The Weaving Works, a fiber arts store that was a fixture in the University District for four decades before moving three years ago to its current Roosevelt neighborhood location, will be closing at the end of July.

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The Weaving Works, a fiber arts store that was a fixture in the University District for four decades before moving three years ago to its current Roosevelt neighborhood location, will be closing at the end of July.

“We simply do not make enough in sales and class fees to be able to continue operating a brick-and-mortar store,” the store’s owner and staff members wrote in an announcement on its website.

The store, founded in 1974 by owner and professional weaver Marcy Johnson, offers supplies used for knitting, crocheting, felting, weaving, spinning, dyeing, and other fiber arts. It also offers classes.

“Seattle is no longer an environment where our business model works,” the store said in a news release. “The aggregate effect of rising costs of doing business, consumer purchasing shifts, less accessibility for out-of-Seattle patrons, and the inability to support skilled employees financially has just been too much for our business to overcome.”

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The release continued: “Weighing heavy on our hearts is the knowledge that it is neither fair nor sustainable to continue to expect our employees to sacrifice their ability to secure stable futures for themselves and their families by keeping our retail storefront open.”

Store employees are making roughly minimum wage, said Jessica Owens, store manager. It’s hard to maintain a knowledgeable staff when minimum wage doesn’t equate to a living wage in a city like Seattle, she added.

For every dollar increase in the minimum wage, it takes one day’s worth of sales to make up that monthly difference in payroll costs, Owens said. Yet, the minimum wage still isn’t enough for employees to live on.

The store employs three full-time and one part-time staffer, down from more than 20 seven years ago, Owens said.

The store had also previously had parking lots but when it moved to its Roosevelt location, it couldn’t find a parking lot that it could afford — another hit for a store that draws customers from well outside the Seattle area.

In addition to its bricks-and-mortar store, Weaving Works has sold online for years. It’s possible the store could continue as an online-only venture, though that depends on where key staff members end up and if they’re willing to try that, she said.

Historically, “We’re a go-to place for in-person help and consultation,” Owens said. “And that’s just not sustainable any more.”

The last day of retail operations for the store will be July 29, although classes will continue through the end of August. Shorter hours will be in effect starting June 21.

“We’re trying to be upbeat and handle this as gracefully as we possibly can. Basically, we’re all looking for work at this point too while we’re trying to do right by our customers,” Owens said.

She said Weaving Works is being vocal about its challenges in the hope that might “open people’s eyes about how their dollars count and in which ways,” she said. “And that people who do work in small businsesses like this are doing it out of a great deal of love.”