“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.”
It all went by so fast. I still remember the day we launched Chelsea Yarns in our basement over 8 years ago. Just a computer, a lot of yarn and an idea. An order came through our website, then another, and another and we were off and running. It was not long before we took the big leap from the comforts of our “little online business downstairs” to the bigger world of brick and mortar retail and opened our store Chelsea Yarns in Colts Neck, NJ. It was hard work, endless hours, and a bit terrifying with a steep learning curve but it was also exciting to be a “real” store and such a thrill to meet wonderful people as they came through our door.
Four years later we switched gears again, and moved Chelsea Yarns from Colts Neck to Mechanic Street in Red Bank, NJ. I was also bitten by the creative bug at this time and began experimenting with dyeing my own fibers which, after a LOT of practice became the “Chelsea Luxe” line of yarn. It was so fun and exhilarating (and a bit exhausting) to operate the store and dye yarn and to witness the growth of our once little business. We so enjoyed the relationships built and moments spent with our friends and clientele, whether it was their first and only time in the shop or a smiling face we have known for years. It was so rewarding to feel the store and Chelsea Luxe line grow, but even more fulfilling was the knowledge that this was a place where real relationships, friendships and comfort was provided to so many including ourselves. Words cannot describe how much laughter along with a little zaniness occurred within the store over the years and how many fond memories were made. Trunk shows, live video, classes, interviews, parties, celebrations, knit nights, demonstrations and just good old fashioned knitting and crochet all going on within those walls. When we first came up with idea to start a yarn shop the main driver was to “build a community.” I feel we accomplished that goal.
Nobody knew what to expect when the Covid-19 quarantine/shut down began in early 2020. We complied with the order and shut our doors figuring we will be able to get up and running shortly. Funny about business, even when the doors are not open the bills keep accruing. As the month turned to several months and the outlook was not positive for brick and mortar retail we did what we felt was necessary to survive as a small business and sadly decided it was time to close the shop. We ran a sale, packed up our equipment and moved the operations of Chelsea Yarns back to where it all began. Home.
We are not going to quit. We are not going to be dejected. We are not going to lament the current environment for small business. We are not going to look backwards. It is full steam ahead for Chelsea Yarns and we are thrilled to start anew, to focus on our Chelsea Luxe brand online, to expand further into wholesale, to seek new opportunities, to invest our efforts and energy into things we always wanted to do but didn’t have the time. We do not have a specific plan, nor do we want one. We are going to figure things out as we go and grasp opportunities if and when they arise and jettison those things that don’t work for us or mentally, physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually or just plain don’t want to do.
Our house and land are now bustling every day with activity. The basement is our dye studio. We cleared out a living room and converted it to an office where all the shipping occurs. We converted an office upstairs into a “craft studio” where we will seek inspiration and where Red Bank Mike will get back to his passion, Kahuna winding. Essentially, we moved Chelsea Yarns from 2,000 square feet of retail space to 3 acres of house, land, woods, grass, chickens and fresh air. We did our best to make lemonade out of lemons.
We want to thank EVERYONE from the bottom of our hearts for EVERYTHING over the past 8 years. We are so thankful to have met everyone and to the amazing relationships we have built. We will miss you all so much visiting our little shop. Thank you, thank you, thank you. But we are not stopping and we are already excited to discuss a few upcoming things we are working on.
Virtual New Jersey Sheep and Wool Festival is on Saturday September 12th.
We have lots of fun and exciting things to share be sure to follow us on social media for more details regarding the festival.
Over the next few months we will be showing you our new office, dye studio, activities going on at Chelsea Yarns and our interests. And of course our latest addition The Chelsea Chickens.
Sit back, enjoy and get ready for the ride!
Tad and Christina