There is a magical little New England town I talk about all the time on this blog. A town where colonial New England meets the modern day seamlessly. Preppy clothing stores, homemade fudge shops, and reusable bag boutiques live alongside each other in renovated historic buildings. Here you can grab a fresh coffee and explore a local bookshop or antique sellers. There is a music store that consists solely of records. As you cross the historic drawbridge in downtown with your fresh-churned ice cream and gaze upon ships docked in the colonial era seaport museum you realize there is nowhere on earth you’d rather be. Well, at least that’s how I feel every time I’m in Mystic.
On my last day trip I visited the family-owned store, Mystic Knotwork. From the moment I stepped inside I was greeted by all that worked there including the owner, Matt Beaudoin. He enthusiastically took me around their workshop showing me their latest projects and gave me a history lesson on the business and his family. As a wanna-be history buff I loved every minute of my time here. The store itself is located inside of a 100 year-old building that was once the spot in downtown Mystic to have your sail or rigging repaired. With their traditional knot techniques and modern nautical color schemes, Mystic Knotwork is an example of how the old and the new can blend perfectly.
In 1957, Alton Beaudoin (Matt’s grandfather) began Beaudoin’s Rope Locker out of his family home. After serving in WWII, Alton was able to translate his knot tying, which served as a type of therapy, into a thriving business. His work and passion were widely recognized and he even had pieces of his work donated to the Smithsonian. In 1996 he passed the business onto Matt, and in 2008, Matt left his corporate job to invest his time fully and carry on his grandfather’s legacy. Within eight years Matt grew the business through The Velvet Mill to their current spot in downtown and the named changed to Mystic Knotwork. On June 14th they opened their second location, a retail shop at 2-4 Holmes Street. It’s shaped like a lighthouse and I can’t wait to go back and see it!
Mystic Knotwork is no secret to the world outside of New England. At the American Made Summit 2014 they received honorable mention being one of four makers (out of six thousand) chosen by Queen Martha Stewart for their heritage arts. One of their sailor knot bracelets was even worn in my all-time favorite show, 30 Rock. Both of those things should cement them in history, but I have a feeling Matt and family have a lot more up their sleeves.