One of the things I love about deciding to host sponsors for the blog and podcast isn't just the fabulous giveaways (huzzah!) but also sharing an insight into their personality and businesses. I asked Kate, the owner of YAK to help us get to know her and discovered that she takes her ice cream and lolly decision making very seriously. She might be my new favourite person as a result.
Over to Kate....
Hello, my name is Kate, I am the owner of YAK, an independent yarn shop based in Brighton. I moved to Brighton about two years ago and straight away felt the lack of anywhere decent to buy good quality yarns. Like me, everyone - knitters and non-knitters alike - are astonished that there isn’t an independent yarn shop already in Brighton. And so, after a lot of dithering and a lot more planning I decided to open up a shop to solve the problem. We currently sell online but will be opening a physical bricks and mortar shop in central Brighton later in the year.
YAK specialises in luxury yarns made with natural fibres. We have really tried to focus on getting our stock from British independent yarn companies and hand dyers but we also have some really special yarns from further afield. We also have a great selection of knitting needles, tools, notions and accessories. We really do have something for everyone.
If you had a magic wand to create your bricks and mortar store, what impossible feature would you add?
I would have a live band, playing at all times. They would be able to do amazing covers of any song imaginable but their best feature would be that they would always just know exactly what I wanted to listen to so I would never have to go through the agonising pain of trying to decide. How is it when you have thousands and thousands of songs to choose from you just cannot do it?! Maybe they could be up on a mezzanine floor, like they’re serenading the shop from on high. But now I think I’m getting carried away...
What's your favourite thing about being an LYS owner?
I think it is probably the social aspect. I’ve met so many nice and passionate people through setting this thing up, it’s been really great. I had no friends who knit before, and now I do! It’s also the reason I am so excited that it’s going to be an actual physical shop as well; I am going to get so meet so many more. Also, as wonderful and amazing as the internet is there is something still to be said for being able to sit around with some likeminded people, beverage of choice in one hand, knitting in the other and having a chat about what is on your needles face to face. Similarly, a computer screen will never be able to capture the true fuzziness of angora or the subtle colours of a hand dyed semi-solid skein. For that we need to get hands on and I can’t wait to be the person to provide that space in Brighton.
Ice cream or ice lollies? Discuss
I think both have their place. I love real gelato ice-cream but the sophistication stops there. I am a child when it comes to flavours; I always just want one ball of chocolate, one ball of strawberry, no fuss. But sometimes it’s just too hot and all that wafer does more harm than good or you’ve only got an ice-cream van. For those times I always go for a Twister, the best combination lolly, little bit ice-cream, little bit lolly.