“I have a rule that I can’t take anything home unless I’m making something immediately,” said Tawnee Kinnebrew, owner of Wyldwood Creative, a popular fabric and craft shop in downtown Renton that just celebrated its three-year anniversary over the weekend.
Kinnebrew doesn’t just run the fabric shop — she’s a craftswoman herself.
“My mom was a very crafty person, so I’m always dabbling,” she said. “I really enjoy making clothes.”
During the first day of Wyldwood’s big anniversary sale, Kinnebrew is actually wearing a jacket she made herself as she cuts up fabric, helps customers pick out items and rings them up.
“I always wanted to own my own business,” she said. “I’ve always liked to make stuff and it came from teaching people how to make stuff.”
Wyldwood Creative isn’t just a fabric store. It’s also a place to learn and take classes from local instructors — everything from “Holiday Hand Lettering” to “Introduction to Knits” to learning how to dye your own fabrics. Wyldwood’s classes are a major part of what keeps the store thriving and staying a continued part of Renton’s downtown business community.
“The community part of this is what’s really been cool,” she said. “I was very adamant about being on 3rd Street and I actually waited to make sure I was able to be on this street.”
At Wyldwood, Kinnebrew has a total of seven employees, including a part-time worker who takes care of the store website and newsletter, a class coordinator and shop worker, someone who does the online orders, and four instructors who do two to three classes a week at the store, along with local artists.
The store opened October 2019, but had to close in March 2020 because of the pandemic. A silver lining showed through, however, because suddenly, locals needed somewhere to buy supplies for homemade masks.
“We had to really build the business around the classes and the online sales,” Kinnebrew said. “There was a weird boost in sales for fabric and elastic for masks, since nobody else had elastic.”
Originally from Utah, Kinnebrew studied business at Westminster College before moving to Washington state.
“It was the most risky thing I’ve done and it was totally worth it,” she said. “It is so hard to leave now to go visit family. This is our home now.”
Wyldwood Creative is located at 822 South 3rd Street in Renton. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For information on classes, visit WyldwoodCreative.com.