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September 25, 2011

Shop Talk: The Sheep's Nest

The Sheep's Nest 45 Main St., Hobart Kimberly Whritner Established: 2011 Employees: None (self)

Daily Star

---- — Shop Talk is a weekly column featuring locally owned and operated businesses. This week, we talk to Kimberly Whritner of The Sheep's Nest in Hobart.

How long have you lived in the area?

I have lived here for 18 years.

Tell me about your business:

The Sheep's Nest is a place where you can come to be inspired to create your own "nest". Our motto is "Nurture your creativity and embellish your home". Our shop is a cozy cottage that my husband (John Whritner of Whritner Builders) built for me after an inspiring trip to England in 2009. We vacationed in a cottage in the Cotswold region of England and fell in love with charm of the area. The cottage we stayed in is similar to the one we recreated with a few of our own ideas added in.

The shop is set up like a cozy "nest" with many items for sale representing the French Country look along with some whimsical creations that I have made. There is a blending of old and new as I believe one compliments the other. We carry a line of custom kitchen cabinetry that is crafted in New England. The building itself is a representation of my husband's work, from the concept wine cellar, trimwork, use of reclaimed wood and local barn beams to the overall design of the building. We also raise Shetland sheep and carry their wool in various forms such as roving, raw wool, skeins of yarn.

Describe a typical day in your business:

When I am not meeting and greeting all the many new people who have come into the shop, you can find me upstairs in my workshop. The entire second floor of the shop is where I create. Some days I may be repurposing an old Victrola horn into a new hanging lamp; other days, sitting at my sewing machine making pillows or dolls. Then again, on other days I am working with mixed media, creating collages. Knitting, needlework, felting _ whatever I can seem to focus on that day!

How did you get started in this line of work?

I used to design dolls and patterns and always had a need to create and learn something new. Since high school, I have dreamed of having a shop, and it just evolved many years later.

Where do you see this business in five years?

In five years or sooner, I see The Sheep's Nest as a destination place for others who want to be inspired to decorate their homes and create their own "cottage", whether that be nestled in the woods or in a New York City apartment.

Describe a memorable moment in your workplace:

When we opened Memorial Day Weekend and someone stepped out of their car and said "Wow, what a hidden treasure, I feel like I am in England." It was then that I knew John and I had accomplished what we had set out to.

What have you learned from your work?

There never seem to be enough hours in the day to explore all the things I want to learn and do.

What is the most challenging part of what you do?

Meeting and making new friends who share similar interests.

The most enjoyable?

Meeting and making new friends who share similar interests.

How do you define success for your business?

When a customer leaves with a smile on their face.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

I don't believe we have any competitors in the area. Our shop is such a blend of many different things that it is rather unique. Hobart is known as a book village and The Sheep's Nest compliments all that is here.

What advice would you give to someone trying to enter your field of work?

If you do what you love and are able to share what you love, success will follow.

Shop Talk interviews are conducted by Terry Hannum. For information, call The Daily Star at 432-1000, ext. 217, or email