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Meet Victoria Myers of Island Yarn in Maynard

Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Myers.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I came to own Island Yarn through a totally rash decision combined with a sleepless night. Island Yarn was my favorite local yarn store that I shopped at about 11 year ago. The previous owner had been trying to sell the business, but with no luck, she decided to close. I popped over to see her one day and the “FOR LEASE” sign in the window made me so sad that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The next morning, I sent her a text, “I think I’m going to buy your shop.” After quite some time, she texted back, “I don’t know how to text.” It was 11 years ago. People could still get away with that. I called her and we chatted and 2 days later signed the papers.

I’ve now owned Island Yarn for 11 years and it has been mostly fantastic! The people that I see every day are purely delightful – full of warmth and creativity and walking into a place of work that is literally packed from floor to ceiling with drool worthy colors and fibers is pretty great too. Over the years, I’ve designed hundreds of knitting and crochet patterns and developed an extensive line of hand-dyed and reclaimed yarns just for Island Yarn and the response has been fantastic! Crafters in Massachusetts are very appreciative of local arts and crafts, so it is a very rewarding part of owning Island Yarn.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Local Yarn Shops are an unusual breed of retail shop. Some of the peculiarities make it easier, some make it more difficult. Over the years, the most obvious difficulty has been online competition. It doesn’t just hurt the bottom line, which is bad enough, but creates an awkward situation in a place where we love to help and welcome everyone. Sadly you have to take care to not spend all day helping people through projects when the sales are not going toward keeping your doors open.

We also had an unexpected challenge last year when the plaza Island Yarn had been in for 10 years was taken over by a management company that thought it necessary to double everyone’s rent. It was an untenable increase and a really stressful time, but we happily landed in Maynard which is just the perfect place for us! Though sometimes we really miss Waltham, Maynard is such a friendly, beautiful town, full of arts, crafts, cafes and wonderful knitters and crocheters! And luckily, it is not SO far from Waltham, so I’m lucky to still have most of my Waltham area customers come and see me quite regularly.

Island Yarn – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Island Yarn has just the most gorgeous yarn around! We have our own line of hand-dyed yarns – superwash merinos, silks, and alpaca. We also have our own reclaimed cashmere – which is a treat for your hands and your karma! We also design many patterns and build kits from the finest commercially available yarns out there. Our kits are ever evolving to match the new interests of knitters, crocheters, and weavers. We also have a constant offering of skill building classes, knit nights and other surprise special events through the year. All of this is only available at Island Yarn!

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
This is a hard one – “proud” is not exactly on my radar.

When I’m teaching someone a new skill and you see that moment where it clicks for them – that is pretty awesome.

Oh! And a few years back I went on a short stint of submitting patterns to magazines. My very first two were expected and published by Interweave Knits (which had always been my favorite knitting magazine), so I think I’ll always be pretty proud of that.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Model – Aja Aiello-Myers

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