Thirty years ago, I opened a weaving studio in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was in a lovely little building, tucked away from Scottsdale Road (the main street in Scottsdale). I renovated the inside so that it was somewhere I loved to be. The name of that business was ‘Arizona Weaving Studio’. One day, a distinguished older gentleman came in to see what I was doing. I showed him the looms and some fabrics that I had produced and we sat down to a lovely conversation. He had retired from business recently and found that he was eager to work on something. That ‘something’ turned into Scottsdale Magazine. He would search out interesting people and businesses all over Scottsdale, write articles and then send his photographer in to take photos. I was one of those fortunate people who Bob interviewed. In one of the photos you could see walls of yarns and skeins of handspun yarns hanging from the ceiling. As soon as the issue came out, knitters would pop their heads in and inquire about purchasing yarn. Soon, I could hardly find time to weave!
I moved into a larger building that had become available, set up my looms in the back and the largest portion of the building was dedicated to yarns, accessories and books. I thought that with another person, I would still be able to weave while knitters were getting the help they wanted. The business was now called, ‘Arizona Weaving and Knitting’. In short order, I was inundated with knitters needing help, wanting custom patterns, classes, finishing work and all the attention that good customer service requires. The looms grew silent as this new part of the journey took over. Fortunately, I had learned to knit as a girl and was able to supply all the skills required. For a few more years, I would weave after closing the shop at night and taught weaving a large number of enthusiastic students. The proverbial writing was on the wall though, and weaving was abandoned for this new, burgeoning knitting business!
A year or two after that, people were asking if I could order needlepoint supplies for them.. it was now called, ‘Arizona Knitting and Needlepoint’! We were gaining quite a reputation for our sellection of yarns and canvases. Customers returned time and time again, not just from the 4 corners of Arizona, but all across the USA and countries around the world, visitors to sunny Arizona had found the mother lode of choice, customer service and un-matched expertise in needle skills and color combining.
In recent years, the publication Phoenix Times included knitting shops in it's long list of businesses that it's secret shoppers assessed. And wouldn't you know it, in the 5 years that followed, Arizona Knitting and Needlepoint Inc. was FIRST IN CLASS. Now that the physical store is closed, someone else gets a chance.
Yes, the time came when the bricks and mortar store had to be closed, a not entirely voluntary choice. For three weeks visitors enjoyed a massive sale, 30% OFF! Lines stretched out of the door and at the cash register as customers old and new, young and old filled their bags with bargains. Not everything sold during those weeks, due to the vast inventory Rebecca held. An inventory that ensured that once a customer found what she wanted for her project (sometimes HIS project) that they did not have to wait for the store to place an order and wait for it to be delivered, but they could pick up their supplies there and then. Consequently quite a stock of product is still waiting to be snatched up by savvy on-line shoppers. All prices at least 30% OFF the retail price AS IT WAS THEN!. Many suppliers have increased their prices since and some reductions are equivalent to as much as 50% off!