This weekend Crazy for Ewe retreaters had the opportunity to visit the Tahki Stacy Charles facility and meet Stacy and some of his team. I first met Stacy several years ago at TNNA. I was just one of the many LYS owners he saw during those events, but as crazy busy as his booth was, he always took the time to chat with me and seemed genuinely interested in me and my shop. He is an honestly nice person, and at our visit with him Saturday, he was warm and approachable and fully engaged with our group. It's easy to see why I like him so much. What really struck me this weekend though, is that Stacy is a small business owner, just like me. His full time staff is just 6 people. And while he manages many times the dollars that I do, our concerns are the same: Will my customers like this product? What patterns are going to make the most of this fiber? Is this a reasonable price for this product?
In other words, we're both always asking ourselves, "Should I bring in this yarn, and if so, how should I market it?" Stacy and I are on the same team. We both want to bring beautiful, quality yarns to our customers, and we want to give current, on-trend answers to the question, "What should I make with this yarn?" I love that. It's wonderful partnering with another small business owner who shares my goals.
Also, we have the same vision on where hand-knitting fits in the world. Stacy made a comment that underscored what I've been saying for years. -- hand-knitting is part of the fashion industry. It makes me crazy to be lumped in the arts and crafts store category. Crazy for Ewe is not Michael's or Hobby Lobby. Today's knitter is making things she (or he) wants to wear - things that follow what we see in magazines -- current looks that make a fashion statement and reflect their personal style. One of the standout projects from Saturday was this poncho.
It's from the Tahki line, which Stacy said is all about American style and echoes American designers like Eileen Fisher. He mentioned that the yarn used in that project is exactly the same yarn that Eileen Fisher used for a similar garment in her ready-to-wear line. Same yarn, from the same mill. Same. Generally, I don't think of knitting as a way to save money, but for Eileen Fisher, Ralph Lauren, and other premier designer lines, it totally is.
Colors and textures play a big role across the Tahki Stacy Charles lines. One of the hallmarks of his yarns is a coordinated palette of beautiful high-end Italian novelty yarns. These sparkly or textural fibers are what take your project to wow. After the presentation, one of the attendees said, "Stacy's yarns make me remember why I love to knit." Playing with colors and textures is fun, and these fibers make it easy to create something beautiful and unique where fashion meets original art.I could go on and on about the our day with Stacy, his warm and genuine welcome, his terrific team, and his beautiful yarns, but we'd both rather have you come enjoy his beautiful fibers. So do. Stop in and get started on a fashion piece that's uniquely you. Continue reading