Love Your LYS: Kat’s Yarn & Craft Cottage in Julian, California
One of Interweave’s Web Producers, Tamara Schmiege, recently stopped in Kat’s Yarn & Craft Cottage in Julian, California on her vacation to San Diego, California. In celebration of the upcoming TNNA sponsored National Local Yarn Store Day, we offer a California installation of: Love Your LYS! Here’s more about this adorable shop in Julian, California.
Q: What inspired you to open Kat’s Yarn & Craft Cottage?
A: I spent a lot of time growing up at my aunt’s yarn shop in a small Massachusetts town. I always loved the atmosphere of people gathering to do their thing, support each other, laugh and have fun. I imagined it would be great to do someday when I retired and someday came sooner than expected about 4 1/2 years ago. Crafting has always helped me cope with life’s difficulties and it was during one of these that I remembered my dream.
Q: What is it like to make it your life’s work to curate craft products and bring them to a passionate audience?
A: As most small business owners know, it’s hard work but I love what I’m doing and I love people.
Q: What makes your shop unique?
A: It’s located in the small historic town of Julian about an hour from San Diego. It’s a great destination for hiking, visiting an old gold mine, having some apple pie as well as many other wonderful experiences like beer or wine tasting and all kinds of dining, live music events and more. Check out www.visitjulian.com for the calendar, our live web cam and more. I’m also part of the Back Country Quilt Trail Walking Tour. Julianbackcountryquilttrail.org
Q: What should we be sure to check out in your shop?
A: I try to source yarns with a conscience and I have yarns from all over the world. My prior career was international education. I especially look for yarns that support women and children’s causes like Mango Moon that helps provide safe shelter, health care, and education to families in Nepal and Indonesia; From the Mountain hand spun cashmere by women in Afghanistan; Ancient Arts Meow and Woof collections help support shelter animals; Mirasol supports a school in a remote area of Peru; Queensland United is certified organic cotton and cruelty-free wool.
Q: Can you tell us about your “store cat”?
A: I commuted from San Diego the first year and when my daughter went off to college, the cat and I moved to Julian. Sweetie is a Humane Society rescue my daughter chose as a tiny kitten about 10 years ago. She’s now pushing 20 pounds and is very popular with my clientele.
Q: Can you tell us more about the San Diego Yarn Crawl?
A: The 6th annual San Diego Yarn Crawl will be September 13-16, 2018. It’s a shop hop of San Diego County yarn shops and a few alpaca farms, a ton of fun with great prizes and giveaways. Get more info at www.sandiegoyarncrawl.com.
Q: What does it mean to be a yarn-shop owner in the digital age?
A: I’m a technology immigrant not a native so I need help in this area. A lot of selling happens online, but it doesn’t replace seeing and touching the yarn firsthand, the community-building, and connecting with people, all so special in a local yarn shop.