Thursday, February 2, 2017

We here we go again

I know it is hard to believe but we are making changes again. At least no one can say we aren't flexible. As of December 1st we are back in Mineral Point. We loved the farm, had the workshop to a good place and were pleased with the 2 barn sales we had this fall; but alas it wasn't meant to be. We spent 2 years trying to make it a reality but sometime things just don't proceed as you hoped. Sooo, we found a great building right on the main business area of Mineral Point.

Mineral Point is a sweet town in Southwest Wisconsin. In the driftless area halfway between Dubuque Iowa and Madison Wisco. Only about 3 hours from Chicago and the Quad Cities. It is Wisconsin's oldest town and most of the town is a Historic Site. The two of us have lived either in town or near for many years. It is charming, has great tourist and local support and fun restaurants and shops. So all in all a good place for a....Vintage Home Shop!

Yup if you haven't heard we have not only moved our Manufacturing business but opened a pretty little brick and mortar. We are super excited about it all ( or will be once all the moving is done).

We are selling lots of great Vintage and Antique bits that are authentic. Some renewed and some just cleaned up. We have our super popular Paddywax candles, Savon soaps, and will soon have more bath lines, homemade hand soaps and clothes wash. There are lots of plans brewing so we hope you will stop in often to see what we roll out next.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

That Was So Much Fun, Let's Do it Again!

You never know how something is going to come out some times.  It sounds like a great idea, but is it really?  We knew we wanted to do a Vintage sale in our amazing 140 year old barn. We knew we had some great Antique and Vintage goodies to sell. We knew we love to curate and style said Vintage bits.  But, we didn't know if anyone would find us, or love our goodies in the same way we do.

Well they did!  We had a steady stream of folks right at starting time, were actually busy most of the morning and early afternoon, and they all seemed to like our style, antiques, and accessories!

It was all so fulfilling, amazing and fun!  It has given us a belief that we are indeed on the right road, to add the Vintage business back into Retromantic. While we still consider our needle arts accessory manufacturing our "day jobs" it is fun to get back to our roots of playing with old rusty bits and even what some would call junk.  Thank you to all that came to visit, and shop, and to all that shared our facebook event! We heard over and over that they heard it from someone at work. Amazing.

Sooo, now lets do it again.

October 14 & 15 Friday and Saturday we will be open for Barn Brocante II. It is Fall Art Tour weekend so there are lots of places to see in the driftless area. It is also the same weekend as the Time and Again Vintage pop up shop, so check them out and then make the short drive over to Sinbad Road.

See you in a couple of weeks!

kath and molly

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Do-ins on the Farm

Do you ever feel like you will never catch up? That is how we have felt for the last 6 weeks. A successful trade show means for us (after the yipee's) is how are we going to get things made and out to all of you in a timely manner?

Well, we just dig in and get organized....we hope... and start making fripperies. It is a more than full time job for the 2 of us but a very satisfying one. However this summer has made it all a bit more challenging.

We have a had a VERY hot and humid summer, for us, in Southwest Wisco. While we can somewhat power through this our lasers cannot. The humidity gums them up and eventually we have found they just quit cutting with any kind of accuracy until it cools down.
While we can always find more to do it does not keep us on schedule.

One more fly in the ointment this summer has been Molly's Dad has been ill. He is fine now but it has cut into her work time. While this on its own is ok(she's a bit of a workaholic :) it has slowed us down and frankly made us reassess our priorities. Last winter and spring Kath's husband had some very serious health concerns as well, so we are realizing the Universe is telling us to pay attention.

Consequently, we are cutting down a bit on our travel schedule and coming up with ways to pay the bills and stay closer to home.

Vintage has always been our first love so we are finding ways to get back to that while still pumping out our adorable knitting and stitching notions. This September we are finally producing a long time dream; our very first Barn sale. We are calling it the "Barn Brocante". It will be in our amazing 150 year old barn on the workshop property September 17th. That's a Saturday from 9-4.

It is just an hour from Madison and Dubuque in the beautiful rolling hills of Wisconsin. Hope you all can come, celebrate (and shop ) with us at the start of a new dream, direction....

Kath and Molly

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

So what is happening in the wilds of Wisconsin? We are catching our breath from the Summer TNNA show in June. It was a great show, but boy do we have a lot to do yet. We are soooo grateful for all the support and orders. We met a lot of new friends and customers and as usual that is the best part.

