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The Merry Pin Gives Craft Enthusiasts a Place to Sip, Shop, and Get Creative

Bring on the stitching-themed happy hours.

The inside of Merry Pin, where craft supplies and café goodies are sold. Photograph courtesy of Merry Pin.

Since the pandemic, grandmotherly arts such as embroidery, crochet, and knitting have had a renaissance. Meanwhile, paper crafts and painting are popular too, especially among millennials and Gen Z. While there’s no shortage of chains like Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics, it can be hard to find local spots that not only sell supplies, but encourage crafters to gather and create. Enter the Merry Pin, which opened June 15 in Shepherd Park.

The cozy, two-level corner space—formerly a grocery store—is now decorated in pink, yellow, and blue. On the first floor, a coffee bar serves drinks and snacks like empanadas and ice cream sandwiches (cocktails, beer, and wine are coming soon). There’s also a shop stocked with cross-stitch kits, ribbon, sewing tools, yarn, how-to books, and more. In the future, the store hopes to cater to a whole slew of crafts, but currently, most of the store’s materials are ones used for felting, knitting and crochet, paper and leather crafts, and jewelry-making. One cool feature: a craft “upcycle” service. Donate preowned supplies like glue guns, paint, and  yarn, and the store will use them for free workshops, sell them at affordable prices, or put them in the free supply library.

Upstairs, there’s a space that hosts private parties, crafting workshops, monthly sip-and-stitch happy hours, and kid-friendly lessons. This month, the schedule includes a yarn swap (July 7), a Bridgerton-themed soirée with scones, cocktails, and card-making (July 5), and a clay workshop with a local scientific illustrator/clay artist (July 10). But it’s also there to give folks room to settle in, work on their hobbies, and hang out.

A workshop at the upstairs space inside Merry Pin. Photograph courtesy of Merry Pin.

The founders–Madeleine Odendahl, Michele Molotsky, and Megan Flynn–are all locals who have made careers out of helping small businesses operate. Flynn owns a local marketing agency, and Molotsky and Odendahl work for a nonprofit focused on community economic development. Their place, a year and a half in the making, got help from Kickstarter, where the trio raised $47,000.

And the name? It refers to an English idiom, “to be in merry pin.” Translation: “to be in good spirits.”

Merry Pin, at 7350 Georgia Ave., NW,  is open Tuesday and Wednesday from  2 to 8 PM; Thursday from 10 AM to 10 PM; Friday and Saturday from 10 AM to 9 PM; and Sunday from 9 AM to 7 PM.

Helen Huiskes
Editorial Fellow