Business Q&A: Harriet Massey

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By Steve Doyle

In 1985, Harriet Massey left her job as a home economics teacher at Jefferson County middle schools and opened the Needle Nest in Shelbyville. The store, at 702 Washington Street, on Saturday had a day of celebration, with more than 100 people visiting the store. Massey is a 35-year resident of Shelbyville, and she and her husband have two sons and three grandchildren in California. She talked recently with The Sentinel-News about her shop.



THE SENTINEL-NEWS: Needle Nest has been around for a quarter century. Have you always been the owner? Where else has the store been located?

HARRIET MASSEY: Yes, for 25 years I have owned the Needle Nest. We began in the basement of Wills Reality for 12 years then moved behind Spices and More for 3 years. Moved up front of this building 10 years ago.


S-N: How would you describe what you do to someone who doesn't do needlework?

Massey: We are a full service needle work shop. By that I mean we furnish the person who loves to stitch the threads, fabric and pattern for a project. Also for the person who loves needlepoint we have hand painted canvases  from a variety of designers. Then we offer the service of finishing their project. We have a full custom framing service and finishing service for our customers.

We also have classes that teach new techniques, for the experienced stitcher as well as classes for the beginner. I also like to bring in guest teachers to teach their designs and specialties

We love to bring in what they call “trunk shows” from different designers, too. In fact we have three scheduled for August, September and October.


S-N: What form of needlework is most popular with your customers?

MASSEY: I believe counted cross stitch and needlepoint are equally popular in this area.


S-N: What pattern/designer has proved the most popular?

MASSEY: This is too hard to narrow down as everyone has their favorite or several favorites.

S-N: How many yards of fabric and thread do you think you have in the store?

MASSEY: We have a variety of fabrics for the cross stitcher and a large variety of threads from the basics to hand dyed cottons, silks and combinations etc. for both needlepoint and cross stitch.

S-N: What is the most unusual request you have had from a customer?

MASSEY: I can't really think of anything too unusual.

S-N: Some local residents say your building is haunted? Have you seen anything


MASSEY: Yes I've heard of this, but I have never seen or heard anything.