Small town Indiana business attracts crafters
TWELVE MILE, Ind. — The ladies sat at their respective work spaces, huddled over tabletops strewn with photos and scrapbook adornments.
They were surrounded by containers and bags filled with supplies and tools. Along both ends of the room participants cut, glued and laughed. Groceries covered the kitchen counters, and windows framed a second-story view of downtown Twelve Mile.
The group of friends, all from the Fort Wayne area, travels there a couple of times a year to spend a long weekend decoratively preserving their memories while creating new ones in the process.
Kathy’s Kaptured Moments has been capturing moments like these for the past several years. Owner Kathy Buczkowski opened the business in fall 2013. Her parents own the building next door and bought the one that houses the craft retreat space in 2012.
Buczkowski said the property was built around 1910 and throughout its history housed a dance hall and then a cabinet shop. She recalled with a laugh her and her parents’ desire to tear it down during their first walk-through. Part of the roof was missing. There was water and fire damage.
“And then we started dreaming and, I don’t know, we just started seeing visions of what it could be,” Buczkowski said.
Before starting her business, Buczkowski had been scrapbooking for several years and used to do so at a craft retreat in La Porte until it closed. She said it was part of her inspiration to create Kathy’s Kaptured Moments.
But she hadn’t planned on starting until after her children were grown.
“Then my mom bought this building; she says, ‘We’re going to do it now!’ ” Buczkowski recalled with a laugh. “It’s turned into my college fund now instead.”
Along with the properties they own, Buczkowski’s parents also own a local veterinary clinic.
“Their dream is to keep this town alive,” she said.
After getting the property, the family brainstormed ways they could use it to draw visitors to Twelve Mile.
“This was kind of a neat way to get people to come into our little town,” Buczkowski said.
They gave it two bedrooms that sleep a total of 10, two bathrooms with sink bowls that rest atop old sewing machines, a kitchen and a large work space in the center that’s perfect for crafting.
“It’s a really calming atmosphere,” Buczkowski said. “I think it’s very peaceful. It is mellow and it’s a great place to just hang out with your friends and catch up.”
Along with scrapbookers, Buczkowski said Kathy’s Kaptured Moments hosts retreats for quilters, embroiderers and even Bible studies. Groups from as far as Chicago and Bloomington have traveled to the small Cass County town to get away for crafting and companionship.
Buczkowski said her business averages about two retreats a month. Fall and spring are her busiest, she continued, adding every weekend is usually booked through September, October and November.
She admitted she was nervous when she opened, thinking people wouldn’t want to come to tiny Twelve Mile, but she’s been pleasantly surprised with the response. Visiting crafters will often check out what else the area has to offer, she said, like community breakfasts and the nearby McClure’s Orchard/Winery.
Lynn Antisdel, of Fort Wayne, was at Kathy’s Kap- tured Moments one recent weekend. She indicated all of the digital mediums available for cataloging photographs are of little interest to her and her friends.
“You don’t get to do all this,” she said, gesturing toward the photographs and scrapbooking supplies before her.
Across the room, Sonja Winebrenner, of Auburn, used a machine called a Cricut to cut out small pieces of paper in the shapes of swim trunks and a camper. She was working on a scrapbook of photos depicting her son’s MakeA-Wish trip to San Diego.
Scrapbooking retreats allow her to take part in a pastime that life’s responsibilities often keep her from at home.
“It gives you the opportunity to be focused and to spend time with friends and reconnect with those friends,” Winebrenner said as her Cricut hummed.
Cindy Shepherd, of Huntertown, was on the other side of the room working on a scrapbook of a recent family trip to Baltimore, where her daughter lives. Shepherd echoed Winebrenner on why she enjoys craft retreats.
“I can just focus on nothing but scrapbooking for four days,” she said.
Julie Brown, of Ossian, and Dawn Kleber, of Fort Wayne, worked away in a corner on scrapbooks of their own. Brown’s was of a family vacation to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, while Kleber’s was of her daughter’s softball memories.
Both said they enjoy the collaborative dynamic retreats provide. The ladies and their friends often bounce ideas off each other and share tools.
Kleber said all one has to say is they don’t have a certain kind of paper.
“And you’ll get everybody flipping around,” she added.