I've come across two sites that have raised the question in my mind: Have men taken over needlepoint? And perhaps an even more provocative question... Do they have a better sense of how to turn needlepoint into a successful business?
The first site - Smathers & Branson, has a very lovely story. You can read about these guys and how their company came to be: HERE. Smathers & Branson began with a girlfriend's needlepoint belt gift. Eventually these guys actually learned how to needlepoint (although they needed to eventually find their needlepointing staff in Vietnam).
I know it's wrong to judge a person by his/her appearance, but honestly, if you had to guess, wouldn't you say they were young financial advisors from Wall Street? And, perhaps in a way, they are, because their story tells of how they wanted to find a way to turn their handmade needlepoint belts into a thriving business.
While there are many women who have become successful needlepoint business owners, how many are willing to state, right there in town square, that they want their business to bring in a booming income. How many of us still need to apologize for our desire to exchange our art for dollars?
The next company site, Needlepaint, is owned by Seth Berman. At first glance I thought that perhaps it was an extension of one of the big craft stores such as Michael's. But what really made me think about the site more seriously was the blog, which seems quite informative with tips and how to's that discuss needlepointing in a serious way. I was not expecting that.
Their website is smooth, easy to navigate, and does not apologize for exchanging money for a needlepoint kit.
Am I stereotyping? Perhaps. But I do believe women in the business of needlepoint need to aim at making a good income, a profit. Success in business along with a love for needlepoint is what will make this artform thrive. It's a win - win.