Burns crafts store takes new approach for vendors and buyers

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN LAURA CAMPBELL
Sandy Heyman of Burns is looking for three types of people, and you might be one of them.

Person No. 1: You create high-quality, original handicrafts with a bit of local flavor. But you’re tired of all the effort it takes to sell your one-of-a-kind pieces at various arts and crafts fairs.

Person No. 2: You’ve always wanted to try your hand at an activity like quilting, painting or playing the dulcimer. But most classes are too much of a commitment of your time and money, or they’re just too far away.

Person No. 3: You may fit into either or neither of the above categories, but you definitely are interested in purchasing for yourself or others some of those high-quality, original handicrafts that Person No. 1 makes.

If any of these sounds like you, then look no farther than Heyman’s new Sticks & Twigs shop in Burns for your craft-making, -selling or -buying needs.

Located in the silver Quonset building on 205 N. Washington with a name based on one of her own prize-winning quilts, Heyman’s new take on the 3-year-old Prairie Arts crafts store will include both familiar and fresh items for former patrons of the shed-turned-shop.

That includes quite a few of her own pieces as well, she said.

“Practically all of my adult life, I’ve been a vendor at craft fairs,” said the Burns native.

“I’ve done wheat weaving for 23 years-all year long, I’d make stuff and then I’d sell it in one week.”

Through her new shop, Heyman is hoping to lower her own stress level-as well as that of would-be buyers.

With a freshly painted floor under their feet and less of a crowd clamoring for the hottest items, customers can browse a vast selection of handmade pieces-soaps, candles, paintings, dolls, Heyman’s wheat weavings, children’s themed book bags, wood-carved vintage cars and trucks, other wood crafts and furniture, stained-glass window hangings, silk floral arrangements, quilts, jewelry and Burns’s famous dulcimers made by Roger and Carolyn Koehn.

And Heyman is open to showcasing even more items at a good consignment rate, she said.

“I like to have something that has shown some expertise-and not necessarily made from a pattern,” she said. “Original is what I really like.

“And probably I don’t want to narrow it down to any certain (style) but have a mesh of everything that can be put together.”

Within the next month or so, Heyman plans to start several affordable, “bite-sized” classes at the shop as well.

“We’re going to have all kinds of workshops and classes-quilting and hopefully knitting, wheat weaving, anything that we can think that people might be interested in learning,” she said.

“I’d like to see local people be able to learn those kinds of things under circumstances where it doesn’t cost them very much.”

She hopes the Koehns will also be able to hold both formal and informal dulcimer-playing sessions at the shop.

“They like to do jam sessions and that sort of thing-catching people up on what they’ve forgotten about the dulcimer,” Heyman said.

“I’m just going to let it take whatever direction it wants to go on that-I think that we need to do whatever everybody wants.”

For now, the shop’s hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Heyman may be reached during these hours at 620-726-5200 and otherwise at 726-5543.

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