These days, there are so many sad notices and posts about yarn shops closing and one might think that the future of knitting and brick n’ mortar stores is bleak. But today on the show, I chat with two passionate knitters and shop owners who are doing it right and have seen year-over-year success with their yarn shop, Espace Tricot.

In July 2017, Melissa Clulow and Lisa di Fruscia will celebrate the 7-year anniversary of their yarn shop, Espace Tricot. Located in Montreal, Canada, this store has become an incredible gathering place for the knitting community as much as it is a retail space. And at the heart of Espace Tricot is this friendship that Melissa and Lisa share and the community that they have created.

When Melissa Clulow first picked up a set of knitting needles back in 2008, something just, well, clicked. Suddenly, evenings on the sofa became productive and an enduring passion was born. Meanwhile, across town, Lisa Di Fruscia had turned to knitting while her newborn son napped afternoons away in the car (his preferred location). The two newly minted yarn lovers, hooked on the creative and stress-relieving properties of the craft, soon met at a local knit night, became fast friends, and, over coffee and stockinette, daydreamed about the ideal knit shop.

Casting off their previous lives in non-profit management and teaching, Melissa and Lisa opened Espace Tricot in 2010. As much a gathering place as a retail space, the shop’s inspiring atmosphere caters to fiber lovers of all ages and skill levels, attracting a loyal clientele. The store stocks a large and carefully curated selection of yarns and fibers, notions, accessories, books and patterns. Espace Tricot also offers many classes and workshops where new knitters, crocheters, and spinners can get started and more advanced customers can hone their skills. Espace Tricot is conveniently located in the heart of Notre-Dame-de-Grace in Montreal.

At first a lot of people were asking, “if I buy yarn, do I get a free pattern?” but you have have to understand that if there wasn’t a person who was a designer who dedicated their time and their energy and their job to making patterns, you would not be able to knit. So I think we brought people to that space where they understand that designers make a living, hand dyers make a living, and this is a valid and a valuable way to earn a living and to contribute to society. — Lisa di Fruscia

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Melissa and Lisa focused on knitting garment samples in the early days
  • How the practice of knitting has been a force in each of their lives
  • How they manage to work on a local yarn shop at a distance (Lisa in Montreal and Melissa in New Jersey)
  • How Espace Tricot educates their community and clientele about the value of what knitwear designers do
  • How Espace Tricot is preparing for the future in the knitting industry

Where to find Espace Tricot Yarn Shop:

“Love Your Yarn Shop” Giveaway

All you listeners out there, I would love to hear about why you love your local yarn shop and what unique or awesome thing they do that keeps you coming back again and again. Leave a comment BELOW about what makes your yarn shop special and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift certificate from our online shop for SweetGeorgia. We’ll leave this open until March 15, 2017 and then draw a winner. I’m so interested to hear what makes your yarn shop special!

Thanks for Listening!

Thank you so much for joining me this episode! If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with your fellow yarny friends. And if you like what I’m doing here, please leave a rating and review on iTunes for the show. I read each and every email and bit of feedback, whether it’s on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, so I welcome your comments.

Music Credits:

The Young and Beautiful – by Ivory Hours
For Michelle (NoiseTrade exclusive bonus track) – by Connor Zwetsch (on NoiseTrade)

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