I spent the weekend hanging out in basically the perfect yarn shop
: gorgeous location, fantastic (and distinctive) selection, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and best of all, a tangible sense of community. This is what we crave, but the market isn’t doing LYS owners any favours. So I was happy to see a lot of yarn hauls on Instagram
earlier this month… but then I saw some comments on Twitter
that put a different light on matters. Evidently, the UK’s “Yarn Shop Day
” was a corporate-sponsored, magazine-driven exercise that specifically excluded any shops that hadn’t paid to use the day’s branding. I find this less than constructive.
Plus, online sellers deserve your support, too. My favourite online shops are independent affairs. A website clearly can’t match a good bricks-and-mortar shop for tactile exploration, sensory overload, expert advice and community… but those are also provided by yarn festivals, which (according to opinions I heard at Edinburgh) could be increasingly the favoured way to shop. Still: not everyone can get to a show, or wants to, whereas pretty much everyone can benefit from having a real shop nearby – and from access to a well curated, responsive online store. How can we keep indie retailers alive and show them some love, without stepping on corporate marketing toes? Ideas on a postcard…