BIZNOTE: Seattle Yarn finds new owners, will remain open

By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Seattle Yarn has found the new owners it needed to keep its doors open.

As we reported in May, store proprietor Ruth Bowen wanted to sell the business by August so she could pursue other interests.

Enter new owners-to-be Cheryl Lea and Destiny Itano, who will soon assume ownership of Seattle Yarn, assuring that the shop which has served local knitters for more than two decades will continue.

Though the two West Seattle moms have been friends since they were in middle school, their first business partnership arrived very suddenly. Though Lea has yet to catch the knitting bug, she knew Itano, who has been enjoying the fiber arts for over 13 years, would be interested in the opportunity.

“I’m not sure how Destiny first heard about the shop being for sale, but when I discovered it, I sent the notification to her immediately,” recalls Lea. “I couldn’t wrap my head around the loss of this long-standing and beloved institution. One thing led to another, and we decided to go into business together.”

At least part of the partnership will include Lea picking up the needles herself.

“I look forward to teaching Cheryl to knit,” says Itano with a laugh.

The store will officially say goodbye to Bowen at a “Hello-Goodbye Party,” 6-8 pm Wednesday, August 15th, where customers will be able to wish her well on her new endeavors, as well as connect with the new owners, who will officially take charge of Seattle Yarn the following day.

Though Lea and Itano have many ideas for expanding Seattle Yarn’s offerings, including unique knitting patterns designed by Itano herself, they want to be certain they are building on what exists, rather than disrupting what has worked well for the community.

“We want to carry new and exciting yarn brands and offer classes, trunk shows, guest designers, and knit-alongs,” says Lea. “We also plan to maintain the existing knit nights so we can retain the vibrant community that already exists in this great shop.”

There is more to hosting events in the store than smart marketing, however. That idea of community applies not only to the surrounding neighborhood, but the people who come together around hobbies such as knitting, crocheting, and spinning yarn.

“My experience has been that yarn shops are more than just retail businesses,” says Itano, who had been patronizing Seattle Yarn since being taught to knit by her midwife 13 years ago. “They are like little community centers for people in the fiber arts.”

“I feel really fortunate and excited about keeping this place going.”

The shop’s current name and hours of operation (T/W/Th: 10-8, F/S/Su: 10-5, closed Monday) will remain unchanged. Patrons can also continue to stay informed of upcoming events at the shop through the Seattleyarn.com website.

Otherwise, Lea says they cannot wait to get to work.

“It has been a crazy whirlwind of excitement and anxiety, but we are really eager to get started.”

16 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Seattle Yarn finds new owners, will remain open"

  • Elisabeth August 10, 2018 (10:27 pm)

    This is good news!

  • K2togP2 August 10, 2018 (10:37 pm)

    This is great news! I have consistently wanted to try a class out or get knitting help with a project.

  • Celeste17 August 10, 2018 (11:53 pm)

    My mom Joan Lewis, started the yarn shop back in the mid 80’s and sold it to the Bowens when my dads health went down hill. It’s nice to know that it will still be going strong for another generation.

    • stb August 11, 2018 (6:06 pm)

      I remember your lovely mother and the original shop.  I was happy when Virginia bought it and kept it going and agree that it’s fantastic it will still be a West Seattle fixture.

  • CS August 11, 2018 (5:52 am)

    That’s awesome news, congrats Seattle Yarn

  • Karen Arthur White August 11, 2018 (7:32 am)

    Best news ever!

  • Junction Lady August 11, 2018 (8:03 am)

    Wonderful news for everyone!  

  • Laura Stone August 11, 2018 (10:26 am)

    Awesome! Congratulations Destiny and Cheryl!

  • Ann August 11, 2018 (10:27 am)

    Hooray!

  • JesseD August 11, 2018 (12:18 pm)

    So many great memories of my Mom spinning yarn from our Angora rabbits years ago. Never got into it, but find it awesome that people still enjoy it. Yarn is great! 

  • JCK August 12, 2018 (8:43 am)

    Hooray! So glad to hear the shop will continue! 

  • Vanessa Eng August 12, 2018 (11:06 am)

    I’m so excited to hear this great news and even more excited to see how Destiny and Cheryl grow the shop. Can’t wait to meet them on Wednesday! 

  • Aja August 13, 2018 (1:10 pm)

    So excited for Destiny and Cheryl, I can’t wait to come to knit nights at the shop!

  • Helen August 13, 2018 (7:03 pm)

    Woohoo!!

  • Judy Frame August 14, 2018 (1:29 pm)

    To Ruth and Virginia,its been some years since I’ve been in the shop……and now you are onto other things, but I have never ever forgotten the two of you and the fun in the shop, even if I’ve maybe forgotten how to knit !good luck Ruthie, …….Judy Framejudy

  • Fiber Fan August 17, 2018 (8:28 pm)

    So glad the shop is staying open and wishing all the best for Destiny & Cheryl, and for Ruth in her new pursuits!

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