Shaker Brooms: Really High & Low

updated May 10, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

High End Shaker Broom at Pieter van Tuyl

‘Tis a gift to be simple…. See the lovely Shaker broom above? Guess how much it costs….
How about $4? How about $40?
Ok, now move the decimal a little more right…
How abut $480? Yes, $480.

I was at Karkula yesterday and saw this beautiful thing and then had sticker shock. Marketed by Pieter van Tuyl and made by the Berea College Crafts in Kentucky, it is all that it says it is: “Individually braided and rolled, this classic straw broom is fitted with a spoke-shaved walnut handle and leather storage loop.” What’s not to like?

Brooms on pegs at Hancock Village

I loved it so much we went looking for regular priced ones and learned that Shakers invented the flat broom: “The [flat] broom originates with the Shakers and was first made in 1787. When Sister Ann Lee told her followers “sweep,” she was referring not only to the floor of the home, but also the floor of the heart.”

Last weekend we met the owner of Justamere Tree Farm in Great Barrington, who makes a whole line of his own and has been on Martha Stewart. I bought a Turkey Wing broom.

Then I dug a little deeper and found out that Berea College Crafts sells all their own brooms for a fraction of the Pieter van Tuyl price. This is a great direct resource.

Brooms by Berea College Crafts

Then I went further and found a nice assortment of small sellers and broom makers that it would be nice to give business to. There’s a lot of nice stuff here. It just doesn’t seem very Shaker-like to give someone sticker shock when buying a broom.