Handmade Goods, Handmade Profits

A resurgence in crafts spawns a new breed of store

When Chicago attorney Anni Goldberg moved to a house in the suburbs, the only thing she wanted--besides a bed--was a dining room table. Both she and her husband, David, had grown up in families where the dining room table was the focus of conversation and camaraderie. But not just any table would do. She had her eye on a $5,000 handmade, solid-cherry piece made by Vermont craftsman Charles Shackleton. Add eight chairs at $1,000 a pop, and the Goldbergs had a major investment on their hands. Even though that meant forgoing living room furniture for a while, they didn't care. "The simplicity of the oval and cherry was breathtaking. I'd rather stare at empty space and get what I want the first time," she says.

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