Unlike many yarn shop owners, I am new to fiber arts. I have been creative all of my life with painting, dancing, singing, and cooking, but I learned how to knit and crochet 4 years ago. I’ve had a long, fast-paced, and stressful career in technology and had heard about the “slow movement” of creating with your hands and slowing down your pace to enjoy life. I needed something healing and fulfilling for myself, so I learned how to crochet and knit. Almost immediately, I saw the meditative benefit and payoff from fiber arts. My blood pressure and insomnia subsided and I was less moody and anxious. I started Yarn Geeks as a Meetup group to find like-minded people and expand my knowledge of knitting and crochet. As I met more people and learned about their preferences in fiber and patterns, it became quickly evident that shopping at big box stores was limiting my creativity. At the suggestion of a few friends, I opened what would be my pop-up yarn shop. Our community grew quickly and it was clear to me that there was a large gap in our community to share the love of fiber arts, fellowship, and creativity.
It’s common when I meet people who know little about fiber arts that the first thing they connect it to is the grandma or old auntie that used to knit socks for them. But, young women in their twenties are fueling yarn sales across the country. In 2014, the Craft Yarn council’s annual survey found exponential growth between the ages of 18 to 34. Men are more than welcome, as the numbers of #menwhoknit continues to grow. I want to create a space for beginners to feel welcome and learn and for experienced knitters to share tips with each other.It’s my goal to inspire and teach people of all ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds to use fiber arts as their own creative expression and combine it with technology, architecture, photography, and fine arts.
As a Black woman and single mom, I feel it’s important to support BIPOC makers and family-owned businesses. Not all of my yarn is exclusively sourced this way, but it’s one of the main criteria in which I use to choose business partners. I also look for products that share my values in sustainability, and being environmentally friendly and animal cruelty-free.The many blessings that I’ve had in my life have made it essential for me to give back to the community in my business model. Each quarter, Yarn Geek Boutique focuses on a giving opportunity within our communities. We’ve made hats for NICU and anti-bullying campaigns, scarves for homeless, and prayer shawls for hospitals. We continually look for ways that we can help others through our love of the fiber arts.