Weaverville’s 5 Little Monkeys Quilt & Sew, owned by Angela and DJ Lamoree, has been chosen as one of the top ten shops in the US to be featured in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Quilt Sampler magazine, published by Better Homes & Gardens. Nearly 3,000 quilt shops were eligible based on their history, business promotions, charitable work, teaching schedules and design philosophies.
“This recognition is a huge honor,” says Angela Lamoree. “While I am saddened that the May release of the magazine turned out to be poor timing, I hope that we can celebrate and meet lots of new people soon because of it.”
Though many shops apply annually to appear in the magazine, Lamoree was contacted by Quilt Sampler in 2019 and asked if she would like to apply. 5 Little Monkeys Quilt & Sew was selected along with Lamoree’s original quilt design featuring fabric by Tula Pink of FreeSpirit Fabrics. Quilt Sampler readers will find instructions for the quilt along with a multi-page profile of the company.
5 Little Monkeys’ plans for a combination reveal/third anniversary party are on hold due to the pandemic. The shop shifted services to online and phone purchases March 18 to be proactive in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Since that time, the business has had many challenges, but the entire family pitched in to keep the store running.
“Three of our five kids worked at the shop on a fairly regular basis even before the pandemic,” says Lamoree. “People love to come in and see the kids; our daughter Isabel, in particular, is very popular with our regulars.”
Lamoree attributes the shop’s success in part to the fact that patrons are welcomed as part of the family to a space in which they can feel confident and learn to create what they want. The shop also focuses on curating a collection of unique fabrics. Classes offered reflect the need to obtain the education to make what one wants rather than simply providing instructions for completing a specific project.
“I find people all the time that simply lack the confidence to start,” says Lamoree. “I tell them it isn’t brain surgery, it’s just fabric—if they mess up, no one will die.”
5 Little Monkeys strives to attract all types of sewing enthusiasts including the young and old, men and women, traditionalists and modernists, experienced and inexperienced. DJ Lamoree began Do You Even Sew Bro?, a group in which men can hang out, drink a beer and work on their current project.
“When you visit 5 Little Monkeys you’ll see a wide range of customers. Everyone is welcome,” says Leigh Lewis Oder, who began patronizing the shop when she took an interest in quilting and embroidery. “With a modern atmosphere, an owner who loves all things nerdy, and even a shop dog, the space is a breath of fresh air.”
This atmosphere reflects the Lamorees’ desire to avoid being just another fabric shop. For them, there are only two rules in sewing: be nice and don’t be afraid to try something new.
“Quilting is a test of patience, organization, effort and stability, and it is a very creative way to express yourself,” says fifteen-year-old Isabel Lamoree. “It is good for the mind and the soul.”
Learn more at FiveMonkeyQuilts.com.