Downtown Yarns for the future

Dear Friends,

I have big news to share! Rita is planning to retire and she has offered me the opportunity to take over Downtown Yarns (dty).  I am buying the business - lock, stock and barrel - and I will repay her over time. If I can raise $30,000 to use as operating expenses for the coming year, we can keep this amazing shop going!
I’m writing you to ask for your help. Please consider helping me to raise $30,000 so that we can all continue to take part in the dty community and so that we can continue to carry all the beautiful yarns we are used to seeing here at Downtown Yarns. 

I am very happy and honored  to have been considered to carry on this very special place Rita has created. 
When I first came to Downtown Yarns  I didn’t know anything about knitting but I remember being drawn to the vibrant colors and textures, the subtle scent of the wool and the perfect samples on display. I knew immediately how special Downtown Yarns was and that I wanted to be a part of it. I took class after class, acquiring skills and knowledge, eventually joining the sales team, and then part- time staff, then teacher, now potential owner.

Downtown Yarns  has been more than a store for me and so many others, it is a vital community space where intergenerational learning happens, where new skills are developed, and where community networking is initiated. Preserving this special hub in a rapidly gentrifying New York City neighborhood is important not only for those who have been here for years but also to new community members and visitors, offering a welcoming home to curious crafters, makers, and learners.

The other day a family, reminding me of my own Mexican-American roots, came in to shop. While the Mom browsed, her two young daughters approached me at the ball winder, inquiring about what I was doing and began complimenting my style, my hair, my shoes. I was touched and humbled by their attention, remembering how meaningful it is to have leaders who resemble us. At Downtown Yarns  I have been able to step into the person I want to be for others: a role model, a leader, a teacher for all sorts of children and people of color. Downtown Yarns has been a place to uplift the community and I am excited to carry this torch into the future, offering hope, space, accessibility, and kindness to those who come through its doors.

Rita has worked hard these past 17 years to keep Downtown Yarns going.  As I take over the store, I will need financial help to keep these dreams alive and to create new ones for the future. Rita has offered me the store on loan which I will repay over time but I need to raise $30,000 for operating expenses which will help pay employee salaries as well as stock the store with gorgeous yarns for the upcoming season. 

I have learned much more than knitting here at Downtown Yarns. With Rita’s guidance, I have learned how to keep accounts, organize classes, order yarns, manage stock, work with our vendors and plan for changing seasonal yarn needs. Rita’s years as a business woman have made her a superb teacher and an amazing resource. I have been working hard to learn everything she can teach me about managing a small business.  It is very comforting to know that she will be around and continue to be a mentor.

Downtown Yarns has the potential to grow and I am excited to expand our online retail and ordering capacities in addition to creating a webstore and a blog. So far as possible, I am hoping all our staff and teachers will stay on with us to keep Downtown Yarns the same place of kindness and expertise. But it also has the potential to grow.  I am excited to expand the business online and have a web store and a blog. 

The survival of Downtown Yarns is so important to me and I am writing  you this letter because I hope it is important to you too. It’s not easy to ask for help but I am trusting in the dream of Downtown Yarns and inviting you to join me.
Please consider making a financial gift to help me take on Downtown Yarns, to keep it going for all of us. Every contribution means the world to me, whether you can chip in $50 or $5,000!

Thank you for being my friend and a friend of Downtown Yarns. YOU are an essential part of what makes this place so wonderful, and I look forward to many more years of friendship!

With Gratitude,



Leti Ruiz
New York, NY

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