The Knitting Loft, Toronto
Bruna (right) and Maria (left) form the mother-daughter duo of The Knitting Loft, a local yarn shop and knitting café based in Toronto, Canada. While Bruna’s expertise is in yarn selection and talent scouting, Maria’s is in marketing and business strategy, which makes them a dream match for this kind of business.
“As a new company—we opened in 2018!—, we have a long way to go in achieving their ultimate vision, says Maria, but we love the journey so far, including introducing new brands like Dyed by Delz!”
A Yarn Story, Bath
Meet Carmen, another Les Garçons' stockist! In 2018, Max and I went on a roadtrip around England and Scotland, visiting numerous cities, but also numerous yarn shops! Bath, and A Yarn Story, definitely was a highlight of the trip.
Carmen is the owner and founder of A Yarn Story. Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, Carmen went to uni in California before leaping across the pond to Europe where she first made Germany her home. She then headed to Ireland where she found her love of knitting, before eventually settling in Bath.
Her earliest memory of yarn involved creating endless i-cords with her French knitting dolly, as well as weaving rugs for her doll’s house, and winding and re-winding yarn on her Mom's ball-winder. To this day, Carmen is still a ‘product knitter’, and loves creating everything from socks and shawls to mitts, hats and sweaters – as long as it is beautiful, useful and full of colour.
Armed with an MBA from Goethe Business School and heavily influenced by her parents who ran a successful restaurant, Carmen combined her business brain with her passion for yarn to launch A Yarn Story in 2014… and has never looked back!
She says of her love of knitting, “With yarn you can take that string you love and turn it into whatever you want – absolutely whatever your heart desires.”
Brooklyn General Store, Brooklyn, New York
Meet Catherine! She is the founder and owner of Brooklyn General Store.
Catherine has been knitting, sewing and designing since the age of 5. She has always designed her own knitwear but it wasn't until recently that she began to write down her patterns. Her passion is to knit garments that have a story and create an intention when worn. In addition to knitting and sewing, dancing to Western Swing and singing harmony are her favorite things to do. Her favorite color is where blue meets green...when it is hard to tell where it falls.
Starlight Knitting Society, Portland, Oregon
Let's all give Melissa the biggest welcome to the Les Garçons family!
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Melissa has a fine arts degree specializing in fibre arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After working in yarn shops in Chicago and Los Angeles, she moved back to Portland to open her first shop at the age of 26. Talk about impressive! She eventually closed that shop, and took time to raise her 2 children and become a labor doula, attending more than 500 births.
In 2015, she decided the locals of her sweet neighbourhood needed a place to buy yarn, so she put together a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds needed to get going. We can safely say that Starlight is truly a supporter-driven enterprise! What Starlight has become is really the work of their incredible team and their wonderful customers whose passion for knitting keeps them inspired.
Never in a million years would I have imagined my yarn would travel this far this quickly when I first started dyeing. Ting is the first person who reached out for wholesale when we launched Les Garçons. I was not ready to take that step at the time, but she was patient!
Ting is a former programmer. She started to knitting in 2012, learning from YouTube, and it quickly became an addiction! In the following years, she travelled the world, and local yarn shops were always a must-see destination. Seeing as her addiction was not subsiding, she started to build her business—Tingknitting—in 2019. At first, her space was very small, and customers had to walk up 6 floors to reach her studio. In 2020, she decided to make Tingknitting her full-time job. That’s when she found her current space, which used to be a factory. She and her dad spent 4 months renovating the space. The current Tingknitting store opened in July 2020.
“People are not familiar with yarn shops like Tingknitting in Taiwan, says Ting. I know I will have to face many challenges. But I wanted to fulfill this dream, and failure is better than not trying, right?!”