Red Thread closing up shop

Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Angelia Armstrong, owner of the Red Thread Studio, is being forced to close up shop after five years.

After five years in business, the Red Thread Studio is shutting down because of a combination of a devastating fire, leaky roof, insurance problems, poor economy and lack of financing.

Owner Angelia Armstrong opened the studio on West Washington Street in November 2005 to sell her own and others’ artwork, including homemade, one-of-a-kind clothing, hand-built toys, pottery and more. The studio hosted shows by regional artists, themed exhibits that were spread among other art venues in the area, and a space for Armstrong to work on her own pieces.

However, an August 2009 fire and the fallout from it caused the studio to be closed for the better part of a year. Armstrong finally reopened in May 2010 after making major repairs and installing new flooring.

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The final straw, however, came when the building’s roof — newly repaired after the fire — sprung dozens of leaks during a late-summer rainstorm this year.

“I thought, ‘What else can I do?’” Armstrong said. “I tried everything I could to get money for the financing.”

The new damage ruined some work in the studio and caused more damage to the building’s walls, ceiling and other fixtures, both new and old.

“We worked this whole year to try to get it back together, but financially it’s not profitable anymore,” Armstrong said. “It’s a combination of stuff.”

Though she says she’s saddened by the business’s closure, Armstrong says she doesn’t regret the last five years. She said she’ll miss meeting new people, but she still plans to participate in the local art community through events and selling her work online.

“Although we have lost the physical space, we will not lose all the great friends and mentors that we met in the last five years of business,” Armstrong wrote in an email to friends and community members. “We will continue our art work in other venues and hope to work with many of our creative friends around the area.”

Armstrong added she still is selling her work online at

“I’m still working on my stuff,” she said. “You just have to move on to other, new things.”