Wabash Entrepreneur Investing in Downtown Artistry

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(Image during the construction process courtesy of Wabash Woollen Works) (Image during the construction process courtesy of Wabash Woollen Works)

The city of Wabash is partnering with a local entrepreneur to open a new textile arts project in an 1850s-era building downtown. Wabash Woollen Works LLC founder Lisa Gilman says the facility will serve as a space for textile education, community outreach and will include a focus on the cultural side of textile arts. Nearly $1 million is slated to be invested to renovate the former Brown Trucking site and purchase equipment.

Gilman says the space will also have a small retail component. "The scope of work for this facility is quite diverse. This is not just a retail establishment, if anything that will be the smallest focus," she told Inside INdiana Business. "We would like to see events here which may include: educational seminars, fiber dye workshops, plant identification seminars, symposiums on specific arts focuses."

Gilman adds she wants Wabash Woollen Works to be more than just a fiber arts works, because those exist all around the world. She says the goal is to create a space that will offer a variety of activities around a specific subject -- for example, dyes found in nature versus those grown in gardens -- and develop opportunities for learning.

"I think it is important that we educate the young about fiber arts and other fiber talents," Gilman said. "There was a time not too long ago in Warsaw where fiber arts was part of the curriculum in the local schools. Boys and girls were learning how to knit and weave! If we don't offer these types of educational activities, how will we encourage their application in the future?"

Wabash Woollen Works is expected to begin operations in October and open to the public in December.

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