Lindsay Potter has never been afraid of needles.
In fact, she's made a career based on knitting and other yarn crafts involving sticks and string.
"My husband likes to play video games," says Potter. "While you might get a virtual graphic or reward at the end, with my hobby, I have something I can wrap my family in and keep warm. You spend time creating something that's functional, beautiful and fun to touch."
In 2007, Potter purchased The Yarn Garden
, a small, craft-based business in downtown Charlotte across from the Eaton County Courthouse. Potter had worked for the founder Kim Torkko who opened the specialty yarn shop in 2003, and fell in love with the business.
In 10 years, Potter has continued to grow the shop into a small business based on service and helping people learn and refine their talent for knitting and crocheting. With a focus on natural fibers, she carries a variety of yarns and products not typically found in bigger craft stores. She also networks with related independent small businesses, carrying locally dyed yarns, notions and hand-made items like project bags.
As a one-woman shop, Potter coordinates retail as well as the events, classes and social groups, some in cooperation with customers. "Knit alongs," for instance, invite people to drop in and bring their projects, or to work on a shared project together.
"There's a huge social aspect to what we do," says Potter. "People of all ages and professions get together because we have this common thing we enjoy. It's a sense of community, and we've all gone through hard times or experiences. I know I can always count on my knitters."
The popularity of The Yarn Garden inspired Potter to take the next step during her 10th
anniversary year and move to a larger space. Coming this spring or early summer, she'll turn the key on the new store just around the corner at 131 S. Cochran Street. At 1,400-square feet, the location is about 400-square feet larger with more usable space for retail and classes.
"And since we'll be right on the main street, the new location will bring me more visibility," says Potter. "That means I'll be able to invite more people in to enjoy the craft."
Source: Lindsay Potter, Owner, The Yarn Garden
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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