could make use of my skill set to weave locally grown fiber for local farmers and growers, making it available to local artisans, designers and craftspeople, and make use of what we have right here in Minnesota.
Then the third element landed in my lap. For many years I have been looking at real estate, trying to find that perfect place to live. I had started out looking at different homes, but found them lacking in one thing or another. My search morphed and I was looking at farms, with a barn where we could set up a wood shop, a weaving studio, a pottery room, a welding area, and a place to draw, paint, and write, and whatever other interests we wanted to explore. But from the beginning, each time I found something I would be faced with resistance. It was too far to drive to work, it was too expensive, it wasn’t big enough, it was too big, it wasn’t close enough to friends, family, shops . . . well, you get the idea . . until I found the exactly perfect building. An old mid-century building used as a creamery, built on the shores of the great Mississippi. It is a well-built 6,500 square foot brick building with lots of huge windows looking out across the water, into the beautiful sunsets. It also has a residence for the owner, a penthouse, if you will, sitting above the 2 story industrial space where the looms would sit. An unbelievable find! Now I just need to make it happen! All funding offers will be considered, all donations accepted!