Heartland business celebrates 60 years of selling handmade rugs

AVA, Ill. (KFVS) – A Heartland business is celebrating their 60th anniversary this weekend.

Ava Craft Center 2.0 SEMO had people come out to enjoy food, drink, good conversation and see what the company had to offer.

They have been in business since 1962 specializing in rag rugs from recycled fabric made from antique floor looms.

The business started in Ava, Illinois spanning four generations.

“It’s very exciting,” said Ava Craft Center owner Lorri Yount. “We are happy to share the art of weaving and the history of weaving, so one of our highlights here today is to share the history of these looms, their beginnings and how they have made an impact in small communities and what they have been implied throughout the ages.”

Yount said their business has survived many challenges in the past six decades and even changed locations from Ava, Illinois to Burfordville, Missouri.

“Every place we’ve been, whether it’s in Illinois or whether it’s been here, we’ve settled in a small community,” Yount said. “When you’re in a community, it can be tough times, but when you’re in a small community people bond together and even come back to Illinois, our storefront isn’t there right now, people from Illinois still come here and see us. support.”

Yount said she appreciates the customer support they’ve had over the years.

“The support from friends, family and those around you from your past know it’s overwhelming,” Yount said. “It’s just a great feeling to have so much support.”

Nancy Amsden tried to come down and visit with the employees there during their 60th anniversary celebration. She said it’s great to see this business survive and thrive throughout the years.

“You see very few businesses that have been through what this family has been through,” Amsden said. “And to keep it alive and generations alive and interested. This is an old-time craft that has come so far, so many years ago.”

The Ava Craft Center had many people make the trip from different states all over the country.

“I personally didn’t realize how much reach even our little site had,” Yount said. “We’ve had people from Indiana, from Illinois, the surrounding areas come to our event today. Even for our rug weaving class, I’ve had a rug maker from New York, a rug maker from Georgia. People have come from far away and share this trade with us.”

The owners even invited several antique loom historians as special guests from Texas to talk about the trade with guests at the event.

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