It's time to say farewell ...

August 20, 2019

Ten years ago this October, I arrived back in New Zealand with a plan. I planned to start dyeing yarn, with the goal to use the funds generated to open a yarn shop. 


At that time, our local options were limited. The number of indie dyers were few, and i’d frequently walk in to my then LYS and back out again empty handed. Being in the UK and travelling Europe opened my eyes to what a yarn shop could be. I was determined to build in their mould, a place centred around people and the yarns crafters would delight in. 

Fun times in Petone 

 

Even then, I knew this wouldn’t be my forever job. I didn’t have an exit plan, aside from ‘well if it doesn’t work i’ll sell everything’. I had very little to lose except time. When I started I didn’t really think that much about making money, except needing to pay myself enough to cover rent and food. My growth plan was to push everything as far as I could without borrowing much and in turn increasing the risk level.


The last few years I have often thought about what’s next. I’ve gone from a shop with barely any stock to shelves packed full. From it being just me and the support of friends and family to a number of staff.

Our first Grand Arcade Store window

 

Every time I mulled over closing up, I kept getting stuck on one single point: what about the customers? Where will they go for company, yarn fumes and care? I feel a responsibility to everyone who feels at home at Holland Road Yarn Co, those of you who have shared your difficulties and joys with us. It’s an enormous privilege and I have a duty of care. 


This year I have been thinking about closing more often than not. Particularly with all the discussions around anti-racism and diversity in the knitting community, it’s really struck me that I have more I want to offer the world. As I hear arguments that we aren’t doing enough to take care of marginalised groups in our community, I agree absolutely. It’s time for things to change. 


So I’ve made the incredibly difficult decision to change. I have skills that can be used for deeper and more meaningful change than I could ever hope to achieve through supplying you with yarn. It no longer sits comfortably with me to encourage consumerism in a world that is in climate crisis, where we should be making do with what we have, being more thoughtful in our buying, and considering the impact our lifestyles have on the world. 


It also comes down to some pretty hard facts: running a retail business means I never get time off. It demands being constantly available on social media, working every single day, and always having to-do lists running through my head. The impact it has had on my relationships and my mental health has been severe. 

Packing in to Lyall Bay with Elliott

So, what's next?

Business as usual for the moment! Come and see me at Knit August Nights this weekend if you're coming, I can't wait to see you!

I will be finishing up dyeing Knitsch, unless the mood to throw colour around strikes me. If you want some - get it while you can.

Once i'm back from KAN and had some recovery time, we will start up with some sales. Before that, you can let us know if you have any special requests, particularly for Brooklyn Tweed and Cascade. The last orders for those will be sent off on 4 September, so get in touch if they are on your to-knit list.

The plan is to be all finished up on 13 October. I will continue on with some yarn online, namely Scheepjes, Lopi and Quince & Co. So HRYC will still be around, just a bit smaller and less visible. 

I want to thank each and every one of the people who has walked through the shop door, either in-person or online since 2011. You have enriched my life in ways I can't even begin to communicate, and I won't ever forget it. 

xx Tash

 

PS Craft Camp and Knitters Dinners will continue! Because we still need to hang out <3

Comments

Louise

Louise said:

Hey Tash,
Wow! what a huge decision to make. I’m selfishly sad, but good luck and well done for everything you have achieved.. I remember the beginning days and have always so enjoyed your yarn and active presence in the knitting world. xx

Sam I Am

Sam I Am said:

Hello from Rotorua. Here I am supposedly ‘studying’ and this post pops up.
I’m a frequent visitor to Wellington and each time I’ve come I’ve intended visiting Holland Road and something gets in the way of me doing so.

BUT my last trip in March, I thought dammit I will get there or else! And I did. My Other Half sat downstairs at the glorious pub while I went into mild conniptions at being able to finally see Holland Rd in all it’s gloriousness. I touched and inhaled yarn and I bought a lot of yarn. A lot. It was fantastic being there and seeing it all. I will never forget my visit to Lyall Bay, lots of yarn and an excellent lunch afterwards.

Tash, good on you for moving into a new direction, that takes sheer guts and determination. I take my (knitted) hat off to you. Know that you have made a huge impact on many many knitters with the fantastic yarns you offer. Best wishes to you Xx

Fiona

Fiona said:

I can imagine how difficult the decision was. I’ll miss your awesome store which I have followed from Petone to Willis St to Lyall Bay. I was going through my stash a few weeks ago and rediscovered the Flights of Fancy which felt far more recent than it actually was! I will be forever grateful to Kate for both teaching me to use a swift and to crochet, which I am totally addicted to.

Barbara Krooss

Barbara Krooss said:

Best wishes to you, wherever your journey takes you

Marilyn Velvin

Marilyn Velvin said:

This is sad but understandable Tash. Retail is a hard row to hoe and you have done a superb job of providing yarn and a place for yarnies. You introduced me to Ravelry and the whole dynamic knitting community – about 9 years ago despite me having been a knitter for many many years. I am so grateful for that. It is great that you will still be around and you may even get to our spinning group from time to time. I hope KAN goes really well for you. xxx

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