Letters to the Editor

Craft City breaks ground like Starbucks | Federal Way letters

In addition to making a significant contribution to the economic and financial universes, Starbucks magnate Howard Schulz said he was interested in creating a third place where people, coffee and ideas came together.

Conversations, of course, have always provided one of the most original and successful forums for ideas. So why not follow the example of one of our best?

Local crafters may have noted the recent coverage by Andy Hobbs and The Mirror of Craft City and Craft City Cafe (“Craft City caters to craft-minded folks in Federal Way,” May 20).

Other great minds, fellow entrepreneurs, businessmen, community activists, the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce and equally concerned citizens may not have yet noticed nor paid a personal visit to this quietly innovative and creative hotbed of change.

More distressing: some who may have visited, may have inadvertently overlooked while applying more traditional and conventional standards to this recent (winter 2010) newcomer to the area retail community. This is solely because the innovative and dare I say ground-breaking concept it seems to propose is merely unfamiliar.

Put on a different pair of glasses and revisit. Or head out on 356th Street to 21st Avenue SW and peruse this store for the first time. Why? Because there are still elements of the economy that appear to be floundering despite the efforts of many. In fact, some organizations look as if they are still flailing around in a mudslide or tsunami of such overwhelming size they can’t swim. Bereft of ideas, they continue to struggle.

What Craft City owner Coryn Morgenroth offers, along with more conventional classes, craft supplies, consignment opportunities and good company, is her own spin on the same idea of a third place that Schulz has so successfully pioneered in the world of coffee — witness The Mirror relating her offer for the store to host such community building events as guest speakers, local crafts and birthday parties.

Morgenroth took a gamble on faith from day one of opening her new business, supporting services to further enable a dream of building community, such as: available lockers for crafters to rent, a specially dedicated playroom for young children whose caregivers might not otherwise be able to enjoy extended minutes in a retail craft store, and comfy tables and chairs for crafting customers and their friends to hang out.

And while in the end, customers and the market will determine whether her courageous and creative leap will succeed or slip quietly away from the local economic playing field, I believe it’s the energy inherent in this kind of development that will truly enable both the city and our nation to navigate the inherent change that ultimately faces us all.

Mizu Sugimura, Federal Way

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