Black Mountain Yarn Shop’s focus on people makes crafting so enjoyable for all who are blessed to go there. In the second Shawl Pin Shawl MKAL feature interview, we (Puddles & I) sniff out the secrets behind the welcoming yarn shop and what makes Black Mountain Yarn Shop such a special place.
1. What inspired you to open a yarn shop in the beautiful Black Mountains of North Carolina? How long has Black Mountain Yarn Shop been open?
My husband Don and I have always wanted to have our own business and after leaving corporate America and doing a lot of research, we knew Black Mountain would be a great place to have a yarn shop. We are in our 6th year of business and love it!
2. I’ve always found your shop to have a welcoming atmosphere with a focus on warmth, hospitality, and community – as well as yarn, supplies, and amazing shawl pins! What aspects of the social side of knitting do you like most?
One of our goals when we talked about opening a shop was to have a place for the community to gather and feel comfortable no matter what. We feel we have definitely accomplished that. I like to watch friendships form among strangers and see where someone who is alone finds that they are part of a group. We care about everyone and if we don’t see or hear from our ‘regulars’ for a few days, we will pick up the phone and check on them.
3. From your website, I see classes and other events are available at least four days a week. How did you get started teaching? What are some of your favorite techniques to teach?
We started out with our ‘clinics’ which are very well attended. These are for folks who need more than just a few minutes of help. They come to start projects, understand patterns, learn techniques. We get the best ideas from our customers and listen to them when they ask for classes. It’s always fun to offer something new and watch people enjoy making their projects. I don’t think I have one favorite technique. My favorite thing is to empower people and encourage them to learn and grow in their skills and confidence.
4. I know you offer a few eco yarns (I know because several have appeared in my shopping bag and even my mail box over the years). Do you have any other eco-conscious business initiatives?
We participate in Ravelry Pro where we can purchase patterns from Raverly for customers and the patterns go right into their Rav library (or email if they aren’t on Rav). This cuts down on the use of paper and also allows the customer to use the pattern with the Knit Companion App on their iPads instead of printing.
5. Please tell us a little about the people behind-the-scenes at Black Mountain Yarn Shop.
Wow!! We could not be BMYS without our talented staff all of which have many years of knit and crochet experience. Jill, Chloe, Barb, and Donna T help Don and I run a smooth shop and they are so good to us and our customers. Don is the bookkeeper, accountant, stockman, handyman, garbageman, mailman, and wears a multitude of other hats during the course of the day. We really couldn’t do it without him. Although he doesn’t knit very often, he can read a pattern, substitute yarn, pick up a dropped stitch, and lots of other things. I have the fun job where I get to pick the yarns and colors, figure out where to display them, go to the TNNA (our trade show) which is tons of fun, and also help decide on classes. I also manage our website calendar, Facebook and Instagram pages. Eunice, Janelle, Chloe and Jill do our knitting clinics and our customers love them! Jeanie is our crochet instructor and is super nice and kind and will even do a clinic on Saturday for the folks who can’t get to us during the week.
6. Puddles species to species question for Willow: what is your role in the success of your humans’ business and how often do you get to frequent the shop?
Well Puddles, I hate to say it but I have to work from home although I do get to visit the shop when it’s not open. I started out as a puppy and didn’t know exactly why I was there so I barked at everyone (especially small children and other dogs). Did I mention I have a really loud bark? I overheard my mom and dad say I was scaring the customers. So now I am a stay at home princess and my mom or dad come home everyday for several hours to walk me, feed me a good meal, and best of all they like to play with me and let me give them kisses. I’m hoping when I’m a little older I will have a little bit of restraint and be able to come to the shop with my people. In the meantime, you can find me at home taking nice long naps.
Visit Black Mountain Yarn Shop…
in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina at:
203 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday 10AM-5PM
Wednesday and Thursday 10AM-6PM
or find them online:
Black Mountain Yarn Shop Website:http://www.blackmountainyarnshop.com/
And a special thank you to Don & Donna at Black Mountain Yarn Shop for providing an amazing prize in the Shawl Pin Shawl MKAL!