Written February 21, 2023

Yesterday I went to a little store in Colfax, California called Lumenaris. Stepping in the front door, I was welcomed with fabric, felt kits, puzzles, and card games. Everything was vibrant, sturdy, and detailed. 

One of the owners, Joseph Fatula, came out to greet me and my family. We had met him at church two days prior. He told us that Lumenaris means, “to put light on a problem.” He and his wife, Mary started the business 16 years ago to create kits and games aimed at bringing families together. They make as much as possible on-site with excellent-quality materials. At the shop, we saw laser cutters, sticker printers, an ozone deodorizer, and many gadgets they had designed themselves to make their work more efficient.

It was illuminating. I felt like I was in the modern equivalent of an inventor’s shop from the movies. Not only were the products made at the shop, but they were also designed and tested there as well. It was also amazing that Luminaris had been successful despite all of the difficulties.

According to Joseph, he and his wife had first sold products by going to shows and conferences, pulling a little trailer. Later, they opened their first shop. After that, they rebuilt a place in a strip mall and opened it four years ago.

Their most popular product is a card game called Leaving Earth. It simulates the space race and is geared toward people who enjoy science, technology, engineering, and math. The game has gone so viral that NASA sells it at many of its locations. In fact, when we visited Luminaris, the laser printers had broken recently, so the shop was behind in its orders of this popular game.

Besides kits and games, Joseph’s wife, Mary, teaches quilting and embroidery classes. She also tests all of the new products and designs the felted craft kits. It is hard to stop talking about the wonders of this little shop. But for all who are interested, you can look up their website called


A look inside the shop.

The laser cutter.

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