Argyle Yarn Shop is owned by Esther and David Betten, a husband-and-wife team. We opened Argyle here in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, in November 2011.
We noticed that yarn stores seem to drop into two categories: Big box chains that only sell inexpensive acrylics; and small boutiques that only stock gourmet products at upscale prices. We wanted to bridge the gap with a broad range of prices from top-tier selections on down to the most economical products.
Shopping for yarn is supposed to be one of those experiences that makes it all worth it. Your work week’s over and you’ve got enough left over at the end of the day to treat yourself to something special, something you’ve been looking forward to. You’re about to buy something not because you have to, but because you deserve it and you’ve earned it. We’re really fortunate to work in a place where people walk in thinking, “All right, now I can finally relax!”
Plus, there’s a real sense of community in a yarn store. The regulars get to know each other and it’s a great opportunity to show off your latest creation with people who can really appreciate all the hard work that went into it. Though all different ages and levels of experience, everyone is working at developing a real skill side by side, and it’s amazing to watch folks go from being a beginner to a level of mastery over time.
In an increasingly digitized world, we’re not surprised that the fastest growing demographic is women in their 20s. After all, in an age when most presents can be generated by the click of a button, to be able to say to someone, “I made this for you this month, with love, with my own two hands” is an astonishing declaration.
Having worked in the service industry for over a decade each, we learned to see everyone who comes in the door primarily as our guest, not as a potential sale. In a restaurant, your job is to take care of your guests and make them feel comfortable, not to convince them they’re hungry.
You’d think a restaurant owner was crazy to say, “Try to get this customer to consume as much food and alcohol in one sitting as you can, because we may never see her again,” but that’s exactly how many retailers behave. It’s rather when folks leave saying, “I had a great time, and I can’t wait to come back” when we know we’re treating our guests right.
“I feel like a kid in a candy store” is one of the happiest things we get to hear during our day. How often does a grownup get to feel that way?