Business

Home Ec. Workshop makes classes a big part of the business

Shop offers projects for kids, adults

Students in a sewing class choose zippers for their project at Home Ec Workshop in Iowa City on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Students in a sewing class choose zippers for their project at Home Ec Workshop in Iowa City on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — When Codi Josephson was young, she couldn’t get her hands on enough craft supplies.

 

“As a kid, I loved getting new pens and school supplies,” she said. “Once, my mom signed me up for a class at a craft store her friend owned and it was just so much fun.”

Now, Josephson is hoping to make the same kind of memories for children — and children at heart — through her craft supply store Home Ec. Workshop in Iowa City.

“I just love to make things,” Josephson said. “It hasn’t ever mattered what I was making, as long as I was making something.””

Josephson’s customers likely feel the same way and are grateful she channeled her creative passion into a store where others could pursue theirs.

Classes, she said, “are such a big part of our business. It’s really fun to meet people that way. And it makes my job so different every day and I just love that.”

This week Josephson spent her time wrapping up the children’s summer camp season, helping students ages 8 and up make their own backpacks.

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Home Ec. Workshop also has hosted a children’s quilting camp, an introduction to sewing camp and a print-dye-sew camp where students printed their own fabric and then created a project with it.

Home Ec. also has adult classes.

“Participants do four projects and learn to thread their sewing machine and cut and sew fabric,” Josephson said.

“I decide which classes to host based on new patterns that come out and things that I want to make,” she laughed.

Knitting and embroidery classes are offered seasonally as well.

The store first opened 10 years ago, but Home Ec. moved last April to just a few blocks from downtown Iowa City — and about a five-minute walk from the previous location.

“I just love this house,” Josephson said. “I drove by and saw the ‘for rent’ sign. I investigated a little and as soon as I walked in I just loved it. It’s very homey. It has big windows and this great front porch.”

 

The new location is just a five-minute walk from the old location, but being just a little outside of downtown Josephson said it’s a bit quieter. “Plus we have parking in back which is awesome. This was a change I felt we needed and it’s been really great. Even after ten years we still have people that walk in every week that either say ‘I didn’t know you existed’ or they have heard of us but never come in.”

Home Ec. also sells craft supplies, including fabric and yarn.

“We are a small shop, but we try to have a really good selection,” Josephson said.

“We carry Japanese fabrics and apparel fabrics and quilting fabrics. We also carry fabrics by local designers,” she said.

“We try to focus on carrying things that you might not find other places.”

Josephson also sources a lot of natural fiber yarns and yarns dyed by small, independent businesses. “I love picking out fabrics and finding new yarns to carry.”

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The store continues to be a community gathering spot. “We wanted a place where people could gather and work on projects together,” she said, noting that even after ten years of being in business some of their original customers come in on Saturday mornings for knitting meet ups. “We wanted a space for people and that has happened and it means so much.”

l Know a business in operation for more than a year that would make for an intriguing “My Biz”? Contact michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com.

 

At a Glance

l Owner: Codi Josephson

l Business: Home Ec. Workshop

l Address: 424 E. Jefferson St., Iowa City

l Phone: (319) 337-4775

l Website: homeecworkshop.com

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