It Takes a Community to Build an LYS

Opening Yarn It! was the realization of a longtime dream. I'd never taken the dream seriously because I didn't think it was realistic, plus I had a very good career that I mostly enjoyed and didn't think I'd ever give up.

I've been knitting for about 26 years, but my daydreams about opening a local yarn store (LYS) started about 15 years ago, when the knitting obsession took hold. I tried then to find a knitting group to join, but I never found one that I could participate in while holding down a full-time job with sometimes long hours. What I wanted most then was to share my love of knitting with other like-obsessed people.

So as I worked at continuing to build my career and daydreamed about someday retiring and opening an LYS, what I imagined of the store was a place where a community of knitters and crocheters could gather, sharing their love of fibre and of the craft and learning from one another.

After our first couple of years in Cobourg—with regular half-hour drives to a local yarn shop—my husband convinced me my dream might be viable. I started the business plan in 2016, took some business workshops in 2017, bounced ideas off friends, and then found the perfect location, with lots of natural light and free parking (my priorities), in August of that year. On November 8, 2017, the door to Yarn It! opened.

The past seven months have been better than I had even imagined! The community I had dreamed of established itself fairly quickly and continues to grow each week. Knitters and crocheters are truly wonderful people, and I feel so fortunate to have met so many big-hearted people and to be able to call them friends.

Among the community members are many who have given their time—a precious commodity!—whether to teach others, to welcome newcomers, to help me out with my first vendor experience at a fibre festival, to lend a fellow customer a hand when I'm occupied with another, to freshen up my website, to take beautiful product photos, to offer ideas and feedback, to share Facebook posts, to manage my Instagram account, to help me shelve items, to wind yarn, to bring goodies for the circle (or lunch for me), to spread the word to others about the store.... The list goes on! 

YOU are making Yarn It! a place where people want to gather. YOU are building this crafting community I had dreamed of. I am so grateful to all of you for your valuable contributions to making this whole venture work. I look forward to seeing what else we will do together. See you in the circle! 

1 comment

  • Well your store is a success because of you Cathy!! I am so glad I no longer have to travel or order online. Don’t get in too much to join the circle but the few times I have was lots of fun!!! Knitters are great people!!!! Congratulations on your success!!!!

    Karen Guest-Miller

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