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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 16Mar02
By Rosemary Pollock
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A History of Mormon Handicraft

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Over 1,000 Utah artisans have their work on consignment at Mormon Handicraft, a unique to Utah business. For nearly 65 years, quilts, dresses, needlepoint, toys and over 9,000 different handmade items comprise the local inventory. Located near Temple Square, Mormon Handicraft has become one of the state's most popular tourist attractions, especially for Olympic visitors looking for something uniquely Utah.

"Most of Mormon Handicraft's customers are visitors interested in buying something that truly is Utah or American made, as opposed to the more typical tourist items that are produced in China," said Roger Toone, retail vice president of Deseret Book, which has operated the store for the past 17 years .

Originally founded by the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the women's organization wanted a place where Mormon women could supplement their family's income during the Great Depression. The Church operated the store until 1982 when it proposed closing the business due to it not fitting into long-range plans.

That's when Deseret Book stepped forward to take over Mormon Handicraft operations and according to Toone, "It has been a great marriage ever since." "It is still a place where artisans, both men and women, can sell their specialty craft items," Toone said.

"We are continually looking at the crafts brought in by artisans interested in contributing to our inventory," said store manager, Ann Danzig. "We try to judge everything we received in terms of quality and commercial appeal." Mormon Handicraft also offers hundreds of classes a year in addition to keeping Utah's pioneer heritage alive. Currently, there is an outlet for Lion House bakery goods. For more information, visit .


Made in Utah: Mormon Handicraft allows artisans to sell specialty items
Salt Lake Tribune 9Febo02 B3
By Steven Oberbeck: Salt Lake Tribune


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