Stitching Together: How Indie Craft Shops Have Adapted in the COVID-19 Pandemic

by | Mar 3, 2021 | Business & Industry

We are makers, members of a vibrant community of creators, designers, and innovators. At the heart of our community: independent craft shops. They are our suppliers, teachers, and creative consultants; our safe spaces, mistake fixers, and cheering sections.

When COVID-19 restrictions went into effect in March, 2020, craft shops were hit hard. Classes and workshops were cancelled, shops were open with limited capacity or closed completely—some permanently. Owners scrambled to get products and classes online, working unimaginably long days, pivoting on the head of a pin to serve their customers, while under pressure from shifting restrictions, growing demand, and the looming threat of supply-chain interruptions.

But this community of shops, customers, suppliers, and teachers—always ready to try something new—soon adapted, finding new ways to support each other and keep their shops alive.

As we approach the anniversary of the start of our collective pandemic experience, as we acknowledge our experiences of illness and loss, we explore the challenges and triumphs craft businesses have faced, and the innovative and forward-thinking changes that have kept us connected to our creative community.

Digits & Threads Is a Member-Supported Independent Online Magazine

The articles and patterns we publish about Canadian fibre and textile arts, crafts and industry are made possible by our Armchair and Studio members.

Michelle Woodvine
Michelle Woodvine

Michelle Woodvine is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor on a quest to never stop learning and making. When she’s not wordsmithing for others, Michelle can usually be found working on her trilogy of speculative fiction novels, learning a new skill, or goofing around with family (including her very own rocket scientist, two teenage boys, and one feisty ginger cat). For more information visit To follow the adventures on social media, check out @woodvinewrites.