- Category: Local Business
- Published on Friday, 29 June 2012 09:17
- Written by Nancy O'Connell
It's time to get sentimental, so please bear with me as I take a moment to reflect and remember all our great times on Big Shop Lane, where it all began in March of 2005.
Leaving my corporate comfort zone, it didn't seem like such a big, outlandish leap to open a retail store. It felt like a nice marketing project. What I didn't factor in was how big a role my sisters, both literally and figuratively, would play in my new endeavors!
I should have gotten a clue when my two wonderful sisters were at the ready to help me start my business. Doris, who's built a highly successful retail business and Bette, who knows more about knitting and yarn than all of us collectively, both jumped in and help me learn the ropes.
Then, Mary Ann. What can I say about Mary Ann? One day, about 3 months before I opened, I got a call from her. She had run into my daughter Marcia's friend in Cosco - Mary Ann was wearing a poncho she knit. Turns out I had knit the exact poncho for Marcia, and they began chatting (what a surprise!). One thing led to another, and Mary Ann was soon on board to help me open the store.
A couple of months later, a friend of my very first customer, Mary Logan (the first person to sign-in on my first sign-up book!), came into the shop with her son, Taylor, who wanted to learn to knit. You got it! Rachel made her entrance (as she always does!) Then and there, we knew she'd be a great addition to the store.
Then, Mary Beth Irwin, a local knitting enthusiast, blogger, and instructor, stopped by to see if she could help in any way. Mary Beth taught our classes until she returned to her "day job". At this point, I hoped to find someone as patient and gifted as Mary Beth, and we were so fortunate Missy Holmes was willing to fill the bill! Missy, a fiber artist who also teaches rug hooking, was willing to take on the job, and has been patiently and expertly teaching our classes ever since. What would we do without her! Hopefully her day job will never call (we know how highly qualified a professional she is on so many levels). We'd be truly lost without her!
Others have pitched in. We're so grateful to Libbie, Robin and Sheila for their willingness to come jump in when we need them the most. We're also grateful to so many of you who have helped in ways you may never even realize. You seem to simply show up and help when we're overwhelmed. You share your knitting expertise, help us with customers, untangle necklaces, wind yarn, help with color choices -- the list goes on. I hope you all know who you are and how much we appreciate it!
Through the years, we've had so many great times. All based on the relationships that have come from a shop where our mission has always centered around women gathering and sharing common life stories and interests. We've laughed together, we've cried together. Mostly, we've stayed together!
When my lease was running out this year, I needed to make a decision. To stay or to grow? Big decisions here! At this point, fate again stepped in. Another amazing woman I would have never known had I not opened this shop, Tish Vredenburgh, had chosen to close her retail business at 23 Catoonah Street, a beautiful 18th century building she has lovingly restored. The opportunity to expand our shop was impossible to turn down.
So, here we are. Leaving a place where it all started. Moving on!
We're excited to share our move with you. Please join us tomorrow night to share the first steps on our new journey and help us make some new memories . . . details follow.
With tremendous gratitude for all the memories,