What do you want in a Local Yarn Store?

We did a little yard work on Monday, and today I woke up with two little spots of poison ivy on my arm. Of course. It never fails. Whenever I do yard work, I get poison ivy. Doesn’t matter what precautions I take or whether we can see any where I’m working. It just happens. Fingers crossed that it’s just the one spot and the calamine continues to do its job. Then I had a blog post half-written this morning before I realized I’d already posted about that topic (the purple crochet fedoras). Shoot. That was my big plan for the morning. Instead I’ll go down and cast on for the Honey Cowl again with my Madelinetosh.

My brain is a little preoccupied, I guess. I found out the other day that one of my favorite LYSs is moving. It will still be in the metro area, but it’s farther away. It leaves the area on this side of the state line with just one LYS, and not a great one. There are some positives, the best one being that it’s a 3-minute drive for me. It’s a big store and they have good prices. They’ve been there for years and years and it seems like the customer base is much older. The ladies who work there don’t always take kindly to younger crafters like myself invading their space. It is not a welcoming store. It’s not really a friendly store. I like to look at the yarn but I’d never want to just sit down and hang out there. And that’s what I want in my LYS. 

So this news started a little voice in the back of my head talking, poking me about opening my own LYS. I’ve thought about it, dreamed about it. I have a vision in my head of what it might look like. It’s fuzzy and shifts, but it’s there. Certain aspects stay the same. I have ideas of promotions I would do, groups I could host, how I’d arrange the comfy chairs for crafters. I’ve already thought about what types and brands of yarn I’d want to carry to distinguish myself from the other LYS, but I think the atmosphere would be the biggest variant. Knitters and crocheters are such a friendly, community-oriented bunch that I think we flock to places that encourage it. I *want* to encourage it. I want to foster it and be part of it.

My husband and I have talked about creating a shop together, one that would allow us both to showcase our creations and help others create. He dreams of building custom furniture, and a yarn store could easily also be a showroom for his sample pieces. We have a name picked out, we’ve looked at available buildings…every For Sale or For Rent sign in our little downtown area catches our eyes.

Right now I’m dreaming. I’m even yearning a bit. But it’s not time yet. My kids are busy, and aren’t old enough to drive themselves to their various activities. I still want to be there for them, help them be active in band and theater and music and whatever else they dream of. I have some other family stuff going on, too, stuff that wouldn’t allow me to easily take on something as huge as my own store. I have a puppy who would eat the house if left alone all day, every day. We haven’t begun to write a business plan yet, something that definitely needs to happen. We need to do some research, start compiling numbers and working out the details. But I think this could happen. I think this could be our future.

It makes me wonder, and I want your feedback: What do you look for in a LYS? What compels you to go there again and again? What do you like and not like? What do you wish your LYS had or did? If you could have a dream LYS, what would it look like?

 

2 thoughts on “What do you want in a Local Yarn Store?

  1. I love it! So I know I get to come teach…that’s big on my wish list for your someday LYS, but I want other teachers to come in, too – with cool techniques or awesome projects. I want comfy couches and crazy yarn-bombed objects. I like pricing that is easy to see or read – if I have to ask, I won’t. I also really like the yarn arranged by weight – is that weird?

  2. Other teachers would be great! We’d just have to grow our network. Totally agree on the pricing–I want it visible. And I like the yarn by weight too, so I don’t think you’re strange. Since I much prefer the bulkier weights, I don’t want to spend too much time sorting through sock weights (and vice versa I’m sure!). But of course I’ll still go *visit* the sock weights. 🙂

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