Bundingen: Spreading the joy of creating
Text: Ingrid Opstad | Photos: Bundingen
B undingen is an old, northern Norwegian word for knitting, and as such, the perfect name for this cosy little shop in Tromsø. Here, you’ll find everything from yarn and knitting needles to crochet hooks, buttons and whatever else you might need to practise arts and crafts.
“Being allowed to pursue your hobby as a career – that is the dream,” says owner and knitting enthusiast Hege-Merete Benoni. After working in retail most of her life, she jumped at the chance when the opportunity of opening her own shop together with her husband arose. Today, Benoni helps young and old to discover or maintain their passion for knitting and craft, like she has done herself.
The crafts shop Bundingen has grown considerably since it opened in June 2010, and has become a real fairy-tale for Benoni. It is this passion for spreading the joy of creating that has made it a popular spot in town, located inside Jekta shopping centre in Tromsø city centre. “Everyone working here enjoys crafts. Creating new things and sharing them with others is at the heart of our mission,” she says – and she can see this joy of creating things has spread to her customers too. “They love to come in and have a chat and show their creations. You put so much love into the things you make yourself, and we see the pride in being able to wear something that you have knitted yourself.”
Bundingen is a place to find inspiration, and also a place for help and advice – a friendly and familiar meeting place for like-minded people. “When someone comes in with a sweater they have made, other customers are quick to gather around with praise. And if someone asks a question we don’t know the answer to, there are always helpful customers in the shop who do,” Benoni smiles.
In the last four years, after bringing in a supplier from Denmark called Knitting for Olive, with products aimed at new knitters and especially younger mothers, Benoni has noticed a change in the clientele. “Since last year, we have increased sales of these products by 300 per cent, so it really shows that the younger generation is growing fond of knitting,” she explains, adding: “We have plans for knitting cafe events and courses for people who want to learn more in the near future.”
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