Yarn for the Soul was born in 2017 after a spell in hospital left me thinking….
Prior to my time in hospital I knew I would be there for a while and therefore sorted out a suitable project to take with me. I had a stunning skein dyed for me by my wonderful friend Hutch over at Dye Candy in the colours I had asked for. When I was able, I opened up my project bag, got my hook out and began to make my Elise shawl. I had no idea that me sat in a bed and crocheting would bring so much attention! There were people getting out of bed to look at the colours; doctors and nurses kept popping back to see how far I had got and other patients stopping to feel the yarn on their way past. You see, on a surgical ward no flowers are allowed! Wards are fairly grey and boring places with the exception of a couple of bananas and an apple if you’re lucky! This new found excitement among the patients and staff lasted the whole length of time I was there.
When I was home I started to think – you might not be able to send flowers, but you can still send parcels of happiness. And that is how Yarn for the Soul was born. I had the talented Ann at Ditsy Pips design me two patterns and I bought yarn from Dye Candy. I sourced notions, hooks and other bits and pieces and put together little boxes of love – for patients, for friends, for paternity leave, for maternity leave, for people suffering with their mental health….. the list went on.
Then I decided to branch out and have my own yarn club. Lynzi from Hooking Marvellous agreed to dye yarn for me and it went from there. I sourced the extras, sent Lynzi a picture of what colours I wanted and the club took off. Around this time I worked with Molly at Rockamolly who designed my beautiful logo.
About 18 months after Yarn for the Soul was born ( I was working during this time too) I was made redundant. Trying to find another job to fit around my children was going to be impossible, so I taught myself to dye yarn and went full time self employed.
Yarn for the Soul was run from a very small cottage in Wiltshire up until July 2019, when something exciting happened. Up until then, every skein of yarn I dyed was done by hand, in my galley kitchen – in about 1 metre square of space! Yarn is still hand painted and dyed by me and every box is still packed and hand labelled by myself. Everything on my website has been hand selected by me and 90% supports other small businesses.
So, What happened in the months before July 2019? Essentially, subscription boxes took off to such an extent that Yarn for the Soul outgrew my already small house and with two growing children the cramped space meant quality of life was vanishing. I couldn’t escape work and neither could the children. I was not in a financial position to move house, so I began to keep a look out on the commercial property front. The commercial properties that were available were all far too much money for a small business such as mine (in spite of it outgrowing my house) – until my mum sent me a link to a property she found. It almost seemed too good to be true, but within a couple of hours I was stood inside the shop beginning to feel rather excited. This could actually work – this could really happen. This was in May.
Most of June was spent project managing Phase Two of Yarn for the Soul and creating the vision inside my head. I decided early on that I wanted to support small and local businesses as much as possible, so gave the unenviable task of the shop renovation to a wonderful chap called Chris. He has worked so tremendously hard for me and the interior and exterior finish is all down to him. I had a local firm make the fascia board too. Then the end of June arrived and with it came the start of July – time to move the business – and that is how Phase Two happened!
I’ve been through some tough times and I’m out the other end smiling, but what I have learnt is that everyone is entitled to a little piece of luxury – everyone. That is why every purchase is wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a special sticker. That is why every box is sealed with my special seal and that is why all my boxes are hand addressed. It’s because I am sending them to you and you matter very much.
Thank you for reading about how Yarn for the Soul was born – and it’s true, when you buy from a small business we really do a happy dance!