Ewetopia Fiber Shop opened in rural Viroqua Wisconsin in July, 2007, with Kathryn Ashley at the helm. Kathryn, whose college studies included Women's Studies and Rural Sociology, found herself spending more and more time knitting. Opening a retail store during one's senior year of college is not that common, but Kathryn found it to be a doable venture. With the help of family and friends filling in during class days and Kathryn getting a week's worth of ordering, display making, bookkeeping and everything else done over her three day weekends, Ewetopia took shape.
Our central Main Street location of approximately 1200 square feet was perfect for a young yarn store. Over the years we hosted knitting groups and classes, welcomed babies and said goodbye to friends, and grew a beautiful and supportive community. And we look forward to continuing to serve this community for many years to come.
In 2008 Ewetopia started to attend local fiber shows. Yes, bringing our bit of uniqueness to a larger audience was a lot of fun! Kathryn, who has always been hungry for color, first in painting and other forms of art, began experimenting with various dyes and fibers. And her eye for design began to take shape in knitwear. Not content with tinkering with hat and scarf designs, Kathryn embarked on a year-long project of designing and knitting her own wedding dress. This stunning study in lace can be often seen on display at Ewetopia.
In 2012 Ewetopia began vending at wool markets and festivals around the country under the name Kate Wright Designs. 2012 also brought other changes to Ewetopia. We moved to the other end of our block, still on Main Street, into the historic Felix Department Store - into a space two and half times what we had originally! Whew - it's good to have space between the aisles and room for more yarn! Knitters and crocheters from all over the Midwest find Ewetopia Fiber Shop a good destination. We welcome you all to Viroqua! In 2015 Kate Wright Designs went through another transformation and now is known as Ewetopia.
And also during this pivotal year, Kathryn, whose life now includes her wonderful husband Keith, and two lovely and lively daughters Stella and Mae and her son Olan, was joined in partnership by her mother Lisa Ashley. It was a natural partnership since the two have worked very closely throughout the years. Lisa enjoys gardening, cooking, milking her sweet cow and other small farm work, and of course knitting. Lisa is also homeschooling her son and Kathryn's brother, Ben.
And you will also see Gloria, Kathryn's grandmother and Lisa's mother, hard at work arranging and beautifying shelves of yarn, providing us with occasional days off (thank you!), and actively learning to knit. At times, we will have four generations bustling around the yarn shop. How grateful we are!
We hope to see you soon at a fiber show, or in Viroqua at our shop. We look forward to meeting you.