Hello! My name is Saira Himelfarb, and I am the new owner of Chandail Needlework. What an exciting time for me, my husband and our three children. If you've been to the shop before, you probably have seen the "Cat" in the picture with me. It's been a part of the shop since Ruth Chow first opened it all those years ago. I am happy to continue the creative efforts that she started and that Emily Pannier has gifted to me.
I've been a needlepoint stitcher for over 15 years, although I was a prolific crafter as a child. Cross-stitch techniques were taught to me by my Malaysian mother and crocheting by my Burmese grandmother while I was growing up in California. While this sounds exotic, our family is just plain American, and my love of needlepoint stems from my time in different shops around Houston.
As the saying goes, I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could. I went to school at UCLA and had my own business as a nutrition consultant for several years before becoming an esthetician. Paul, my husband, and I met in Houston. We married, and I started to needlepoint about the same time my eldest daughter was born. Paul's career with Shell Chemical took us to Europe for 4 years, and we moved back in 2011. While in Europe, I didn't know the language, so needlepoint was my close friend and ally until I was able to assimilate!
Owning Chandail Needlework is a dream come true for me. I enjoy working with needle artists, both new stitchers and experienced ones. It's fun to see the excitement as stitches are laid and canvases are interpreted. Choosing color and trim to compliment stitched pieces and see them in their finished form brings me great joy.
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