Q&A with the owners of Woolly Jumper Yarns
Michele Morris and Jackie Crenshaw, co-owners
Woolly Jumper Yarns
What they do: Woolly Jumper Yarns has been located at 202 Locust St. in Floyd since January 2010. The store features a large supply of yarns and yarn accessories and specializes in a variety of locally produced products.
It also hosts weekly knitting groups and provides a range of knitting classes at different times throughout the year. For more information regarding courses and/or knitting groups, visit Woolly Jumper Yarns on Facebook or call 745-5648.
The current store hours are Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Q: How did you get into this business?
A: Morris: We’re both avid knitters, and Jackie also owns the country store and used to host a knitting evening once a month. So I knew that she had that love of knitting and doing things with her hands, and for me, personally, after a while I thought it would be nice to have a place in town that a person who knits or crochets could go to without having to go to Blacksburg or Roanoke if they needed some yarn or needles.
A: Crenshaw: And I think we both had the sense that knitting is a skill that should continue. It shouldn’t be allowed to die. It should be available for young people to learn and for older people to spend some more time on. I think that we both felt that it was important to have that craft continue in the community.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: Morris: Oh my gosh, it’s like, who gets to work in their … favorite hobby? It’s not even like work. It’s a no-brainer for us.
A: Crenshaw: We get to interact with other knitters and crocheters, and they come in and share their stories and give us ideas. It’s just, in a way, a community thing.
Q: What is your key to success?
A: Morris: I think there’s a couple things. For locals, we offer things you can’t find anywhere else. I would say that’s local to Floyd and also to surrounding communities. We also carry local yarns, so those are yarns that are hand-spun and sometimes hand-dyed by members of the community. Those are things that people can’t find anywhere — they’re here only. We also like to help people. We’re not pushy. We like to show off what we have and let people come in and touch, but I feel like we’re not so concerned with making that sale. You know, just making sure people have a good time and can take a look and see what we have.
A: Crenshaw: I think our customers are a lot of our success because knitters tend to be very intense people. They love to knit. I mean people just fall in love with knitting and crocheting and so have some really solid, regular customers that really help the store a lot, and they help spread the word, also.
Q: In what ways does your business give back to the community?
A: Crenshaw: I think in terms of education is probably the most obvious way. And just the presence of the store here, it kind of adds vitality to downtown. … As we get more variety of stores downtown, it makes the town more interesting for local folks to come out and spend time in town and for tourists to come by.
A: Morris: We do have knitting on what we call “Yarn-Crafting Night” on Thursday nights, which is a time when anyone can come in with whatever they have. It doesn’t have to be something they are making from materials they bought here, they can just come in, sit down, join everybody else, have a little coffee, some dessert, and sit around and work on their projects.
People that are knitters or crocheters know that they can go to a yarn shop and get help on a project, but on Thursday nights people come in and there’s a whole bunch of people here with varying levels of expertise, and they all help each other.
Q: What do you like most about having a business in the New River Valley?
A: Crenshaw: We live here. It’s home for us.
A: Morris: It’s a good community of people, too. They support things. They’re just really good at supporting local businesses, especially things that are distinct, like this.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
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