With the winter in full swing, knit socks, colourful booties and intricately knit sweaters are in full demand in the heart of Port Credit. It is no coincidence, then, that Linda Benne of Linda’s Craftique is celebrating 35 years at her shop.
Growing up with a passion for knitting inherited from her mother, Linda fostered her love for the hobby but had never envisioned turning it into a career. However, her enrollment in a small business course coupled with a newly obtained vendors permit led her to an unexpected venture. The idea spurred during a trip to a wholesaler, and the plan, as they say, quickly unraveled. “My mother jokingly had said ‘let’s open a store together,’” says Linda. “Seven weeks later, we opened… 35 years later, I’m still here.”
Over the years, the Craftique has become a beacon for fiber-lovers, both near and far. With loyal customers in places as far as Australia, Linda ensures all customers are well accommodated, and provides worldwide shipping for her fellow knitters. This devotion has given the shop an advantage over big-box stores, supported by its selection of luxurious natural fibers, rich colours, and attention to fine quality. A self-proclaimed “fiber snob,” Linda has become known for carrying exquisite hand-dyed yarns from Nova Scotia, not only supplying valuable product for her customers, but further supporting Canadian businesses.
Linda maintains her eye for knits and has provided her customers with more space to choose from a variety of fibers, and a place to enjoy the company of good friends. Hosting monthly knitting nights, patrons of the Craftique are able to learn from each other, indulge in some take-out, and revel in a good conversation. Organizing additional sessions for customers interested in learning new techniques, working with unfamiliar materials, and expanding their knitting portfolios, Linda takes pride in her customers and works to satisfy their appetite for knitting.
While much has changed in terms of fibers and yarns in the past 35 years, now made from materials such as sugar cane, bamboo, and even possum, one thing has stayed the same: Linda’s passion to knit. “I just love the process,” says Linda. “It doesn’t matter what I’m knitting…I never get sick of it.”
When asked to offer a piece of advice to young business professionals, Linda simply said: “Have patience, tenacity, and the willingness to learn from other people.” Whether you adore the comfort of knitting, want to learn something new, or enjoy the company of people who share their passions, Linda’s Craftique welcomes you.