By Jordan Wolfe
Being attacked by a bear is what tore her red-and-black checkered flannel shirt, Kym Swift said.
“Oh, I’m just kidding! I thought that’d get you,” she responded after a beat, with a wide smile.
After 30 years in Talkeetna, Alaska, Swift has relocated her fabric art and textile shop to Garibaldi.
“I’m an artist with fabric issues,” she confesses.
According to Swift, her new shop, Swift Stitches, will be a place to purchase textiles, patterns, completed fabric art and special orders she creates.
“It’s creative. It releases things. It just consumes you in the best way.”
Swift said she has big hopes for an area in the back section of her shop for community projects.
“I’m hoping this becomes a fabric-oriented community space. Let’s say, we want to make the kindergartners a quilt; we can do that here.”
Swift Stitches has been open for almost two weeks, but Swift said she is a part of the Oregon Row by Row Experience, for people to come and get a free pattern for a row in a quilt.
Swift said she taught herself to sew and her career began after teaching another woman to give her a marketable skill.
“I was apart of an organization and this woman was always there in need. I tried to get her functioning by teaching her to sew and taking her to shows to help her earn money,” she said.
The original Swift Stitches was a studio located in Talkeetna for 21 years. Swift said it was the best retail location in the state.
“I left Alaska very, very, very unexpectedly and needed to start a business by summer,” she said.
After considering other states to relocate to, like Colorado, Swift ended up in Garibaldi.
“I get to live next door, it’s on the coast and right on 101. I like it here because it’s not a big town and I can still feel wild.”
Swift Stitches is located on the corner of Highway 101 North and 11th in Garibaldi, across from the Myrtlewood Factory and open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Tuesday, where Swift may only be open in the afternoon.
For more information, contact Kym Swift at 971-265-1090.