This time for the first time EVER we took a bit of time for ourselves. On the way there we stopped over at Boonsboro WV. Kath is a HUGE Nora Roberts fan and she has written a series of books about the town. It was great fun to see the town and the businesses she writes about and actually own. We even got a little tour of the Inn Boonsboro. We also hit a super cute shop named The Robin's Nest.

 Eye candy everywhere and got our juices and ideas flowing for new products and our Vintage show we are doing in September.  After a yummy lunch we finished the trip to DC.

The show set up went smoothly thank goodness because we also had volunteered to spearhead the group theme window at the show.
 It went really well and there was a great team that made it all happen.

As usual I never take enough pictures....

After a great show we drove to the Chesapeake Shore near where Molly used to live. How beautiful! We splurged and booked a night a charming B & B. Then we walked down to the bay for an amazing crab dinner. How fun and messy!

Next morning we took the short drive to Molly's old hood. Very small, on the water and charming. After another crab lunch we started the drive home. 8 hours later (or maybe 9) we were in Cleveland! Early the next morning we hit the road for home. So we actually took almost 2 whole days vacation! Shocker!!!!

It was fun and much needed but we are full steam ahead now.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Branching Out

While we are having wonderful long Memorial Day weekend ,just a few days ago we were busy shooting our newest line.  Pretty floral embroidered doilies, dresser runners, table cloths and napkins specifically. Kath has had a cache of them for years that we pull from as props for our booth set ups for trade and craft shows. They are a pretty addition and soften our wood products. We sell some on occasion. A while ago she got crafty and ran up a bunch of runners out of them. We have some of those on our ETSY shopRetromanticFripperie, and sell them at our shows.

Now we've decided to really go into the linens business. The first shoot is today and Kath has been busy freshening all those beauties. We love all the work and love that went into them so many years ago. How did they do it? Most likely they had a passel of kids, a household and maybe a farm to take care of, meals to make, gardens to tend, and still they had time to stitch so many pieces to make their lives beautiful.

Well now we are so happy that we can save these works of art and share them with all of you. We never mind that they aren't perfect because that means they have been used and loved.

Our minds spin thinking of all the things that can be done with these heirlooms above and beyond their original purpose. But we are leaving that up to their new owners.

Be sure to check out our ETSY shop in a couple of weeks to see and share our new passion.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Re:craft and Relic

Just wanted to pop a quick note to let you know what we are up to. Between having a crazy September (thanks to a couple of very successful on-line and hotel shows in the Stitching world, we moved into our new digs at the Farm. Pics to come soon I promise!

Now we are gearing up for our first Retail Craft Show. It is in Milwaukee November 14-15. We are so excited. The team putting the show on is so upbeat and seems to really have some great things planned. Here's the link to their blog so you can read all about it.

There will be everything from folks with every kind of craft you can think of, vintage, food trucks, craft beers, music and demonstrations. Check it all out and if you are within a few hours drive we think you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Harvest Hop & All Things Spooky


With vestiges of summer fading, falling leaves indicate autumn is set for an early show, and the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting yet another season of flurry-ous activity. At Retromantic we’ve been a midst tremendous activity, balancing order fulfillment and designing new products, all the while setting up our new studio and production facilities. It’s a tricky act filled with adapting to the unexpected (Secret No. 1: Retro-fitting a 100-year old structure promises precious little will be in a straight line). So we keep our humor (and humility) in check as we traverse this and other transitions, for what would life be without surprises: Winter in Wisconsin? Sun in California? Rain in Seattle? Kudzu in my native South? Same menu. In response we twist and stitch, go against the grain where possible, but still with an appreciation for anything that inspires the good of the work. 

Our debut Hallows Tied Collection is where the mischievous and whimsical converge and conjure.
Just in time for the season, our Hallows Tied and SteamPunk products are seeking new perspectives (they love hanging around the shop but are ready to travel places far and wide). Below is a sneak peek. For the complete show please visit us at   

Every great thing deserves a sequel and our Hallows Tied II products continue the fun. 

And speaking of Shows, Retromantic will be part of Harvest Hop 2015, Thursday, September 10 thru Sunday, September 13. While this is a Stitching show, all pieces are also crafted for Knitters and Crocheters.
As fans of all things SteamPunk it was a natural fit to pay homage to this venerable hybrid genre with our very own tags.

Lastly, Retromantic is always pleased and honored to find its products featured as favorites in various print and on-line publications. Most recently, three of our products garnered accolades in Issue No. 53 of Knitty-Grassroots Knitting at Scroll down a bit for the title, “Fripperies Vintage-style Needle Gauges by Retromantic.” Enjoy their descriptive wordsmithing, then give these fine products a try... from here you’re just a click away.