Every year, I do a post in January…sort of year end report. I talk about the numbers and the state of the yarn shop. The pictures that you will see in the post come from a yarn shop in Oregon called For Yarn Sake.
Now for the numbers. We started 2019 with 937 yarn shops, and today we have 944 yarn shops in the United States. So, that’s a gain of 7. I have seen a lot of yarn shops close this year, and it’s mainly been because of retirement, health issues, or they want to go strictly online. In a healthy economy, you will see folks do start up small businesses of all kinds and yarn shops are no different. Sometimes a shop will open to fill a void of a shop that closed, and other times it has been a life long dream. This is the first time in 11 years that the number of yarn shops in the country has gone up.
Being a small business owner is a struggle. They have overhead that has to be met every month with rent to keep their doors open, taxes to pay, an employee to pay, power, internet, advertising, phone, and as one shop mentioned to me recently…they get hit up from all sides in their community to constantly do for the public. By the time all of this is done every month, what is left to take home to their families? Understand that there are some extremely successful yarn shops in the country, so it can be done. But not all communities are the same, and the struggle is real.
I won’t sugar coat this, yarn shops have to work really hard, be creative, and keep things moving and inspiring for you the customer. A yarn shop can’t be stagnant, and expect customers to be excited to come in when everything else in the world is constantly evolving. Yarn shops have to earn your business. That being said, in this world of online…..if that’s the way you want to shop, please look for a yarn shop that is open to the public but also offers online sales. That online sale will support a shop keeping it’s doors open for the walk in customers.
Speaking of community, that is what the local yarn shop IS! You can see yarn, touch yarn, try on a shop sample and talk to a human. I always say, “you’ll meet your best friend at the yarn shop”! The yarn shop is there to teach and inspire! I want to thank my friend Ann Poor for taking these pictures on a visit to her local yarn shop For Yarn Sake, Beaverton, Oregon!