AZCentral.com had a lovely article a couple of weeks back about an Arizona-based yarn store called Tempe Fiber and Yarn. The article is about how this business is more than just a store. It is a place where a community is being built. I have found this experience to be true for every single small, independent yarn store that I’ve ever gone into. It’s one of many reasons that I prefer these little stores to larger craft stores that also sell yarn.
Some examples from the original article about how a yarn store may build a sense of community:
- These yarn stores offer classes. You can go there to get crochet instruction and meet other people who crochet, building your own little crochet community while you build your crochet knowledge.
- These yarn stores often offer individual instruction. This allows you to build a close relationship with the store owner.
- These businesses are usually owned by couples or friends. Small “mom and pop” businesses are always community-builders.
- These yarn stores often feature the products or work of other local people in the area. This represents artists supporting each other in the community.
- This yarn store has drop-in tables, places where people can come and just do their crochet work whenever they want, often sharing meals while they work. Other yarn stores sometimes have this great option as well. If that’s not community, I don’t know what is!
- Many people come to the store to work on charity projects together, using their crochet skills to benefit the community in bigger ways.
Incidentally, The Chattanoogan recently featured a very similar article to the Tempe yarn store article but it was about a local TN store called Three Black Sheep Yarn Shoppe.
Do you shop at little local yarn stores or bigger chain craft stores? Do you find a sense of community there? I would love to know!