It's time to say farewell ...

August 20, 2019

Ten years ago this October, I arrived back in New Zealand with a plan. I planned to start dyeing yarn, with the goal to use the funds generated to open a yarn shop. 


At that time, our local options were limited. The number of indie dyers were few, and i’d frequently walk in to my then LYS and back out again empty handed. Being in the UK and travelling Europe opened my eyes to what a yarn shop could be. I was determined to build in their mould, a place centred around people and the yarns crafters would delight in. 

Fun times in Petone 

 

Even then, I knew this wouldn’t be my forever job. I didn’t have an exit plan, aside from ‘well if it doesn’t work i’ll sell everything’. I had very little to lose except time. When I started I didn’t really think that much about making money, except needing to pay myself enough to cover rent and food. My growth plan was to push everything as far as I could without borrowing much and in turn increasing the risk level.


The last few years I have often thought about what’s next. I’ve gone from a shop with barely any stock to shelves packed full. From it being just me and the support of friends and family to a number of staff.

Our first Grand Arcade Store window

 

Every time I mulled over closing up, I kept getting stuck on one single point: what about the customers? Where will they go for company, yarn fumes and care? I feel a responsibility to everyone who feels at home at Holland Road Yarn Co, those of you who have shared your difficulties and joys with us. It’s an enormous privilege and I have a duty of care. 


This year I have been thinking about closing more often than not. Particularly with all the discussions around anti-racism and diversity in the knitting community, it’s really struck me that I have more I want to offer the world. As I hear arguments that we aren’t doing enough to take care of marginalised groups in our community, I agree absolutely. It’s time for things to change. 


So I’ve made the incredibly difficult decision to change. I have skills that can be used for deeper and more meaningful change than I could ever hope to achieve through supplying you with yarn. It no longer sits comfortably with me to encourage consumerism in a world that is in climate crisis, where we should be making do with what we have, being more thoughtful in our buying, and considering the impact our lifestyles have on the world. 


It also comes down to some pretty hard facts: running a retail business means I never get time off. It demands being constantly available on social media, working every single day, and always having to-do lists running through my head. The impact it has had on my relationships and my mental health has been severe. 

Packing in to Lyall Bay with Elliott

So, what's next?

Business as usual for the moment! Come and see me at Knit August Nights this weekend if you're coming, I can't wait to see you!

I will be finishing up dyeing Knitsch, unless the mood to throw colour around strikes me. If you want some - get it while you can.

Once i'm back from KAN and had some recovery time, we will start up with some sales. Before that, you can let us know if you have any special requests, particularly for Brooklyn Tweed and Cascade. The last orders for those will be sent off on 4 September, so get in touch if they are on your to-knit list.

The plan is to be all finished up on 13 October. I will continue on with some yarn online, namely Scheepjes, Lopi and Quince & Co. So HRYC will still be around, just a bit smaller and less visible. 

I want to thank each and every one of the people who has walked through the shop door, either in-person or online since 2011. You have enriched my life in ways I can't even begin to communicate, and I won't ever forget it. 

xx Tash

 

PS Craft Camp and Knitters Dinners will continue! Because we still need to hang out <3

Comments

Louise

Louise said:

Hey Tash,
Wow! what a huge decision to make. I’m selfishly sad, but good luck and well done for everything you have achieved.. I remember the beginning days and have always so enjoyed your yarn and active presence in the knitting world. xx

Sam I Am

Sam I Am said:

Hello from Rotorua. Here I am supposedly ‘studying’ and this post pops up.
I’m a frequent visitor to Wellington and each time I’ve come I’ve intended visiting Holland Road and something gets in the way of me doing so.

BUT my last trip in March, I thought dammit I will get there or else! And I did. My Other Half sat downstairs at the glorious pub while I went into mild conniptions at being able to finally see Holland Rd in all it’s gloriousness. I touched and inhaled yarn and I bought a lot of yarn. A lot. It was fantastic being there and seeing it all. I will never forget my visit to Lyall Bay, lots of yarn and an excellent lunch afterwards.

