Put down your phone and pick up a paintbrush

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Fred Searle is standing in the crafts store near a row of paints and stretched canvases.

Fred Searle, manager of Kootenay Arts and Crafts, likes to see all the young folks coming into the newly opened store. — Virginia Rasch photo

People wanted more craft supplies, and Fred Searle listened. He’s the manager of Your Dollar Store with More on Baker Street in Cranbrook, B.C. Searle said the store didn’t have the space to expand the crafts section, so his boss, Philip Jones of Colebrook Industries, decided to open a new store a few doors down from the dollar store.

Kootenay Arts and Crafts opened March 2 and is packed with more supplies than you can shake a paintbrush at.

“Paint and wool are our biggest sellers,” said Searle, who is also manager of the new store.

The local high school students are frequent customers, but the store has arts and crafts supplies for all ages, from young kids to adults. Creative customers can also display their work on the back wall of the store and even put it up for sale.

“Doing arts and crafts is better than the kids doing this ...,” said Searle, as he imitated texting on a phone.

With such a huge diversity of goods, from doll-making and scrapbook supplies to beading and candle-making items, it’s hard to image the store is lacking anything. But just in case, Searle is still listening. On a shelf sits a bucket with a sign saying “What are we missing?” Searle said he’s already emptied that bucket of written suggestions several times.

Virginia Rasch

Virginia is a writer and editor with KPI Media. She is an avid outdoor recreationist in all seasons and has lived in the Kootenays for over 15 years. With degrees in the natural sciences, she has worked as a tour guide, an environmentalist, a writer, and an editor of books and scientific publications. Virginia now brings her passion for everything green to KootenayBiz. View all of Virginia Rasch’s articles

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