Three Sisters Broom Shoppe was started in the winter of 2021. I had wanted to learn broom making for years and when I found someone to teach me it was as if I was remembering something from long ago, something already known but buried. As brooms were made, more wanted to be made.
Color is important to me, the more color the better. Even off days seem brighter and happier when one’s surrounded by color. Natural broomcorn is plentiful but dyed broomcorn isn’t. Information on dyeing is nearly non-existent yet dyed broomcorn is available. After looking high and low for dye instructions and finding nothing, I sashayed into dyeing broomcorn with vigor. The kitchen stove was speckled black for awhile! When summer rolled around the backyard became the cook area. One camp burner with a huge cook pot sitting on top expanded to three over the course of a couple months. Small bottles of liquid dye gave way to 1 and 5 pound bags of powdered dye. Dyeing is done in warm months as the sun is needed to dry the wet broomcorn. Once the broomcorn is dyed and dried, it’s gathered, tied in bundles and stored on shelves in the shoppe before becoming brooms. Broomcorn is delivered on a pallet. Round bales are rolled into the shoppe where it’s sorted by size. While most is dyed, some is left natural. 45 years ago in college I studied spinning and dyeing with what nature provided. In the years since, reed has been dyed, many baskets have been woven, wool has been spun. The skills learned then are used now each time a broom cap or handle is woven. Working with broomcorn stalks is very different than working with reed and dyeing yellow broomcorn (natural) is interesting. Every batch of dyed broomcorn has its own personality. Different shades of the same color come out of the pots.
Three Sisters is located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. One frequently asked question is, are there really three sisters? The answer is Yes. We aren’t related by blood but by Spirit. Susi is the Garden Witch, Chris is the Kitchen Witch and I’m the Broom Witch. Chris and/or Susi come to every most every open market. Most days find me working on something broom related.