Tash, good on you for moving into a new direction, that takes sheer guts and determination. I take my (knitted) hat off to you. Know that you have made a huge impact on many many knitters with the fantastic yarns you offer. Best wishes to you Xx

Fiona

Fiona said:

I can imagine how difficult the decision was. I’ll miss your awesome store which I have followed from Petone to Willis St to Lyall Bay. I was going through my stash a few weeks ago and rediscovered the Flights of Fancy which felt far more recent than it actually was! I will be forever grateful to Kate for both teaching me to use a swift and to crochet, which I am totally addicted to.

Barbara Krooss

Barbara Krooss said:

Best wishes to you, wherever your journey takes you

Marilyn Velvin

Marilyn Velvin said:

This is sad but understandable Tash. Retail is a hard row to hoe and you have done a superb job of providing yarn and a place for yarnies. You introduced me to Ravelry and the whole dynamic knitting community – about 9 years ago despite me having been a knitter for many many years. I am so grateful for that. It is great that you will still be around and you may even get to our spinning group from time to time. I hope KAN goes really well for you. xxx

FMJ

FMJ said:

What a wonderful post.

Catherine

Catherine said:

Good luck Tash and thank you. I live in the South Island and was only able to visit your physical shop once but your online shop many times. Like you, I struggle with the whole “consumerism” of yarn now. There is always “the next” design or some gorgeous yarn to tempt you to the next WIP but there is not enough emphasis on slowing down and enjoying the current WIP. When did it become a “thing” to have three things on the go at once? I have too much yarn and too many patterns and yet I have found myself spending more time on following the latest yarn or pattern designer than actual knitting. Crazy. I applaud your work and your lovely, lovely curated shop and I applaud your brave decision. I’m sure you will do well in your next adventure.

Jo

Jo said:

Sad to hear that you are closing. But completely understand. Good luck with your next adventure!

The Knitting Man Recommends

The Knitting Man Recommends said:

Clearly the mad blood doth indeed stirreth.
All the very best.

Amy

Amy said:

Tash – Much respect, and gratitude.

You’d have absolutely no reason to remember me, and that’s okay. I was a random American knitter who managed to find your shop in early 2014. I was in the midst of a few months in AU/NZ after my life utterly fell apart, and your shop was a calm and lovely highlight of my time in New Zealand. You were kind and encouraging to someone who was wandering, and I was grateful.

Sometimes drastic life change is the only option. I am better for the choices I made in 2013-2014, and I hope you find what you seek with your changes.

Nikki

Nikki said:

Hey Tash,
I’m so proud of you and what HRYC is and means for people. Thanks so much for all the time and energy that you and your fam have chucked our way to make it all work.
I can’t wait to see what you get up to next <3
Nikki

Sue Bull

Sue Bull said:

yes to less consumerism! great post, brave decision. I look forward to seeing HRYC online and at events. all the very best.

Rebecca

Rebecca said:

Awwww, noooo. I just found you! But, I get it. Good on ya for following your heart.
All the best! And you can count on me to show up for the sales… :D
Cheers, Rebecca

Ngaio Double

Ngaio Double said:

I’ll be very sad to see you go Tash but I understand and admire your motivations. I’m grateful you’ve been around supplying us with beautiful yarns when they were hard to find. You’ll be sorely missed! HRYC has been such a success story I’m sure you’ll go on to achieve more great things that will benefit more people – not just the knitters and crafters. Well done and all the best.

Jo-Anne Falconer

Jo-Anne Falconer said:

Best wishes reading your full post I am sure you will enjoy a change from retail, I am sure you will always love yarn and knitting, and have lots more to offer the changing knitting community. Kind regards. Jo-Anne

Abby McElroy

Abby McElroy said:

Tash, You enriched our excursion in New Zealand from CT, USA. Thank you for being there and sharing your gorgeous yarn. I enjoyed our on line relationship too. My best to you in your new endeavors. Abby

Marietta

Marietta said:

I missed the email! I found it in a cleanup of my mailbox and I am so sad to hear of the end of this lovely business. I just want my knitting to be peaceful and refreshing, personally and perhaps selfishly. I’ve lived all the full details of diversity having been in an interracial marriage for 45 years. I just want to be happy and love yarn and puppies and knitting. You facilitated that love for years now, and I’m appreciative! Thank you, Tash. Now go hug a child or puppy and find peace.

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