The year was 1971 and Westlake neighbors Judy Burke and Ruth Hopkins had a brainstorm.
The decided to start a craft show at Christmas and hold it in the basements of their Donna Drive homes. The show was a big hit. They called it Mrs. Claus’ Closet.
The 45th Mrs. Claus’ Closet took place this week at LaCentre in Westlake. Linda Loveless of Medina is now the promoter, and Ruth and Judy were there for the traditional Tuesday evening Peek in the Closet.
True to the show’s tradition, Linda dedicated proceeds from this year’s Peek to the Kidney Foundation of Ohio. Ruth and Judy always pledged Peek in the Closet proceeds to charity, starting with the ALS Foundation (a disease that took Ruth’s husband).
“In the 41 years we have known each other, Ruth and I have never had one cross word,” remarked Judy. “She was always great with numbers and I was good at crafts. We were a perfect match!”
Mrs. Claus’ Closet was often imitated through the years. Craft shows sprung up everywhere in the 80’s. But Ruth and Judy stayed true to their mission of bringing new artists to the Closet each year and juried only the best in arts and crafts for displays. Today, Linda Loveless reprises those traditions both at Mrs. Claus’ Closet and Christmas in the Colonies. Mrs. Claus’ Closet – a tried and true West Shore Christmas tradition!