Lundgren begins new adventure of owning Hometown Crafts

The sale closed in January after owner Cindy McCullough retired following 15 years of establishing the store as a crafting destination. Dawn Lundgren said she is enjoying this “fun” and “new adventure” while continuing to run Fresh Freeze as she has for 22 years.

Three women pose for a photo near bolts of fabric.
Dawn Lundgren, right, is the new owner of Hometown Crafts and Fabrics in Wadena as of January 2022. She purchased the store from Cindy McCullough, left, who owned the store for 15 years along with great employees like Linnea Gray, center.
Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

WADENA — The local ownership of Hometown Crafts and Fabrics is holding a steady stitch with Dawn Lundgren as the new owner.

The sale closed in January after owner Cindy McCullough retired following 15 years of establishing the store as a crafting destination. Lundgren said she is enjoying this “fun” and “new adventure” while continuing to run Fresh Freeze as she has for 22 years.

“We’re going to try to keep it (Hometown Crafts) as much the same as it has been,” Lundgren said. “I would like to eventually expand the fabric area, and a lot of different things in the future that we would like to do but it just takes time.”

When Lundgren walked into the store on a shopping trip, talking with McCullough and deciding to buy the store was a “fluke.” She didn’t plan the shift from food to the creative industry after working in food since she was 16 years old. Though, she considers owning the store as her retirement job.

A woman by a set of store products.
Dawn Lundgren purchased Hometown Crafts and Fabrics in January 2022, and is enjoying the fun adventure. She is also the owner of Fresh Freeze.
Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

“I just never in a million years dreamed we’d have such a good new owner, that was key to the whole thing … to find an owner who was going to be committed to the town,” McCullough said.


As a crafter learning the creative industry, Lundgren enjoys sewing poufs, crocheting, wood burning and making bears and gnomes.

The store allows her to sit at the back tables ordering instead of continuously looking up and down at Fresh Freeze sales. She works at Hometown Crafts in the morning and then at Fresh Freeze until 3:30 p.m. before returning to the store to close out the day. The team at Hometown Crafts, including longtime employee Linnea Gray, run the store throughout the day. Gray has worked at the store for 22 years, and trained both Lundgren and McCullough.

Over the summer, Lundgren hopes to have more time at Hometown Crafts with a supervisor working on orders and running Fresh Freeze. She said one of the biggest differences is the amount of ordering. At Fresh Freeze, orders are placed once a week with three vendors, and at Hometown Crafts orders are as frequent as daily with 50 vendors.

“There’s a lot more ordering than I ever expected. At first it was like, ‘Oh yes, I get to go shopping,’” Lundgren said. “You’re almost having to shop every day for something different.”

There are also market trips, which are a balance of finding items you like and what customers will like. Lundgren said her current method is ordering three items she likes and one item she doesn’t like. One of the recent picks she’s proud of are hand-painted Turkish ceramic pieces—which team members said would not sell. But her smile says that lots have sold.

“I would buy it again,” McCullough said of owning Hometown Crafts. “I might buy it earlier in my life. Because I feel like there’s still so much to learn, and that’s why I’m excited for Dawn and her daughter Amber because I feel like they have the energy and the intelligence to get a website up and running, and get things a little more digitally friendly.”

Products on shelves.
Bread and soups are returning products at Hometown Crafts. The items are located near the front of the store as of February 2022.
Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

The variety of arts and crafts will continue seamlessly throughout the store, including the large selection of fabrics. Lundgren said learning the different fabric materials has been “eye-opening” as her usual picks are more about the cuteness of the fabric.

“It’s exciting because I’m learning a lot,” Lundgren said. “I knew my little things that I do off of Pinterest and that type of stuff, but like I just took a quilting class … so that I can learn the fabric area better.”


Craft classes are making their return after pausing during the pandemic. Classes like making a table runner, an Easter egg or bunny felting and unfinished object weekend are set for March. You can sign up at the store or by calling 218-631-3141.

“We have a UFO class, and that’s when people bring all their unfinished products,” Lundgren said. “It’s more of a socializing thing and they all work together, and those classes are doing really great, those are all filled.”

A poster with information on craft classes.
Craft classes are hosted at Hometown Crafts on a range of topics such as card making and quilting.
Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

When the constant learning of her first year owning Hometown Crafts eases, Lundgren is excited to move items around the store, add new products and create window displays. You’ll also find soups and bread kits have returned to the store.

“We’ve got a good crew that works here. That’s one thing about the store, we’ve always been very fortunate to have very talented girls that work for us, and so it’s just not me or Cindy or Dawn, it’s just the whole group. And that makes it fun to come into work,” Gray said. “Everybody has their own little ideas and their additions to the store. I like to quilt, one of the girls likes to crochet, some like to paint, … so it’s just kind of wow, we can all learn from each other.”

Rebecca Mitchell started as a Digital Content Producer for the Post Bulletin in August 2022. She specializes in enhancing online articles as well as education, feature and health reporting.
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