Linda Mendenhall: Forging a needlepoint community
If it’s Friday, that means time for a stitch-in. Struggling with a needle point canvas? Get one-on-one help Monday-Thursday. Ready to tackle a large canvas? Well, there are special classes for that, too.
Such is the vibrancy of Old World Designs in downtown Menlo Park. “We’re very event oriented,” says shop owner Linda Mendenhall. “We think energy begets energy. And when there are people in the store and they’re sitting at a table and they’re learning something and there’s a lot of buzz – that’s my favorite thing.”
The store stocks a wide assortment of hand-painted needlepoint canvases and threads in a multitude of fibers. If you’re short on time or stuck, you can get a customized stitch guide.
Mendenhall opened the Santa Cruz Avenue location in 2002 after 11 years at the Allied Arts. “I think Allied Arts was a kinder, gentler way of doing business,” she says. “It was great for a new business owner like myself. With the move to downtown, I get more incoming traffic and it feels a little more like a ‘real business.’ But I think my years at Allied Arts prepared me for this – so that was good.”
Mendenhall’s biggest event of the year is her Halloween party, which coincides with the parade downtown. “We dress up in costume, provide candy and serve lunch to our students – it’s a lot of fun.”
One upcoming event is the Walkin’ the Dog Trunk Show featuring leashes, collars and purses to be held April 16 to May 1. The shop will make a 10% donation on all canvases from the trunk to the Peninsula Humane Society for the Hope Program.
Photo by Chris Gulker