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Find Another Hobby

Alternative crafting for the conceptually thoughtful
Sarah Mortimer, 6:00pm, Tue. Jul. 1
Austin is one giant Etsy, stitchy, Pinterest board for the terminally bored/creative. Trouble is, kitsch palace Hobby Lobby has long-been the go-to place for the eternally crafty, despite the right-wingery for which it is known and about which so many locals (read: liberal) have bemoaned, even prior to this troubling case. What's an Austin crafter to do?

We found our answer on the newsfeed of a local artsy type and friend, Fabricker.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court appeased the religious right and pissed off a lot of women and the people who love them in the much-anticipated Hobby Lobby ruling. In a 5-4 vote, the court ruled that closely held corporations (like the famed arts-and-crafts chain) cannot be required to provide contraception coverage for employees when it interferes with the religious beliefs of business owners.

The lawsuit was brought forth by Hobby Lobby and a small Mennonite-run business called Conestoga Wood Specialties – who claimed that the Affordable Care Act interfered with religious freedoms by requiring businesses to provide preventative care like birth control for female employers.

While the decision marks a seriously sad day for women, local crafters may take comfort knowing that the knitting and glittering may continue with fewer moral qualms and with just a little effort. Yesterday, former owner of the indie fabric store, Fabricker, April Kling-Meyer, upon learning of the morning's ruling, compiled a list on Facebook of local craft supply alternatives.

“We have other options besides big corporations,” she said. “When I saw that ruling, I thought of the all the women who feel like they don’t have options that align with their political beliefs.”

Kings says that her post has received over 60 shares on Facebook – including reposts by out-of-staters in Washington and Tennessee. She hopes the movement spreads nationwide.

“We’ve got to show people with our money, because that’s what talks. You shop with your dollars, and you vote with your dollars.”

We plumbed Kling-Meyer's local picks and the comments section of her thread, then solicited some ideas from some other crafty pals and scoured the web, added some ideas of our own, and somewhat organized it all into links for your convenience. Disclaimer: We cannot vouch for the politics or policies of any of these entities. This list is to simply get you started thinking of alternatives. Sure, scurrying around town trying to find your new go-to craft emporium is not as easy as walking into a one-stop mega-mart. But should you wish to shop with your conscience, here's a list to get you started.

GENERAL, CHAINS
Michael's
Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store
Garden Ridge
Jerry's Artarama
Art Store at UT Co-op
Hobby Town USA
And don't forget dollar stores and thrift stores…

LOCAL BRIC-A-BRAC, and TICKY-TACKY
Craft Austin
Julia’s Crafts and Party Store
Austin Creative Reuse
Habitat for Humanity RE-Store

WEARABLE/FABRIC
Fashion Outlet
Austin Fabric Co-op
The Needleworks
The WonderCraft
Coco Coquette
Stitch Lab Sewing Studio
The Cloth Pocket
Gauge Knits
Hill Country Weavers

WEARABLE/JEWLERY
Sea of Beads
Legendary Beads
Nature's Treasures Texas
Bead It Austin
Nomadic Notions

FRAMES
FastFrame
Contessa Art Gallery and Framing

PAPER/ART/PARTY SUPPLIES, EDIBLES
Miller Blueprint
Asel Art Supply
Cakes: All in One Make it Sweet
Paper Place

HOBBYIST NERDLANDS
King's Hobby
Dragon's Lair
Great Hall Games

As the Supreme Court packs up after another controversial session, the consequences of this ruling for reproductive rights, and for Hobby Lobby, are still up in the air. For more suggestions or to add your own, leave a comment, and keep up with what's going on by clicking here for Kling-Meyer’s original Fabricker post.

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