Heritage Spinning & Weaving
Downtown Lake Orion

248.693.3690

Joan’s Story

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Heritage: A Labor of Love

Joan Sheridan, Proprietor

For nearly 20 years I flirted with wanting to spin and weave, but never felt the time was right (children take a lot of time). Then, in 1999, I saw an advertisement for a local sheep and wool festival and signed up for beginning spinning and natural dyeing classes. Mariah, then age 7, expressed an interest in spinning, too, and took the kid’s beginning spinning class.

At that festival I bought my first wheel and soon after bought a second. Through a friend, I was gifted with most of a loom and Deborah Chandler’s Learning to Weave book. I found I had copies of Handwoven magazines on my bookshelf and soon ordered what I needed to teach myself to weave.

A year later I was frustrated with buying over the phone, selecting weaving yarns from sample cards, and buying roving only at festivals and decided I probably wasn’t the only person around that felt the same way. So, I did what any sane person would do and opened a store (okay, so maybe I wasn’t so sane!). At the time I had a full-time job as a graphic designer and we sublet from the printing company I worked for. It wasn’t too many years later before we grew from 400 square feet to bursting the seams of the entire 3000 square feet of space that we now occupy. I continued to work at the print shop, first full-time, then part-time for the first four years we were open.

My early adult background was with the military – I served on active duty with the Navy and retired from the Army Reserves as a Captain. My last duty station was in a training command and I learned a lot about lesson plans as I was responsible for developing training exercises for myriad companies. This experience has served me well at Heritage.

Over the years I have been blessed to have some of the most giving and talented staff members a person could ever wish for. Many of our staff are volunteers. They range in age from early 20s to 70+ and have a wide range of fiber interests. If you have a fiber question, it’s almost certain someone on the staff will be able to help you.

Heritage Spinning and Weaving is definitely a labor of love. My parents are great supporters – Dad makes our hand spindles, Mom knits many of the sample socks hanging in the sock room, our upgraded lights was done by my now husband, my daughter has been helping behind the scenes with computer work, my son provides grandchildren.

I welcome you to the Heritage Family. Stop by and sit and knit, browse through our extensive in-store book selection or our private library. Plan a project. Or just stop by to say hello. We’re always happy to have company and share our love for all things woolly!