Friday, July 17, 2009

Why I Shop Local

No photos today. Just a marvelous story, in two parts, about why I shop local - as in Local Yarn Stores. Mind you sometimes a LYS can be quite a trek here in southern California. We think nothing of driving and hour to get to a 'local' yarn store.

Story 1
Knit 'N Stitch here in Riverside is hosting a yarn tasting featuring Plymouth Yarn. If you have never been to a yarn tasting, it is quite a fun and festive event. Plymouth is sending skeins and skeins of yarn and sample garments. It is a bring your own needles and hooks and try before you buy afternoon of fun. Naturally, food is involved.

Unfortunately, I will have to miss the event due to prior plans. This story is all about opening one's big mouth and getting a little perk. I expressed to Linda, the KNS owner, that I could not attend the event - I would miss out on the festivities and the discount. Too bad for me. It is possible that a sad face accompanied my announcement.

Linda, ever the friendly shopkeeper, offered a wonderful solution. I am to stop by today. It is an opportunity to see the new Plymouth Fall color ways and yarns, look through the patterns and enjoy. Yes, a private - well as private as one can be in an open store - tasting of my own. Linda has even offered to include the discount on any yarns I order.

Isn't this grand? Personal service and an early opportunity. Naturally, this early sneak peak does not include refreshments. That is just for the official Yarn Tasting event. Perhaps, to show my gratitude for Linda's kindness, I will arrive with cookies in hand. I have my eye on beaucoup Boku with the promised discount, of course. But Royal Llama Silk Splash is speaking to me. Not softly either.

Story 2
A short while ago, a LYS here in Riverside closed doors - kaput! Gone. The owner, with an expiring lease, chose to close the business rather than sign another lease. She had an opportunity to change her life focus and took it. This was a great place to shop - sock yarn and buttons! Of course the stock included lots of other yummy yarns, books, classes. It was a LYS of some note. One of the workers, an excellent teacher by the way, was quite concerned about loosing her job.

Skip forward about two months and here comes Knitting With Sandra. The Grand Opening of the new store is just one day away. As I will not be able to attend the official opening due to the same prior engagement that keeps me from the Plymouth Yarn Tasting (see above story), I drove by earlier this week to see what was happening. Wouldn't you know it, the doors were unlocked and Sandra along with her merry band of cohorts was busy stocking the shelves, already giving a class, and the windows were getting washed and all of the painting was complete (and no smell left to impact your comfort).

Even better, Sandra gave me a personal tour of the shop, discussed what was yet to be put out on display and also gave me the scoop on stock soon to arrive. I admitted to having signed up for her Ravelry group and now had all of those new friends, thanked her for keeping me on the email list (left over from her work for the previous owner) and signed on the dotted line to stay on her email list. Oh, and I did manage to buy Ella rae Lace Merino #106. Before the official opening! You are not going to get that kind of service at a big box chain.

These two stories illustrate why I shop local.
  1. Special attention - personal attention
  2. Friendships to be made
  3. Friendshops for stopping by and sitting a spell
  4. Sale price - before the sale
  5. An occasional perk
  6. And there is that whole spurring on the local economy, keeping sales tax close to home, workers employed, etc.
Get out there and shop local. Yarn, veggies, car wash, appliance repair, lunch.... Every little bit helps to make your community your home.

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