Criativity Ranch in Largo, Florida, is a yarn store (by demand!), owned and operated by Alicia Chivers, a fiber artist and alpaca breeder.
Happy Fuzzy Yarn: What did you do before you opened a yarn store?
Alicia: I was (and still am) an alpaca breeder.
HFY: How did you get into the business of owning a yarn store?
Alicia: We had a farm store with limited amounts of alpaca yarn and mostly alpaca clothing. We sold most of our raw fiber or spun it. We did markets and events surrounded by agriculture. We finally decided to open a brick and mortar store. As more people came in and asked for yarn we quietly expanded. Many of the surrounding LYS closed for various reasons. So, my 1,000 square foot studio became what our customer’s have renamed Yarn Heaven. The front remains mostly alpaca-based clothing, gifts and décor items.
HFY: What is the best part about running a yarn store?
Alicia: Justifying having the largest stash without having to justify to your spouse.
HFY: What is the hardest part about running a yarn store?
Alicia: Never enough time to finish what you start.
HFY: How do you choose which yarns to carry? And then how do you choose which colors?
Alicia: I started to say that we consider our local market and our winter visitors. We like to carry staples and I simply love to support small creative ventures. I am a dyer and spinner so color for me is fun. Then Terri comes in and says, “Don’t lie, you buy everything and in every color.”
HFY: What is the strangest request you’ve had from a customer?
Alicia: We do have a lot of strange customers, but that’s what makes it fun! Strangest request: would you mind if I traded a ball of yarn that I purchased somewhere else? (Really? The color was discontinued several years ago!)
HFY: What is the most popular Happy Fuzzy Yarn colorway with your customers?
Alicia: Anything bright!!!
HFY: Anything else you’d like to share with fans of Happy Fuzzy Yarn?
Alicia: Support small and local!
We agree! Thank you for taking the time to share your story and your shop with us, Alicia!