Support Beyond Yarn a Community Local Yarn Shop
My name is Theresa, founder of Beyond Yarn, the only Black owned local yarn shop located in Central New Jersey. As a resident of NJ and a lifelong crafter, I've always dreamed of creating a welcoming, supportive crafting community in own my "backyard." So, in July of 2019, I opened Beyond Yarn in a very beautiful, vibrant and diverse township of Union, which was a perfect community to bring a craft back to life, a place where people could learn and unravel their creativity.
However, the 2020 lockdown interrupted our plans and lives like many other businesses. We had to close our doors only seven months after opening due to the quarantine mandate; it has been a struggle for the store to maintain many of the activities within the shop. Throughout the 2 1/2 years of being opened, we offered to the community:
- Specialty classes for knitting and crochet
- Private Sessions for crochet and knit classes
- Paint n Sips
- Yarn Tastings
- Children classes
- Hosted Union County Yarn Folk
- Hosted Rockin' Knitters Saturday Crafting Club
- Night Stitchers - a community night for the fiber artist
- Independent local artist events
But we had to switch gears and transition to a new way of keeping things together. We successfully launched the store website and transitioned our crafting group, yarn tastings and courses to our online platform. There were growing pains, but we managed to stay alive and bring in a new audience we couldn't have reached in Union alone.
As stores slowly reopened in Union, with the fantastic support of Union Township Economic Development Department and Special Improvement District, they provided town events to bring the community together and help the local business. We also partnered with Union Craft Crawl, LGBTQ+ group and Local Yarn Store Day to support our neighbors and give independent artisans a platform to grow their audiences. And we collaborated with the Recreational Center to engage grade school children into the world of crafting through knitting and crocheting.
As we enter our 3rd year with high spirits, we still recognize we have a long recovery road. Even though we applied for COVID-relief grants and loans, the local banks prioritized established businesses, and we weren't approved.
Although we've made it this far through a combination of our savings, sweat, smarts and the support of our loyal following, we need your support to make sure Beyond Yarn keeps going strong in 2022! With your help, we'll be able to:
- Maintain our community gathering space
- Expand our participation in local artisan events
- Expand our schedule of classes and crafting groups
- Provide more events and activities for children
- Start a mindfulness program
- Eliminate any debt accrued during the lockdown and since from to lack of products due to supply chain issues
We appreciate your support, big or small, and invite you to visit us online at beyondyarnunion.com or visit us in Union, NJ. We are so grateful to count you among our crafting community!
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