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A family that crafts together, stays together

Lumenaris in Colfax offers unique crafts, games, sewing kits
By: Tessa Marguerite
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The Lumenaris Group

  • Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays; 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
  • Location: 50 N. Main St., Colfax
  • Info: lumenaris.com

Sometimes small towns contain the most remarkable things — Colfax is one of those towns, and Lumenaris is one of those remarkable things.

Lumenaris recently became another bright spot on Colfax’s N. Main Street, bringing crafts, games, puzzles and more to local residents and beyond.

Mary and Joseph Fatula, a stay-at-home mom and an engineer, started their storefront and online business eight years ago in Morgan Hill, Calif. They chose to move to Colfax after searching throughout Northern California for a place to set up shop and retire. The Fatulas began designing and selling their products with the goal of creating tighter bonds between family members.

“It’s not a high-profit business, but it’s got a lot of rewards, like when you see families just interacting with this stuff together,” Joseph Fatula said.

All the crafts sold at Lumenaris are kits, not finished products, so that parents, older siblings or other adults can help younger children create something unique and beautiful.

Everything in the store that can be made in America, is. That means 97 percent of the products sold at Lumenaris, including the boxes and tape, are designed, made and manufactured either on site in Colfax or somewhere in the United States. However some things, like scissors, are impossible to get in America because they are not produced and sold here. Only China, Italy, Pakistan or India manufacture scissors — the ones sold at Lumenaris are small, 25-karat, gold-plated scissors made in Italy.

The abundance of educational games found at Lumenaris are ideal for families to learn and play together. The games are all created and designed by Joseph and his son, Joseph. Many games focus on themes of space exploration like “Leaving Earth” and its expansions “Outer Planets” and “Stations;” history such as a World War II game with no battles involved, “Victory Through Industry,” and “The Golden Wilderness” which brings the exploration of the West Coast to life for ages 15 and up. These experiential history games have been described by game-players as “epic adventures that really happened.” The games and puzzles tend to last about an hour and have high-quality, durable pieces, all made at Lumenaris. Weekly game nights at the store take place from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays

The Colonial-style sewing kits, designed by Mary, all include pre-cut felt or cloth, threaded bobbins and a needle. Kits come in a variety of designs including sugar cookies, flowers, wreaths and Easter eggs, and range in price from about $2 to $95. Some of the other tools made in-house at Lumenaris include sewing tools, seam rippers, screwdrivers and needle cases. Fiber arts and stitching classes are offered at Lumenaris for all ages and lesson plans are available on the Lumenaris website at no cost. Visit the website for details.

The new floor, walls, design and other modifications to the building give it a 1890s, railroad town feel. Quilting fabric lines the walls and wooden display cases hold puzzles, felt crafts and games. The back of the store is designated for design and manufacturing. Tours of the manufacturing area will soon be available for children with their parents.

The Fatulas hope to expand with four more artisan shops on the corner of Main St. beside the Lumenaris building in the future.

The Fatulas offer approximately 1,600 products that families can build, stitch or play together.

“If you get families to talk together, maybe they’ll stick together,” Fatula said.