Located in Cheticamp, a small fishing community nestled on the northwest coast of Cape Breton, well known for its French Acadian culture and deep-rooted traditions, one of which is rug hooking. At first, woolen remnants and rags were cut into strips and made into hooked mats for homes, more for daily practical use than for its decorative value.
In the 1920s, Miss Lilian Burke, an American artist from New York, came to Cape Breton to teach art to the children of Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone inventor. Miss Burke eventually came to Cheticamp and taught the local craft women/artists how to dye their wool and also to use fine wool in the art of rug hooking. She would design the rugs she wanted and brought them to market in New York.
In the 1930s, the women of Cheticamp decided to make their own design and sell their finished products. As the tourist industry developed, craft shops selling locally made hooked rugs were sold everywhere in Cheticamp.
Mrs. Flora Boudreau
Flora Boudreau started Flora’s as a general store in the early 1950s and she would sell her own hooked rugs to tourists. By the early 1960s, she started selling not only her own rugs but her neighbours’ as well. As demand for hooked rugs continued, she completely renovated her general store into a craft shop. Today, her legacy is passed on to her daughter Marie LeFort. Since 1980, the shop has expanded to what you see today!
As you enter the sun-lit shop, a kaleidoscope of colors surround you and you can smell finished wood mixed with fresh wool. Hooked rugs and wall hangings of all different pastel colors and sizes carpet the walls. Hands-on demonstration of rug hooking by qualified craftswomen is a constant feature in the shop. Marie spends much time finding quality crafts and souvenirs, decorating her shop and greeting visitors into a shopping experience that will become a highlight of your visit, not only to Cheticamp but Cape Breton and even all of Nova Scotia.