For the past 15 years, Lincoln County native Cindy Gates has actively participated in the scrapbooking community. However, over the past few months, she has worked on taking her crafty hobby to the next level. With the help of her husband, Robert, the couple opened Crafting and Cropping Retreat House.
According to Cindy, the idea for the retreat house came to her four years ago. She and her fellow scrapbook enthusiasts have traveled to several crafting retreat houses, both in and out of state.
“We’ve had this idea…of having this house of our own so that we don’t have to travel so far,” she said. “There aren’t that many around here. We saw the things we liked in certain places and the things we didn’t like, and kind of incorporated our own style to it.”
The couple saw their opportunity to bring Cindy’s dream to life when one of their Lincolnton rental properties opened last fall.
“We had this rental property come open in November, and we decided we were just going to go for it and see what we could do with it,” Cindy said. “We just tried to make it as homey as we could, because really, we want it to be your ‘home away from home’ while you’re there with friends scrapbooking, crafting or whatever you’re doing.”
According to the couple, the facility offers two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a fully furnished kitchen, a wraparound porch and a 400 square-foot crafting space. Four beds are located in each bedroom. A weekend rental from 9 a.m. Friday to 3 p.m. Sunday will cost a group of eight people $700.
“We wanted to keep it at a price point that was affordable, so if a group of eight people came in, it’d be less than $100 a person,” Robert said. “You can’t rent a facility or a motel for two or three days for that kind of money.”
The couple decided that day rates will be done on a case by case basis, depending on what the renter’s needs are and how long they want to stay as well as how much of the facility they want to use.
“Our goal is to make it very affordable for our local community and even those that might be traveling,” Cindy said.
While the space was primarily designed for crafting retreats, the couple is open to renting out the facility for other occasions.
“We’re looking at expanding it not only for the weekend rental, but during the week as well, to use if for classes, baby showers and wedding showers,” Cindy said.
“We felt like there was a need in the community for something other than a country club or a hotel room,” Robert said. “If there’s a small church that needed a place to meet on Wednesday nights — meetings or rehearsals, portrait studios, just wherever someone needs a large space with or without tables and with or without chairs. Our geographical location should bring in a lot of people from out of town, and there again, it’s an opportunity for us to introduce them to Lincoln County, Lincolnton and get some business for other local businesses.”
At this time, the couple plans to also offer a monthly card making and stamping class, instructed by one of Cindy’s fellow crafting friends.
“We’re looking for other people who are instructors too, say, someone who wants to do a quilting class or teach crocheting, we can have the facility available for them so they can hold their meetings there if they wanted to,” Robert said.
Several groups have already expressed interested in renting the house over the next few months, offering a promising start for this new business venture.
“I think it’s a place that my heart is poured into,” Cindy said. “It’s beautiful and just a place I feel comfortable, relaxed and can have a good time in. I want people to come and enjoy what I love and what my passion is.”
Those interested in learning more about the Crafting and Cropping Retreat House can visit its website at www.craftingandcropping.com or email email@example.com.