Have you visited this amazing and unique shop in downtown Lancaster? Rabbit & Rocket is filled with exceptional merchandise and all the supplies you need for needle arts projects of every kind.
Shop owner Chris Shirer has a lifelong love of needle arts. As a child, she spent a great deal of time in her grandmother’s shop in Pittsburgh, The Thread Shed, where the two sat and stitched together. “This is sort of a thing for me,” Chris said. “I just really like doing this. It speaks to my heart.”
After traveling a lot during her career, she found a job in Columbus – and a home in Lancaster. Chris has lived in Lancaster for more than 25 years and considers herself to be a true Lancasterian. From her home, she watched the historic downtown grow and evolve to the point where she thought a needle arts shop would be a perfect fit.
“Lancaster is a maker town. We made glass here; we made shoes here; we made all kinds of things here. So, it’s in our DNA in Lancaster to be makers,” explains Chris. “Now, young people kind of equate “makers” with “crafts” and that’s great. We may focus on supplies, but we’re in it for the makers.”
But more than a needle arts shop, Chris wants folks to consider Rabbit & Rocket as a community gathering place. It’s the perfect place for people to go and just hang out. The shop is like a big, comfy living room where you could bring your project and a beverage and hang out with like-minded people. Chris can’t wait for Covid restrictions to be lifted, so lots of folks can start hanging out there again.
Chris is extremely community minded and has come up with inventive ways to give back to those who need a little help. For example, $5 from the sale of every Rabbit & Rocket baseball cap is given to a constantly evolving list of local charities. She also plans to begin turning skeins of yarn into more convenient cakes for her customers. That service will cost $3, and 100% of that will go to charity.
Recently, Chris has helped in another way. She volunteered to give cross stitch lessons and provide supplies to women who are in recovery here in town. “Cross stitch can help quiet the mind and really relax people. Stitching and needle arts are great for that sort of thing because of the repetitive nature of the movements.” Chris added, “It’s a great way to calm the brain, and I welcome the opportunity to contribute to bettering their mental health.”
Then there’s the question we all want the answer to: How did the shop get its name?
“I happen to really like rabbits. I always joke that I opened the shop just so I could display all my rabbits! And Rocket is my 14-pound Pomeranian who I just love, love, love!” gushed Chris. “I wanted the name to be unique and really stand out. The other day, a customer came in and said, ‘I kept hearing about this Rabbit place, and now I’ve finally found you!’ Whether they remember the rabbit part or the rocket part, they’re bound to remember such a unique name somehow.”
This is a shop worth visiting – and remembering. Call or visit their website to schedule one of their fun classes. Stop by to meet Chris, hang out and stitch, or check out the awesome supplies. And be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram to get all the latest news and neat videos. Get ready to fall in love with Rabbit & Rocket!