Michele Herron’s love for needlepoint began when she was young, and it has grown as the craft has grown, growing her business as well. When her shop, The Bristly Thistle, moved to its new location at 811 Beech Street in 2016, it was the perfect “next step” in her life and love of needlepoint. She and her late husband, Chris, owned a needlepoint store in Michigan. Nine years ago, they moved the business to Fernandina Beach, where it remains one of the top-five internet needlepoint businesses in the country. “We have customers from all over the world,” says Michele. “We ship to Europe, Africa, many places. We have the most wonderful and dedicated customers.”
Bristly Thistle’s needlepoint canvases are all painted entirely by hand, by artists from all over the country. Michele attends needlepoint shows each year, seeking out new artists and designs. An expert needlepoint teacher herself, she teaches a class at a retreat in Montgomery, Alabama called “Canvas: A Needlepoint Adventure.” In addition, Michele invites distinguished instructors to give classes at The Bristly Thistle.
Michele also holds special Trunk Shows at her shop, where she introduces new needlepoint artists to her customers, allowing them to see the depth of their work. “Today, needlepoint has taken on a whole new vibe. I’m a thread junkie!” she laughs. “There are so many types of threads and embellishments that no two pieces are ever the same, and each is a work of
art!” For more information, call (904) 729-4020 or visit