Sunday, January 12, 2020
Raise your hand if you love crocheting, knitting, yarn or all of the above. Keep your hand up if you have a local yarn shop where you can meet friends, attend events, take classes, obtain advice from experts and find inspiration. Your hand is still up? Great! Now, hands up if you make the majority of your purchases at that shop. My guess is that a great number of hands just went down.
As much as you love going to your shop to socialize with fellow makers, please don't lose sight of the fact that, although they love being able to provide that space for gathering, they are first and foremost a retail establishment. If you are not making your purchases there then they can't pay the rent or replenish inventory.
Also, if you are knitting or crocheting in that shop, please think twice before using yarn purchased elsewhere. After all, would you purchase coffee at McDonald's and then go to Starbucks to drink it? I've always said that I never want to play yarn police, but that doesn't mean that it isn't bothersome when folks are using our shop space to work on projects with yarn they purchased elsewhere.
Big box stores are attempting to take over the way we shop and our industry is no exception. Each year the number of yarn shops in the US diminishes. In 2007 there were over 1400 and we are currently just over 900. So if you value your ability to shop at a local store please be sure to go there for most if not all of your purchases. This goes for any small locally owned business! I wrote a blog post 2 years ago on this very subject and every single word is still applicable today. And if you don't have a local yarn shop, you can support one in another town by shopping online with them!
Yarn shop ownership is one of the hardest yet most rewarding occupations. Where else can you go to work surrounded by magnificent colors, meet incredibly talented people and make life-long friendships? I for one intend to be around for a very long time!