Last Sunday I enticed Gayle into playing co-pilot as we traveled to a farm and…
New Beginnings and Birthdayversaries!
The story of birth and rebirth is all over the fibery world these days, even here in the studio. Please join me this week as we celebrate 6 years of business. Some of you have been visiting the studio from the early days, but many of you are new and don’t know the studio’s history. Here’s a quick recap of our journey.
Let’s hop way back through the time machine to April 1, 2011 when I started working at the local yarn shop, Knitter’s Mercantile. I started my professional knitting career with bright eyes and a dream in my heart to have my own business in the fiber arts. At first it was to have my own shop but that soon changed as I loved to design and teach as well. The sales part was also fun when I assisted shoppers with their newest projects. Under the tutelage of my boss Jan, I learned there were many more parts to owning a yarn store than I had originally thought. After all, who doesn’t want to sit around and knit with their friends all day? Ha! My dearest stitchers, that is just about the only thing you can’t do when you are a LYS owner. I rarely get to knit with everyone but it’s okay. Jan took me under her wing and generously taught me the skills to runs a fiber arts retail business. We traveled to fiber arts shows together and made so many new friends. I think Jan knew everybody who was anybody in our industry. I was fortunate enough that she put up with my constant jabbering away, especially during the long car rides to and from the venues. During all this my dreams morphed into so many different businesses that I lost count of how many changes I made to my bucket list. All of a sudden this list was going to become a reality as Jan announced her retirement and the closing of the Merc.
Enter fall of 2014 and a lovely customer, Jennifer. One night we were sitting on the front couches and sharing our dreams of owning a fiber arts business. As Jennifer told me of her idea of starting up a fiber arts show I had a crazy thought to ask her if she wanted to join me in my journey AM (after the Merc). My friends, that was in my business plan I had started to formulate as I knew the time was coming for me to figure something out. I wanted a teaching and small event space to service my stitchers I met during my tenure at the Merc. I dreamt of a space to grow a fiber arts community in central Ohio. It was necessary to have a wee bit of yarn and teaching supplies. Several of my instructor co-workers were to join me on this endeavor. No employees were needed as Jennifer and I had it covered.
After a few months, we scheduled our very first in-studio event with Stephen West & Steven Be. OMG! We were one of the stops on their infamous tour! As you can see, we stuffed as many people in the mostly empty studio as we could. Everyone had a blast! The guys brought in a pop-up shop of fabulous yarns and a ton of samples!
This was also a time of sadness for me. Jennifer’s hubby got a new job and relocated to Chicago at the same time. We decided that she would continue to work in the same capacity remotely. We talked often and she kept me in line.
At the end of the year, Jennifer and I decided to send out a survey to everyone for suggestions on how we could improve the studio. The overwhelming response was we needed to bring in more yarn. Okay then. I have to say it was a good thing Jennifer was there to keep my spending on a tight leash. We started to add to our workhorse/ teaching yarns from Berroco. I looked for yarn that wasn’t already represented in Columbus, which I still do today. We brought you Sweet Georgia, Baa Ram Ewe and Dragonfly Fibers. Those were just the beginning. Soon the studio walls were lined with crates and bins.
Our classes and events were popular. There was a backstage wall with autographs from our guest
instructors rock stars like OlgaJazzy, Casapinka, and the late Annie Modesitt. We will continue this tradition in our new space as soon as we get back to our new normal. Don’t worry, I’ll have a framed image of the other wall featured prominently in the new area.
As we rolled forward through the years Jennifer and I realized it just wasn’t working for her to continue our partnership from afar. On January 1, 2019, I took over single ownership of the studio. It has been scary, but you all gave me the courage to keep it up. You loved the community we have built together, and we quickly outgrew the 700 sq.ft. space. Valentine’s Day weekend 2020 several of you helped me move the studio to its new spacious storefront at 4436 Indianola Ave. where we are today. Little did we know that the 1200 square feet would give us a fighting chance to thrive in this unbelievable year. I can’t thank you enough for the love and support to continue this crazy fiber arts business of mine. Cheers to the future!