Colour, Fibre, and Fun Preserve Mother-Daughter Legacy


1 Colour Fibre And Fun Preserve Mother Daughter Legacy Pic
Selma Brown of Noble Ruby Designs Selma Brown

A long-term vision turned into an overnight business success for local fibre artist and dyer Selma Brown, owner of Noble Ruby Designs. From her kitchen in Niverville, Brown mixes up 20 to 30 skeins of yarn every Saturday. 

“I love colour,” Brown says. “A lot people comment that the colours are so vibrant, and that’s just my palette.”

Indeed, her kitchen table is piled high with soft blends of merino wool ranging from “campfire rose” to “sea foam.”

Every knitter has a story that begins something like Selma Brown’s: “I learned to crochet when I was eight years old from my friend’s mom, and then I learned to knit when I was 15. Since then, I’ve always knitted or crocheted in some form or another, but I really didn’t challenge my knitting skills until about seven years ago.”

It was at that time that Brown and her daughter joined a group called Norwood Naughty Knitters in Winnipeg. Although Brown initially had to be dragged to the group, it helped relight her passion for challenging knitting.

As a mother-daughter knitting duo, they fantasized about one day opening a yarn store or doing something with a fibre business.

Tragically, this dream was cut short when Brown’s daughter Cassidy passed away unexpectedly five years ago. It has only been in the last year that Brown has been able to pursue the idea again and take it forward.

“One of the primary reasons I’m doing it is in memory of my daughter, Cassidy, as it’s something that we always wanted to do,” Brown explains. “She really is the driving force behind Noble Ruby Designs and so I get a lot of joy from it.” 

At one point, Brown wasn’t sure if she would ever be able to knit again. Many knitters report that knitting is therapeutic, and that’s the way Brown describes it, too.

“[Cassidy] had some projects started that she wanted to gift people and I was able to finish those projects for her and still gift them to people on her behalf after she passed away,” Brown says. “As difficult and painful as that is, I wanted to do that to honour her.” 

Brown chose the name Noble Ruby after the story of a godly woman in Proverbs 31 who works with her hands, makes things, and provides things for her family while being “far more precious than rubies.” As a woman of faith, Brown found the story and name fitting for her endeavour.

Noble Ruby Designs got an extra burst of energy when Brown applied as a first-time vendor at the Manitoba Fibre Festival last September.

“I had no idea there were so many fibre-crazy people in the world,” Brown says, adding that she was delighted to sell out her inaugural stash of rich and colourful blends. “I was really, really surprised that I virtually sold out at the Fibre Festival because I had no idea what to expect.”

Today, you can find Noble Ruby Designs yarn at Gorgeous Yarns in Brandon or the Needles and Craft Studio in Beausejour. Online shoppers can browse Brown’s Etsy shop of the same name. She provides various weights and colours to please her creative customers.

Taking the business back to where the idea originated with her daughter, Noble Ruby Designs will also participate in the Norwood Naughty Knitters’ Fibre Fest in January 2018.

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