Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy and Hunter Young.
Amy and Hunter, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When my two children were big enough to start pre-school and kindergarten, I had a little more time on my hands between dropping them off and picking them up at various kid-centered activities. I started to frequent my local knitting shop and made friends with the employees and fellow customers. Around this time too, my husband and I were brainstorming small business opportunities when without much warning, the shop that I was spending so much time with decided to close its doors. After interviewing as many people in the industry as we could (both customers and shop managers) and purchasing market research from national trade associations – we decided to take the plunge and opened our own shop. My background is in Library Science and my husband’s is in Computer Arts, so learning about small business ownership from our experience has been challenging and rewarding. We have also had a lot of help along the way through friends and family who have offered their knowledge and support.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been an interesting road. Even with the shift from brick and mortar retail to the convenience of online shopping – customers want a place like a physical knit shop. They can not only touch and feel the merchandise (something you can’t experience through your computer monitor) but they can also take classes and connect with other crafters through social events like weekly knit nights.
Another challenge has been learning how to market our business and find potential customers. We rely heavily on digital marketing like Instagram and Facebook and hardly do any print advertising at all. We have even begun filming a bi-weekly video podcast to get the word out about new products and classes. Our consumer demographics are fairly wide age wise – so while the digital platform captures many customers, we still rely on word of mouth to reach our older clients who don’t consume as much digital media as the younger groups. (Although this seems to be shifting as well).
We’d love to hear more about your business.
The biggest thing that we have learned about having a knitting shop – is that it isn’t just a retail store. A “LYS” or “Local Yarn Shop” as they are called in the knitting culture is a community. We have classes, social events, and even celebrity guest instructors. We support our regular customers as well as several knitting and crochet guilds across the metroplex through donations and special events for local knitwear designers.
What were you like growing up?
I have been a “maker” all my life. I’ve always enjoyed the needle arts: knitting, crochet, needle point, and sewing. I come from a long line of creative types. My mother and grandmother always had some sort of craft project sitting on their lap in the evenings after all the house hold chores were done.
- Address: 3612 West 7th Street – Suite D
Fort Worth, TX 76107
- Website: www.west7thwool.com
- Phone: 817-731-5044
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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West 7th Wool