I think every day should be buy local day and not just for yarn. When I started building up my personal stash of yarn (not on purpose by any means but it just kind of happens as you all know), I purchased most of my yarn from Michael’s with the occasional treat from a LYS (local yarn store) if I needed something particular. I then got in the habit of buying a skein of yarn from the cities I travel to as a souvenir rather than having another magnet or teddy bear or what not. I love going into the independent shops in my travels and chatting with the owners and I fully expect to pay double or triple for some sock yarn (compared to Michael’s shopping where I never go without at least a 40% off coupon).
When I started crocheting, I got hooked (pun intended) on CALs (crochet-alongs). The CALs typically recommend a kit from a company such as Rowan, Scheepjes, Stylecraft, etc. Because I couldn’t just walk into a Michael’s to buy the kits (or even a ball of this coveted yarn), I started to look online. That is when I discovered the big online retailers. I could order the kit from a big online store and get it shipped to me in a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable price. Great … until I started to feel guilty.
My family eats at locally owned restaurants whenever possible and we try to buy from farmers’ markets and other local retailers so it seemed hypocritical to be ordering a box of yarn from the UK or the US. I did a little research and found The Knotty House in Calgary! Calgary is about 3 hours from me which, by Canadian standards, makes it a local shop! Of course I would rather buy from there! I immediately hopped on the website and picked the kit and clicked add to cart and I’m ready to check out … and then shipping is added to my total and it’s a full stop for me. I realize shipping from Calgary is more than double than from the big UK retailer. I abandon my order and proceed to start ordering from the UK to save about $7 (on about $150 of yarn to put it into context). Then, I get an email from The Knotty House saying I’ve left something in my cart and do I want to complete my transaction? If not, why not? I email back stating I’m sorry but I can get the product for the same price from the UK and the shipping is cheaper. As I’m typing I realize how ridiculous this is. If I can afford $150 of yarn, I can put my money where my mouth is and pay the extra 5% or so to buy it from the shop in Calgary!
Long story short (it never is with me haha), I now buy all of my Scheepjes yarn from The Knotty House in Calgary and the lovely owner Laura has been an amazing mentor to me as I opened my online shop!
While shopping local is the right decision for me (whenever possible), I’m not at all saying people should not shop at Wal-Mart. I’m simply asking that you look at what options are out there and decide what’s the right decision for you.
Every sale I make, means something to me as I didn’t open a yarn shop to be on the Forbes list – I love yarn and making things and want to share that passion with others. I’ve already met so many lovely folks through yarn, knitting and crocheting and I’m excited to meet more of you! If anyone wants to give a shout out to a local business of any kind in their area, please leave a comment below.
As a thank you for supporting my local shop, until midnight MST on April 21, you will get 15% off your purchase using the coupon code LYSDAY (cannot be combined with other discounts but free shipping still applies on orders > $100).
~ Monika ~