Aurora Shoe Co.

Meet the Neighbors: Craftstitute

At the Aurora Shoe Company, we passionately support small business and handmade and local goods. As a visitor of our blog, we thought that you might feel the same way. In our Meet the Neighbors series we're featuring businesses and people who reflect our own values and whom we feel lucky to call neighbors and friends.

I walked into Craftstitute in Ithaca knowing that I'd like it.  The craft school, which opened its doors exactly one year ago, offers a huge range of classes and workshops, ranging from edible things like cheese and coffee, to slightly more obscure crafts like indigo fermentation and a meditative line drawing class, appropriately named Zentangle.  Of course, there's lots of sewing, knitting, dying and various other making in between.   It's the kind of place where people of all levels and abilities can come together to enjoy shared passions or to learn new ones.  Some of the workshops progress over multiple sessions, and others are in and out, with a piece of your own handiwork to walk out the door with. 

Craftstitute aims to bring people together to create community around creative pursuits, but also to work at re-building a sense of self-sufficiency that our culture has grown away from.  The sewing machines at Craftstitute are named after beloved grandmothers, a touch that seems quaint and sweet, but also ironic and empowering.  If grandma didn't have to rely on countries half way across the world to clothe or feed her, maybe we don't have to either.  

Robin, who calls herself one of the Co-Ringleaders showed me around during drop-in crafting time (which is free) and chatted while she worked on some knitting along with her own small business venture, MiMBY (short for Made in My Back Yard).  The bags are made from fabric that she often dyes or block prints herself, along with full grain leather straps made from our own scrap leather.  She offers classes, teaching people how to make these bags, and also offers them for sale on her Etsy site.  

Robin Tilling

Every sewing machine at Craftstitute is named after a beloved grandmother. 

Craftstitute, Ithaca, NY craft school

MiMBY (Made in My Back Yard)



Craftstitute, Ithaca, NY

MiMBY Made in My Back Yard

Aurora Shoe Co. Handmade Leather Shoes

Craftstitute, Ithaca NY handmade


craft school, knit

Robin Tilling, MiMBY

Indigo Dye

Indigo dye

Indigo dye

Craft School Robin Tilling

Thank you, Robin, and everyone at Craftstitute, for recognizing the value of handcraft, and for bringing this fabulous school to our community!  

You can keep up with class and workshop offerings by following the link above and by joining the Craftstitute Facebook and Instagram pages.