Featured Collaborator: Knit Knorth

Today we feature an interview with Heather Adle, owner of Knit Knorth a new yarn shop in Traverse City, MI.  We were thrilled that she wanted to include Love+Leche products in her opening inventory!  Here she talks about opening her store and becoming a small business owner.

How did you decide to open a yarn store?
I started knitting 15 years ago, and not long after that I knew that someday I wanted to own my yarn store. I’d always wanted to own a small business, and combining this dream with my new passion seemed natural. There are a few yarn stores in town, and after being a customer of one for a few years I approached the owner about coming to work for her. I worked at the store for five years which further fueled my dream to someday own a yarn shop myself.

I ended up leaving the store and returned to teaching elementary school until a few months ago. A great location downtown became available, I got some funding, and I made the quick decision to go for it. I’ve had the business plan and the name for a long time now, and it felt like I was just waiting for the right time!

What do you hope to bring to your local knitting community with your new store? 
We’ll be carrying mostly yarn, and a little spinning fiber. I’ve been thoughtful in curating a variety of items that aren’t available in our area. As a small business owner myself it’s important to me to support other entrepreneurs, so I strive to support these other small companies and introduce our local community to all the wonderful indie dyers and other makers out there.

knitknorth2What has been the biggest hurdle in realizing your dream of owning a small business? 
Making a break from what I had been doing. I became known in the community as the manager of another yarn store, so breaking that mold was uncomfortable. I had to ask myself, “image1Do I have the stomach to do what I really want to do?” I know it’s going to be a lot of work, and it has been a ton already just getting here. From deciding to start a yarn shop to our first day with doors open is just 6 weeks, so it’s been a mad rush to get everything done in time.

What are you looking forward to most after the doors open? 
Putting customers in exceptional product! I love yarn, I love knitting, and I love helping people knit beautiful items.

What scares you the most about opening your store?
The big questions like, “Did I get it right?” You spend all this time creating a business plan, and you put a lot on the line. The business model in the past has been buy a ton of yarn, and then people will buy it. But the market is changing, so you have to be selective. Packing the store floor to ceiling with yarn that you can’t sell isn’t going to work. There’s product everywhere, so it’s important to really curate your offerings.

knitknorth3And of course, we have to ask, why did you choose to carry Love+Leche products in your store?
It’s a great product. It’s one that I use, and love, and that’s what I want to sell here in my store. I love the packaging. It’s clean, modern, and reusable. I’m allergic to synthetic perfumes, so it was important to get something that was natural. I like that it goes on easily, dries quickly. There are other similar products available, but the clean natural scents and the packaging make it a cut above the rest.