CraftSanity Podcast Episode 220: A conversation with Beryl Bartkus, founder of Ability Weavers, a Michigan weaving studio created to employ people with developmental disabilities

by jennifer
Ability Weavers founder, Beryl Bartkus looks on as her daughter, Erin, weaves a rug. Erin is one of about a dozen paid weavers who earn an income making rugs, bags, towels and other goods at the working studio and gift shop in Lowell, Michigan. (Photo by @CraftSanity)

As the mother of an adult child with autism, Beryl Bartkus wanted to create meaningful work for her daughter, Erin, and others with developmental disabilities.

Fast forward a little more than two years and Beryl is leading an established team of about a dozen working artists at Ability Weavers, the weaving studio and shop she and her husband, Eric, started in downtown Lowell, Michigan.

Ability Weavers employs developmentally disabled people and trains them to weave goods that are sold in the retail space located inside the front door of the shop. The profits create jobs for more weavers. (Photo by @CraftSanity)

Tune in to hear the story behind this inspirational shop where weavers are paid to make rugs, bags, towels and more. Visit the shop in person at 215 W. Main St. in Lowell, Michigan or shop online.

CraftSanity Host Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood purchased these lovely cotton towels at Ability Weavers in Lowell, Michigan over the summer. (Photo by @CraftSanity)

I hope this episode inspires us all to consider how we can use our handmade superpowers to address a need in our own communities and help enrich the lives of the people around us. Who can we help and how can we creatively do it? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo by @CraftSanity

P.S. Happy 2019! I hope you achieve every positive goal on your list! : )

Thanks to the podcast supporters
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