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Owner of Needle In A Haystack plans to retire

Needle in a Haystack owner Jody Budman

Needle in a Haystack owner Jody Budman is seen at the store location on Honolulu Avenue in Montrose on Friday. Budman,who is retiring after 17 years of owning the store, wants to find a buyer instead of closing it completely. The store has been in business since 1973.

(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

After working at Needle In A Haystack for nearly three decades, Jody Budman recently announced she will retire, but before she goes, she said she hopes she finds a new owner for the store, which has been in Montrose for 43 years.

The third owner of Needle In A Haystack, Budman took over the shop about 17 years ago from its second owner, Lisa Moreland.

The store’s first operator was Mickey Eichenhofer, who opened it in 1973 on Verdugo Road and later moved it to its current location on Honolulu Avenue.

Over the years, Budman has seen knitting and needlework trends come and go. She’s also watched friendships develop among the women and few men who have worked together on projects.

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“That’s the important thing, is the friendships you form,” she said.

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She said she’s happy to have been able to guide her clients through their creative projects, which are often very personal.

“People put their heart and soul into these things that they make. They hope that when they give them away that they’re appreciated by other people,” she said.

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About eight or nine years ago, her shop weathered “the knitting boom,” she said, a phase that went on for several years during which customers couldn’t get enough of her yarn.

The boom was spurred by yarn companies that began to produce hand-dyed yarn in varied textures and colors that customers found so irresistible that they became demanding.

“It was crazy. It was absolutely crazy,” she said. “At that point, I was like, I don’t know how to handle this.People were knocking on the door after I locked it and going, ‘Where’s my yarn?’”

Budman also ran the shop when wool thread was typically used for needlepoint projects, but now the shop carries silk, over-dyed cotton and shiny metallic threads that are part of why needlepoint projects are more three-dimensional now, she said.

Budman recently let her employees and customers know that she is retiring, so they can finish any projects or purchase supplies before Christmas.

“I wanted to give people time,” she said, adding that some have taken it hard.

“I feel like I’m letting people down, but you know, I have to have a life, too,” she said.

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Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

Twitter: @kellymcorrigan


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