CHICAGO — Kamaca Champion’s dream of opening a yarn store on the South Side sat on a shelf for 15 years.
“I kept it on a bookshelf, in my room,” Champion says in the latest “It’s All Good” podcast episode. “There was a part of me that held on to that dream, and there was a part of me that thought this isn’t going to happen so just keep knitting.”
After raising five kids and saving money, Champion’s dream finally came true. Her shop, Miss Purl at 1824 W. 95th St., opened in September.
“I want to build community,” Champion said. “I want to help build and sustain community through personal expression. I want to help people be whole and appreciate their assets. My mission is to create a South Side place where you can craft with every fiber of your being.”
Champion comes from a crafty family. Her great-aunt “made quilts for every child that was born.” Relatives often would gift each other handmade blankets and hats. Her aunt taught her how to make latch hook rugs and embroideries in the halls of her home — four blocks away from where Miss Purl’s is now.
“Crafting has become very in vogue, but it is a part of the heritage and birthright of people of color,” Champion said. “Those are the things that people of color did in the community. It wasn’t just a frivolous activity; it was also a way to express love.”
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