Andrea Samet is the owner of Custom Point, an innovative, one-stop needlepoint destination in New Rochelle. Specializing in needlepoint Judaica, Samet’s repertoire of custom designs for items celebrating Jewish milestones and events is original, comprehensive and superbly creative.
With COVID-19 keeping many homebound for large parts of the day, coupled with shorter and colder days to come, this is an ideal time for needlepointers to try something new. However, aficionados can be overwhelmed with choices when deciding to begin a new project. Samet walks customers through a variety of choices: a tallit or tefillin bag for an upcoming bar mitzvah, an atara, a larger project like a chuppah covering, or a siddur cover to give as a gift or as a Judaic-themed wall hanging.
At Custom Point, customers enjoy a private meeting where Samet helps the customer to locate a design or create an original design, and select yarns and threads with varying textures and weights, needles, scissors and other implements needed for the project. She then purchases and frames the canvas and, along with all the other items, delivers them to customers in person or by mail.
Samet offers a plethora of advice and hands-on assistance and has an encyclopedic knowledge of stitches, threads, yarns and colors. Suggestions are custom-made for each customer. She has also created a book containing a huge variety of stitches that she both demonstrates and teaches to each customer until both owner and customer are comfortable with the stitching. In addition, her “tricks of the trade” keeps clients on target, helping them work their way through their projects quickly and efficiently. This can be accomplished socially distanced, with masks, in the privacy of Samet’s home studio, in the customer’s home, or by Zoom.
Customer Point also works with clients who wish to design, but not stitch the project. Working in consultation with her client, Samet designs the canvas, selects colors and stitches, and then needlepoints the entire project. One customer was so thrilled with the first tallit bag commissioned in this fashion that she went on to order eight additional tallit bags for members of her family.
Samet walks the streets of New York City and travels to her sources in Connecticut and Westchester to locate the perfect yarns for each project. Finishing is a speciality. With tallit or tefillin bags, for example, Samet locates the best quality and color of fabric, sturdy zippers, colorful buttons or tassels that make the client’s project unique and special to ensure her customers will be satisfied and proud of their completed project. She has recently created an exclusive design for a one-of-a-kind challah cover.
Joyce Raskas of New Rochelle has worked with Samet on numerous projects. She shared, “Andrea is a wonderful teacher, partner and friend in my stitching experience. I am stitching tallit bags for four grandsons. The variety of designs, patterns and stitches that Andrea offers are amazing. With her expertise, guidance and support, every finished product is a masterpiece. Above all, Andrea is patient, encouraging and supportive, every step of the way. She is not only a master in the stitching process, but a good, true-blue friend.”
Another stitcher is Sandi Wasserman, who said, “Andrea is a fabulous stitcher, an unbelievable teacher with an eye for how to put the pieces together. I have been using Andrea’s talents on many projects from tallit and tefillin bags to advice and guidance on making a siddur cover for a bat mitzvah gift. Andrea is amazing and calming and patient.”
“I know that when someone spends time working on a piece of needlepoint, it becomes a treasure! Everyone wants to feel proud of what they’ve accomplished and when the needlepoint will be gifted to someone else, the artist surely wants the piece to reflect the love and time spent on creating this special gift,” said Samet. Her fees are based on a customer-by-customer basis.
By Yvette Finkelstein