First, I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the kind words and wonderful memories shared about my mom. She was very humble, and never comfortable with anyone “tooting her horn”. I couldn’t get away with touting her genius much while she was alive, but now that she’s not with us anymore I cherish any opportunity to share what a great lady and incredible knitter she was.
In her absence, I felt a renewed determination to continue to touch the lives of others through a shared love of yarn. Passion truly drives our business, and not just a passion for yarn. It takes so much more than that. It takes a passion for people and a penchant for business, along the fortitude to work obsessively and not recoil from adversity.
Most importantly, it takes a team. I could not do this by myself.
All of our core team has been trained by my mom. I think I speak for us all when I say that when we find ourselves in a knitting conundrum, the first thing that pops in our minds is “what would Sherrry do.”
we go way back
Laura started as a customer from nearly the moment we first opened in the little house over 20 years ago.
When Mason was a baby, we had a second location in the city. Laura hosted the Thursday help days and would teach many of the classes.
She continues to pitch in from time to time as a class instructor.
Laura is an amazingly talented knitter, quilter, and artist who is usually sporting a fabulous piece of knitwear (and jewelry!)
Kary learned to knit when she worked at the Pollard Theatre, primarily for a role in one of their productions, and hasn’t stopped since!
She started working at SWAK over 15 years ago, when her daughter was just a baby. Mason wasn’t the first baby to grow up in our shop – Emma was!
When her children reached school age, Kary started working for the school and now works full time for the board of education.
Kary is my road trip companion, often pitching in to help with special events, classes, and weekends when needed.
Jeannie started as a customer over 20 years ago. I have a picture of her helping out at our very first knitting retreat back in 2001.
Like Kary, school age children took her life in a different direction for awhile.
Jeannie answered my cry for help a few years back, and I honestly don’t know what I would do without her.
Looking back, I do not know how we survived as mom’s health declined. This led to a greater workload at the shop, along having to divide my time between parent care and child care. My #1 go-to Lori was going through a change of life, eventually moving to Texas leaving me without reliable help. Times were tough!
Then came Jeannie. She is patient, a virtual knitting and crocheting machine, and immensely talented. A master at crafts, sewing, scrapbooking – and an aesthetician. She’s set up shop out of our dressing room doing waxing & such. She keeps me looking good and can do the same for you too!
This is my core group. As far as yarn shops go, we are one of the larger sized stores in the country but manage to run it with a small but mighty staff.
We also have two “teen” members, Sophia and Kaylee. Both are homeschooled and so quiet – which is quite a contrast to my very noisy self. They help keep things running smoothly behind the scenes.
I know the crocheters out there have to wonder why all of the knitting talk. We haven’t forgot about you. Knitting tends to be the dominate craft in the higher end yarn market. There are simply more designers, more demand, and therefore more focus. We are always on the lookout for a cool crochet project, and everyone on our staff can crochet quite proficiently.
Jeannie, however, is a SUPER crocheter with a passion for the craft. We often work in tandem, designing projects for special events and such. I develop the concept for the knitted version, and she will work up something either similar or complimentary in crochet. I leave the crochet designing to her.
Today I have some Jeannie goodies to share with you.
First are a trio of designs that Jeanie has created for the shop – two crochet and one knit. Simply click on the images above to download the patterns.
Second is Jeannie’s delicious recipe for Blueberry Scones.
Jeannie helps keep me grounded. We recently held a Holiday Social complete with high tea, and you can’t properly serve tea without scones. She asked if I planned on making the more difficult rolled scones that I usually make, and suggested I try her recipe instead.
I tend to take the most difficult path possible when it comes to cooking. Her suggestion was most welcome, considering I was trying to pull off throwing a party immediately after Thanksgiving. I pushed the “easy” button, tried her recipe and they were every bit as good (if not better) than my difficult recipe.
props to the photographer
I would be amiss if I didn’t give a shout out to DylanJohnson who photographed our team and made us look like rock stars. When shopping around for a photographer I did not want the usual business studio shots. I like to think we’re way too cool for that. I ran across Dylan’s work and the rest is history.
Dylan can make you look cool too. He is currently in the process of redoing his website, but check out his Facebook page.