APPLETON (NBC26) — Located in downtown Appleton, Casting On's brick exterior can be deceiving. When you take a step inside, you're immediately greeted with a rainbow of hundreds of different types of yarn.
“We are really meeting people with cotton and wool and alpaca and silk," said Sara Rabideau, shop Owner. "The natural fibers.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Casting On to close shop during the summer, Rabideau was worried about the business.
"This is a textile hobby," she said. "People need to be able to feel what they’re doing.”
From Zoom classes to mystery bags and themed projects, Rabideau has had to come up with new ideas to get people interested in knitting.
“As things change and people’s habits change, we’ve had to kind of match them where they’re at," she said.
Since re-opening, the shop has implemented social distancing and mandatory hand-washing inside for all customers. The store has been popular with people of all ages, said Rabideau.
“The demographics of the Millennials and the Generation Z, they are the ones that are really really into personalizing their own things," she said. "The largest growing market of making their own clothing.”
Rabideau is planning on starting up in-person classes again next month for new knitters and crocheters who want to learn, those who want to enhance their skills and people who just enjoy the social aspect of it all.
“Those skills, because you’re using your left and right brain at the same time, you are actually calming yourself down," said Rabideau. "You're staving off any dementia, you’re really giving your brain that mental health awareness that is necessary, especially when we have so many things to worry about right now.”
Casting on is open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. They do private shopping and lessons upon request; you can call 920-915-2360 or email email@example.com.