Yarn store knits new businessThe tale of a new yarn shop unfolds as owner Emily Higgins winds up months of work to open the Pretty Darn Good Yarn Shop, LLC, at 104 N. Main St., for the first time Thursday, Nov. 15.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
The tale of a new yarn shop unfolds as owner Emily Higgins winds up months of work to open the Pretty Darn Good Yarn Shop, LLC, at 104 N. Main St., for the first time Thursday, Nov. 15.
She said last week that much of her inventory had been stacking up in storage at her parents’ house. Other parts of it were delayed coming from the East Coast after super storm Sandy left loads of damage in her wake. Higgins said Friday that she expects the floor space to have a few gaps until all merchandise arrives.
Shop visitors will find all sorts of accessories related to knitting and crocheting, as well as some sewing notions such as thread and buttons.
The store will offer yarn from the most basic quality to many specialty ones.
Higgins gives a sampling of name brands: Juniper Moon Farm; Circulo, which is a specialty yarn from Brazil; Noro, which offer fun designs such as polka dots; and possibly some cashmere yarns.
The yarn store will also offer batik items that can be made into clothes or artwork. Higgins said batik is basically a wax-resist process that leaves color on cotton.
“Classes will start after the first of the year,” said Higgins.
She plans to hold knitting classes, as well as ‘knit-alongs.’ She said those are to knitters and crocheters what book-club meetings are to readers.
In the future, the business owner may add crewel -- a type of embroidery -- but isn’t sure when that will be. Higgins wants everyone to know the shop will be crochet-friendly, which she says isn’t always the case.
She’s counting on a continued education from many of the experts who will visit the store.
Higgins said choosing the right space for the store took high priority.
She wanted to be on Main Street, and the shop needed enough room to hold classes without people sitting among the merchandise.
The young business owner said she had to find private investors to finance the venture because banks seem apprehensive about financing retail or restaurant businesses.
Many know Higgins from the local Custom Framing and Art store, where she started during college and worked for nearly 10 years. She earned a degree in fiber art, which covers a broad spectrum of materials.
She had begun to think of a different career -- something more aligned with her education and something with good growth potential.
Higgins said she also knows, “The Ben Franklin shop is definitely missed.”
The store closed years ago but carried some merchandise geared toward clientele who crochet, knit, embroider and sew.
Higgins displayed her new business at the Oct. 27 Business Expo at the River Falls High School.
She said as people learned about her venture, several of them commented, “Well, it’s about time!”
She said the leased Main Street space was last home to the former business Runway Replay. She didn’t do a lot of remodeling but still had lots of work to do.
“I’ve actually painted the place four times,” said Higgins.
Covering a lively purple paint color on all the walls required two coats of primer and two coats of paint. Pegboard across one whole wall will be nice to have but is apparently a big chore to paint.
The shop owner invested in dry cleaning for the carpet so that the whole space smells fresh and clean. The space also came with built-in display shelves and a somewhat “creepy” basement with a dirt floor.
The shop owner expects to be open about 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, with shorter hours Saturday. Higgins plans to be closed on Sunday and Monday but says she’ll have some Sunday and late-Thursday hours between now and Christmas.
Higgins is the only employee of the Pretty Darn Good Yarn shop and says that’s the way it will stay until the store can sustain employees.
She welcomes people to visit, chat and come feel the yarn samples -- some stores don’t’ like this – anytime.
Higgins envisions the store as a place of community, where people of common interests can gather.
The store has a new phone number that may already be familiar to some -- it was the phone number to Roen Ford before it closed.
To reach the Pretty Darn Good Yarn shop, call 715-425-6122.