Merry Christmas from Coastal Purl
People often ask how the shop is doing. After all, a pandemic isn't part of most business plans outside the CDC. My gut instinct is to answer in business terms, but that doesn't really tell the story. When I decided to open a yarn shop, I took that plunge because I wanted to have the experience of running my own business. The adage is that you should do what you love. I love to knit and I love fiber - I love the colors, the textures, the character of it, and if there's a story behind it, so much the better.
These are trying times for sure. For the last nine months or so we have been in various stages of lockdown/reopening, adapting to wearing masks and keeping our distance. For many, lots of time at home, the inability to see or spend time with family, and isolation have become the new normal. The shop opened in May just as the State of North Carolina was emerging from lockdown; I opened with the other "non-essential" businesses, though I would argue that for me and for those of you reading this, yarn is hardly non-essential!
For those who are local, you know the shop space is open and airy. George and Linda are the best landlords anyone could wish for. I carved out a knitting area in hopes that local knitters would drop by, settle in, and enjoy the company of other knitters and crocheters. Over the ensuing months people have filtered in and a group of "regulars" has emerged. A true community has developed among folks who might not have otherwise crossed paths, but for their love of knitting. These folks keep me company, freely share their creativity, and warmly welcome other customers. When Fran, Barbara, Janet, Alice, Sheila, Connie and Joy are here it's a lively afternoon with lots of laughs.
My knitting students are extraordinary and have excelled not from my teaching prowess but from their persistence and eagerness to create. Linda, Emma and Rose may soon eclipse me, and Rose has become a knitting ambassador, teaching everyone in her sphere. Honestly, can there be anything more rewarding than to watch in awe as your students take their knowledge and run with it?
I'm grateful to local artists - Allison, Margie, Katherine, Curly and Diana whose paintings grace my shop and contribute to its warmth and character. I'm also grateful to local artisans Dick (yarn bowls), Hunter and Catherine (ceramic buttons) and Joy (needle cases and totes) whose work so nicely compliments the yarn. When you buy local here, it really is local!
I'm grateful to Cynthia, a childhood friend who owns a well-established yarn shop in our hometown in Pennsylvania. She has taught me more about running a business from her own experience than I could learn from any book. She's an accomplished pattern designer and knitting expert who is my go to when I'm stumped. She's also a lifeline and an ear; it helps to have a buddy who can talk you off the ceiling, assure you it's all been done before and help you emerge from the corner to bravely face another day.
So, back to the question of how I'm doing. I didn't open the shop with the intent of winning the lottery, and yet in every respect that matters, I really have. I am blessed with the best customers a shop could ever wish for, a wonderful mentor, and the kindest, most attentive landlords. I am doing what I love, I'm surrounded by a delightful, creative circle of knitting and crocheting friends that is steadily growing, and I'm inspired by the projects you've made from the yarns that line these walls.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas - may those gifts you lovingly crafted be treasured by those you have deemed knit-worthy. I also wish you a bright New Year with all the hope and optimism these holidays bring. Thank you for supporting this little shop and for being a part of what makes this Coastal Purl community a treasure beyond measure.