An example of huck toweling.
Nordic Needle is a craft supply store and wholesaler located in Fargo, ND (my hometown). During my Christmas visit home, I wrangled myself a store tour to share a look at the company and its interesting story with you all. Nordic Needle has been around for nearly 40 years:
…in 1975, three young ladies in their mid-twenties, working at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, thought there needed to be a little shop in Fargo that offered materials to do the Norwegian needlework called, Hardanger Embroidery. Taught by Marie Hanson on campus in a “women’s group”, Sue and Gayle learned from the pro and taught Roz as they learned. In the summer of 1975, Gayle and Sue opened a little shop [in] downtown Fargo…
For a comprehensive history of Nordic Needle, read this company profile. Growing up, I knew Nordic Needle as a place where my friend’s mom worked, and I’d go there sometimes with my own mom so she could buy the occasional embroidery supply. Nordic Needle’s building hasn’t changed from what I remember growing up, and the company still has the same logo, some of the same staff, and a really friendly, homey atmosphere.
Nordic Needle is huge, and their inventory boggles the mind. They have 12,000 kinds of floss, and another 8,000+ items like kits, scissors, canvas, and tons of other notions. Nordic Needle has 21 full time and three part time people on staff. They hold many embroidery design contests, clubs and an annual retreat in sunny Fargo. The company’s shipping business, both catalog and now internet-based, is significant. During my store tour, I learned that they ship to a lot of stores and individuals in the high plains states and Canada, but surprisingly, they do a big business in Asia as well. Particularly, Nordic Needle has many orders from Japan and South Korea, but almost none in Scandinavia. I guess that makes sense though – the supplies they sell are more readily available in Europe than North America or Asia.
PS: If you want to buy something from NN, check out their website.
one of multiple floss walls
some of their canvas, available by the yard
kits, books, patterns, etc.
Like I said at the top of this post, Nordic Needle is full of tons of embroidery supplies particularly geared toward the Scandinavian embroidery technique hardanger embroidery. In addition to all of the supplies, patterns, kits and accessories Nordic Needle’s shelves are full of examples of things you can make with their supplies. You could easily spend days on end in their store and not see all there is to see.
What do they do with all those samples? When a kit or design pattern is discontinued, you can purchase the sample piece from the store’s display wall for a gift:
Please note that I visited Nordic Needle of my own accord since it’s in my hometown and fascinating, I think, to you readers. Full disclosure, I grew up on the same block as one of their employees (who has worked there 28 years now), and my aunt graduated from high school with one of Nordic Needle’s co-founders. Fargo, ND may not be the smallest town in the world, but it’s just small enough that you’re always discovering new small world connections to people and places. :)