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2024 Local Yarn Store Day!

Join us for a day of celebrating our unique community of crafters. This annual event is kinda like an International Yarn Crawl. Show support for the small businesses that not only supply yarn and tools for our fiber obsessions but also provide us with inspiration, support (educational and emotional), and community.

Reasons we think you should head to your local yarn store!

🧶 Your LYS believes in what they sell, and that what they sell matters! Seriously, we business owners have a budget and have to decide what we want to stock in our shops. Even if we LOVE everything - there's not enough room and not enough interest for us to stock everything. So we have to be discerning and really believe in our products.
🧶 Your LYS supports your community - real people (like us) go to work, pay taxes, donate gift cards to local organization fundraising events or sponsor their annual fundraiser, host toiletry drives, buy a coffee most mornings from another small business, host free events, and participate in community building.
🧶 Your LYS thinks of you as a person, not just a transaction! (And we love it when YOU think of the gather here team as real people, too! Mutual appreciation and interest in what we are making, what we are finding inspiration and joy in, and just checking in is so important!)

And while we're here celebrating and supporting local brick and mortars, let's spend a minute (or two) reflecting on what it takes to operate those brick and mortars. Why? Because over the years we've heard complaints about our pricing, about our curation, and our commitment to community care (yes, people hate to mask on Mondays and hate that I (Virginia, owner and immunocompromised human being) call them out on not caring about other people).

gather here only "makes" a few products - like the Our Fair City embroidery kits, scrap bags, and our Theodore stickers. Everything else we wholesale. Like many brick and mortars we have to not only pay for the product (often 50-55% of the consumer price) but also pay for all the overhead.

🧶 Like payroll for the team that provides excellent customer service and craft support. Our minimum hourly rate of pay is $20/hour since we require every member of our team to know the very basics of the multiple forms of fiber craft we offer. And they have to be able to discern various fibers (yarn and fabric), give solid craft advice (yes, that is a washable wool but don't put it in the dryer! Have you tried Soak wash? Oh, let me tell you more about blocking!), and keep the shop looking clean and keep things organized. 99% of health insurance is subsidized, there's a retirement plan, paid vacation, and paid sick/family leave. We have to sell a lot of knitting needles to pay the 3-4 people who are either on the sales floor or behind the scenes every hour.

🧶 Rent. Commercial rent in an area like Cambridge is not cheap. And we have just over 4,000 square feet of retail space. Have you ever checked out You'll see that many brokers are asking between $30-70 per square foot. AND they also expect the business owner to cover real estate taxes, building maintenance, and building insurance.

🧶 Utilities. You all know what you pay to keep the lights on. Now imagine 4,000+ square feet, lit up like a Christmas Tree 7 days a week for 12+ hours a day. And heat. Hot water. Air conditioning. Air filtration systems (those filters are not cheap). Music service. Internet. Phone. Trash.

🧶 Credit card processing fees. OMG! When you pay $20 we only receive $19.52. Depending on if it's paid in the store. Or online (which means we only make $19.22). If you use Apple Pay or Paypal or tap or swipe. If you use an Amex or Discover or Visa... all those 48 cents (78 cents if online) add up and our monthly credit card fees are killer.

🧶 All the various apps, Klaviyo (newsletter and SMS), the calendar booking app, the rewards app, the giftcard app, Shopify 2.0, and the point of sale. These aren't just a one charge thing and you own the right to use them. They are subscription services. And we have to update the technology all the time - tablets, laptops, desktop computers, smart phones, scanners, and printers (for price tags, receipts, patterns).

🧶 The equipment in our studios and the fixtures. We closed the shop for 5 days in 2023 so we could build new fixtures, replace damaged fixtures and equipment, paint the walls and the storefront, and give the shop a deep clean. Not being open means we weren't bringing in funds but we were spending funds to make the shop even better. The sewing machines, irons, computers, embroidery modules, swift and ballwinder - all of it needs constant maintenance.

🧶 Expendables! Paper bags cost money. And even though there's a fee for bags with handles we still have to order more bags every month. Cleaning products for various surfaces, windows, mirrors, etc. Menstrual products for our restrooms - not just for staff but for anyone to use. First Aid products, hand soap, hand sanitizer, hand lotion. Tape, staples, pens, markers, chalk markers, envelopes, paper... And then there are the cellophane bags we put flat patterns in so they don't get damaged. And compostable trash bags. Laundry detergent for our reusable hand towels and microfiber dusting cloths. Printer ink! For our color laser jet printer and our large pattern plotter.

This is not even close to a comprehensive list. As I was writing this post more things popped into my head. Like gift cards. And studio thread. And studio sewing machine needles. Scissor sharpening. Postage!

This is just a snapshot of what one purchase has to cover. This small business isn't a hobby. We don't have angel investors. And we firmly believe that gather here has to support all of us - including the owner, who has heard that many small business owners skip paying themselves during difficult economic times. So when you shop at gather here you are helping us keep the roof over our heads, the shelves stocked, the team fed. We can then pay our rents/mortgages, take care of our health, enjoy time with our families, and volunteer in our communities. So thank you for shopping small. For celebrating Local Yarn Stores. And for finding ways to make shopping locally part of your routine.