Long gray beards are topped by a round bulbous nose on the cute little — and some not so little — gnomes that Linda Haeder and her daughter, Lisa McWethy, began crafting in 2017.
“Everybody is fascinated by them, they really have personalities,” Haeder said. “Every time we get done with one we say, ‘Oh, isn’t he cute.’ Even though we’ve made thousands, each one is special.”
Popularized in German fairy tales, gnomes were purported to bring good luck and are still popular today as good luck charms.
Haeder and her daughter are planning a Pop Up sale of Gnomes N More from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at 107 Ordway Ave. S.W. In addition to gnomes, McWethy’s daughter-in-law, Emma Jean, will be offering her homemade dog food and pet supplies, as well as wood items made by Tom McMillan. His wood products include gnome doors, totes and bags, yarn holders and wall mount rails to hold record albums and plates.
Everyone is invited to stop by.
Haeder said they saw some gnomes in a store and thought it would be fun to make them. “We fell in love with them,” she said. “We lost count after we made 700, and that was just the first couple of years.
“We started making them just for fun and then the ideas kept flowing,” she added. “Each holiday and season brought new ideas. Sports gnomes. Gnomes for kids. Gnomes for different professions. Spring, fall, winter and summer gnomes. Harley gnomes. Harry Potter gnomes — all have found their way into our collection.”
It wasn’t long before her craft area had to be expanded into another room, and when that was full, they decided to begin selling their creations at craft shows and online. They have attended craft shows in Huron, Hitchcock and De Smet for the past few years.
“We also made doll clothes for the 18-inch dolls, wreaths, pillows and pillow wraps, thus the name Gnomes N More,” Haeder said.
Rainbow Flower Shop now sells their gnomes, gnome hangers and gnome pot stickers.
“Several years ago we made gnomes for Dakotaland’s Home Loan Gnome program,” she said. “We made 12 taller gnomes, from 36- to 45-inches tall, one for each bank branch. Plus we made many of our medium-size gnomes for the local bank.”
When the banks were closed to the public during COVID, they donated 130 gnomes to Avantara Nursing Home. The gnomes were in quarantine for a time before being distributed to residents at the nursing home and Wellshire Assisted Living.
Most of the gnomes they make are medium size, about 14-inches tall. The gnomes, sewn with various material print patterns and featuring a long gray beard, are filled with fiber fill. They add rice in the bottom to give them more stability. The larger gnomes for the banks were formed around tomato cages for added stability.
They have also recently began experimenting with adding long legs to the gnomes body.
“They are cuddly,” Haeder said. “Our gnomes have found homes all across the United States and even in German.”
And, Haeder is hoping many more of their gnomes will find good homes on Saturday.