Kate Hunter

Get creative with the co-owner of Needlework and Peggy the official shop dog!

By the Get Leashed Doggy Style team

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Sometimes, a business comes along that makes so much sense, you can’t help but want to be a part of it. Board game bars, a recent craze, is an example that comes to mind. Another favorite for us at Get Leashed? Cat Cafes. When one of these cool, niche, hangout spots open up, we immediately want to see what’s up. And that’s the same feeling we had when we walked into Needlework: a workspace and retail shop for creative individuals looking to sew or knit. Co-owners, Kate Hunter and Elizabeth Simpson have developed a gem of a storefront, with sewing machines, measuring tables, and all the amenities a crafty person could ever need.

Even for someone who’s never sewed before, when you step through the door of this funky space, it’s hard not to want to relive the glory of junior high Family Studies class and make a pair of boxer shorts. And Peggy, Kate’s adopted hound dog mix and Needlework’s official shop dog, is basically the icing on the cake. If there was ever one element to make a shop feel welcoming, it’s a sweetheart pup like Peggy greeting you at the door.

Here’s Kate to tell you more about getting crafty at Needlework, and why Peggy makes the perfect window display.

Tell us about yourself:

I am co-owner of Needlework, a fabric shop and creative workspace in downtown Hamilton, Ontario. We sell fabric, notions, independent sewing patterns, and books. We also teach sewing classes and offer a “sew by the hour” space for customers to use. It’s a really fun and inspiring job, with so much variety and room to be creative.

The best thing about what I do is interacting with customers! We have really awesome customers, so helping them choose fabric for a new project or teaching them new skills is exceptionally fun and rewarding.

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A bit about your pet:

My husband and I adopted Peggy 3 years ago. She’s also the official Needlework shop dog! We adopted her from a group that rescues dogs from high kill shelters in the States. All we know about her is that she’s from Ohio and around 4 years old. She’s probably a beagle mix, combined with some other hound breeds. And she is so great! She’s super chill 95% of the time, loves everyone (especially kids), and gets along with pretty much every dog she meets. She’s happy to sleep in if we do or run around all day–a very easy-going mutt indeed, which is great, because I’m also pretty laid back.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

A morning dog walk with Peg and my husband in the Dundas Valley Conservation area, followed by waffle brunch and lattes at The Cannon Coffee Co. A relaxing afternoon in the backyard with a crafty project and some reading material, then out for a big dinner at a Chinese restaurant with a whole bunch of pals.

Describe your personal style:

Classic, playful, comfortable. And I try to be somewhat stylish without being particularly trendy. Oh, and as much handmade clothing as possible.

What inspires you?

Lots of things inspire me! Definitely other creative business ladies who have the brains and guts to do what they want and do it successfully.

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How would you describe the look and feel of your shop?

A relaxing and warm space that welcomes and encourages customers to be totally at ease and creative.

A story about your pet:

One of my favorite things that Peggy does is sit in the window at Needlework. She loves to jump up there as the afternoon sun streams in, and just sit and watch the street. The best part is that she makes pretty much every person who walks by smile. That makes me super happy! And she hardly moves, so people often think she’s a statue. Her window lounging also elicits a ton of hilarious commentary, which people don’t seem to realize I can hear. Over the course of an afternoon, she’ll have had her picture snapped half a dozen times, at least 5 people will have commented on the fact that “that dog is real!!” and she will definitely entice some non-sewers to come into the shop. It’s great!