There are businesses in Denver that inspire us and provide us with great tools to do creative and crafty things. We think the very best business for these kinds of tools is the fantastic Fancy Tiger Crafts! We're very fortunate that Fancy Tiger is one of the Horseshoe's great sponsors!!
Grab your coffee and enjoy this lovely interview with owner, Jaime Jennings.
HS (Horseshoe Market): Can you start by telling us how and when Fancy Tiger Crafts got its start?
FT (Fancy Tiger): My partner, Matthew Brown and I opened Fancy Tiger in 2006 as two ideas under one roof. One half of the store sold men’s and women’s clothing from independent designers and the other half sold craft supplies for sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery and felting. In January of 2008, we expanded into a second store so each original idea is now housed in its own location. Also in 2008, I was joined by Amber Corcoran who co-owns Fancy Tiger Crafts with me now.
HS: Where did the name, "Fancy Tiger" come from?
FT: Fancy Tiger was originally the name that Matthew recorded music under and when we opened, we just felt like it was a great name because it could be anything. If we decide to open a coffeehouse one day we can just call it “Fancy Tiger Coffee”
HS: You recently celebrated your 4th anniversary in business. What’s been one the greatest moments/accomplishments for Fancy Tiger Crafts?
FT: Well, the best thing is meeting so many amazing and inspiring crafty people everyday. We are really proud of our yearly craft fair that we put on, Holiday Handmade. We were also excited to be written up in the New York Times, Sunset magazine and Readymade magazine.
HS: Can you tell us about some of the classes and workshops you offer?
FT: We’ve been offering a free, Open Craft Night every Tuesday night from 6 – 9pm since the first week we opened. This is a super fun social gathering where everyone just brings their own portable lap craft and we hang out and craft together. We also offer classes in sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, felting, spinning, and dyeing. This year we introduced our Lost Crafts Series where we have a class every season that features a craft we consider to be “endangered” such as Naalbinding and Tatting. Our most popular class is our Sewing 101 and we estimate that we have taught over 1,400 people to sew since opening in 2006! We have over 30 classes on the schedule right now which is more than ever so classes are definitely an important part of what we do. We also offer Summer Craft Camp and After School Stitch Club for kids.
HS: What’s in store for Fancy Tiger in the coming months? In the coming year?
FT: Right now we are very excited to be planning our yearly craft fair, Holiday Handmade, which will happen December 3rd and 4th this year. Holiday Handmade features the work of over 60 local emerging and established handcrafters. Amber and I are also going on a knitting tour of Iceland later this month with one of our favorite knitwear designers, Ysolda Teague. We will be making Icelandic Lopi sweaters while we journey across the country and we can hardly wait to experience Iceland’s amazing knitting traditions. We are also excited that we will soon be carrying Liberty of London fabrics. We’ve wanted to carry these since we opened and have finally secured them so they will be available right here in Denver CO!
HS: What are some of your must-have handmaking/crafting resources?
FT: We mostly get inspired by blogs and seeing what people who shop at our store are making. Ravelry.com is a must if you knit or crochet. We also love the blogs Film in the Fridge, Anna Maria Horner, Brooklyn Tweed and of course, Ysolda Original Patterns.
HS: Favorite spots to craft in Denver?
FT: Our favorite coffeeshops, parks and of course, Open Craft Night!! Amber and I are there hosting every Tuesday night!
HS: Favorite place to eat?
FT: Potager, Fruition, Root Down and our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm parties. We both belong to a CSA from Pastures of Plenty farm and their farm parties are the best meals of all time!
HS: Best coffee?
FT: How did you know we love coffee?! Matthew and my first business was a coffeehouse so it is a passion of mine! Here is my opinion of the best lattes in Denver: Metropolis, Aviano, Crema, City o City, and Novo.
Thanks so much, Jaime! For a list of Fancy Tiger classes, go here. Also, don't miss their Amy Butler Trunk Show on October 1st and the Holiday Handmade show on December 3rd and 4th. Also, check out the Fancy Tiger Blog and Facebook page for more fun, crafty happenings!