In 1972, my parents, Joan & Dick MacPherson, expanded their retail variety business in St. Marys, Ontario by stocking art & craft supplies. Soon afterward a separate store was established for the crafts supplies, hereafter known as MacPherson Arts & Crafts, which grew to over 8,000 square feet of retail space. For several years MacPherson Arts & Crafts was the largest craft supplies retail business in Canada. I worked in the store in the early years for seven years. To it’s credit MacPherson Arts & Crafts has weathered the onslaught of big box stores opening across Canada, the introduction of GST and various downturns in the economy in the past 27 years.
In 1989, I was re-hired as the marketing manager. I developed the mail order business and the art & craft classes as adjuncts to the main business. Since that time a mailing list in excess of 20,000 customers from every part of Canada has been developed and maintained. Meanwhile my husband, Brad Neufeld, worked as the business manager, taking care of
importing & exporting, payroll and related duties for six years.
After six years in this position we left and were instrumental in the start up of a regional country newspaper with a circulation of 25,000 farms in Southwestern Ontario.
In 1998 Joan & Dick MacPherson were debating closing MacPherson Arts & Crafts within a few years as they wanted to retire soon and had another retail business they needed to focus on.
In 1999, we decided to take over MacPherson Arts & Crafts as store manager’s rather than see it eventually close. We re-organized the retail store, re-started the art & craft classes and created a web site for the business. We decided to downsize the retail store & focus on knowing what they sell and running related classes to these products rather than having something of everything but unknowledgeable service. The motto for MacPherson Arts & Crafts is “For the Serious Crafter” & we have had the pleasure of meeting many talented artisans & crafters around the Country.
In the past few years we were focusing mainly on tole & decorative painting but since the closing of some trade shows and the slowing down of paint supply sales; at this point we have shifted our focus to a growing popular new art form called “Reborn or Newborn Doll Making”. We are the distributor for Doll Manufacturers namely Doll Kits International, Doll Dreams, Nicky Creation, The Cradle, and Secrist Doll Company.
We represent many well-known individual Artists around the world such as Laura Lee Eagles, Romie Strydom, Adrie Stoete, Tina Kewy, Gudrun Legler, amongst many other talented sculptors that manufacturer these realistic looking doll kits. These dolls are often mistaken for real babies and we run classes on how to create the reborn dolls on a regular basis right here in our studio and of course you can get almost any supplies from us you need to create a perfect baby! We still pride ourselves in carrying hard to find items such as chair caning, doll making, sculpting supplies, miniatures and much more. You can visit us at the store in St. Marys in person, on the internet or by telephone.
St. Marys is a beautiful historical town nestled in a valley along the Thames River….just 15 minutes from the famous Shakespearian Festival in Stratford Ontario, 20 minutes from the north edge of London Ontario and 1 1/2 hours from Toronto Ontario. There are many quality Bed & Breakfasts in St Marys as well as two popular Inn’s. One is the Stone Willow Inn and the other is the five star Westover Inn (where actor Christopher Plummer stays). We can arrange to book our Weekend Workshop Students at bed and breakfast places just a few blocks away from the store…believe us….you will want to come back! Riverside is a popular B&B only a block away from our store, be sure to check it out when traveling any distance for a course here.
Come visit MacPherson Arts & Crafts (NW corner of Queen and Water St) in St. Marys Ontario and enjoy a stay you will never forget!!