Bakerview Square

Needlework proves to be good therapy

November , 2007

Needlework proves to be good therapy
Store more than business for couple

There are plenty of reasons why people open a business. For Jeaninne Kahan, it was a way to improve the quality of life for her husband.

In 1990, Kahan opened J&J’s Needle Art in Bellingham for her husband, Joseph, who had suffered a debilitating stroke years earlier. She had tried to help her husband recover through physical therapy and other methods, but eventually got to a point where she had to make some career decisions.

“Both of us had been civil engineers, but I didn’t want him to stay home while I went back to the office,” she said. “This (needle art) had been a hobby of mine, so I thought if I could start a business I would be able to bring him here or have some time flexibility.”

It turned out to be a business and emotional success for the Kahans. They’ve been in business 17 years and are now moving into a new space in Bakerview Square. They plan to have a reopening sometime this week.

As for Joseph Kahan, he continues to improve and has become a crucial member of the business. Over the years he’s learned to use his left hand to create drawings for customers to use for needlework art, as well as help with the bookkeeping. He’s also recovered some of his verbal skills.

“This business has really worked out for the best for both of us,” Jeaninne Kahan said. “It’s given us something to do, and it’s been great for me to be around him. It’s been a positive to see how much he’s been able to improve over the years.”

The Kahans decided to move into Bakerview Square for the increased traffic exposure and easier access for customers. They had been in the Costco shopping center for more than 10 years.

The company provides knitting, needlework supplies and classes. For more information, call 676-9090.

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