La Verne's BUKU Yarns to be featured in 10th L.A. Yarn Crawl

When COVID hit, four San Gabriel Valley yarn shops found themselves doing their own stitching, unraveling and re-stitching in how they do business in order to maintain a community connection and keep their respective businesses going. Ulli Schober and Kathi Snodgrass owners of the Wollhaus (696 E. Colorado Blvd., Ste 2, Pasadena) and Phebie Day Lozano owner of Phebie’s NeedleArt (532 W. First St. Ste. 21, Claremont) both found themselves like their sister yarn shops in the crawl pivoting to find alternative ways in working with their customers amid pandemic.  For Amanda Rios, it was a “re-stitch and rebrand” during quarantine launching BUKU Yarns (2127 Foothill Blvd., La Verne).  For Gina Carlson, it was a merger unraveling the business plan from her mother’s long- standing boutique acquiring the brick and mortar as a new home for her Yarnaholic online shop to create Yarnaholic™ Store & Boutique (242 W. Foothill Blvd., Claremont) in a next-door physical move.  These San Gabriel Valley yarn shop owners are now looking forward to a real fiber arts “homecoming” in the triumphant return of the four-day 10th  L.A. County Yarn Crawl event. Here they will be part of the total fifteen Los Angeles County women-owned businesses across 143 miles in six Greater Los Angeles communities
during the live event comeback March 24-27, 2022 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Joining the L.A. County Yarn Crawl for the fifth time, the newly rebranded BUKU Yarns of La Verne https://www.buku-yarns.com Whether you want to call it destiny or call it fate, La Verne is a Los Angeles County ‘small town’ self-proclaimed as a “close-knit” community…and this couldn’t be more true for BUKU Yarns’ owner, Amanda Rios. Twelve years in the yarn business, the Southern California native has found herself a ‘close-knit’ community through her many personal and professional reinventions along her yarn journey.
“I have a very supportive community of knitters at the shop, so my customers were really happy about the change and to be honest, just happy that the shop made it through the previous year,” declares a grateful Rios who is aware that customer loyalty and support matter more than ever.
Her customers continued their unwavering support of her as she pivoted with her new name, new brand and new venture even with the pandemic shutdown. “We kept saying ‘Knitters and Crocheters are prepared for this!’ I mean do any of us really have a problem with having to sit with our craft day after day and hours on end? During the shutdown, we continued to connect with our customers in multiple ways. We hosted meet ups via Zoom to stay connected and help as much as possible. We also created and posted multiple project kits per week to keep our customers motivated and inspired. There was definitely lots more shipping during that time and we saw a lot of people curbside during pick-ups. We couldn't be more grateful for those who continued to support the shop during that difficult time,” shares Rios.
Coming into contact with yarn in high school, Rios was taught how to crochet by her mother. Her first project was an afghan using cotton yarn given to her by a family friend. Shortly after this project, she taught herself to knit and hasn’t stopped since. From there, Rios worked at another yarn shop for five years where she was a knitting teacher prior to becoming a shop owner of the former Make One Yarn Company. Now with Rios’ pandemic rebrand pivot, she fearlessly enters a solopreneur endeavor with BUKU Yarns.
One of her greatest investments of energy, love, and time during quarantine was the passion project she’s had on her mind for years… her very own line of hand-dyed yarns.
“In 2019, I hand dyed the advent kit that we offered through the shop and I loved it! So, in 2020 I made my line of yarn, BUKU Yarns official. “BUKU” is my son’s nickname. I mainly dye wool and wool blends - Lace, Fingering, DK and Bulky weight. I dye in very small batches at home in my patio.” Rios explains.
Rios’ own creative artistic expression and business initiative goes beyond just a commitment to small quality hand-dyed yarn batches resulting in a product line that is now her ‘in-store’ business namesake, BUKU Yarns. Her desire to learn new skills and exercise her love of crafting created a community and a space for everyone. Here many friendships have been made and loyal customers were only too happy to go along for the ride into her business and community pivoting As she steps into her shop’s re-stitched connection with locals and loyalists, her mission is to keep pushing this fiber arts passion forward.
“I really love to see the younger generations interested and wanting to learn. I feel like teaching someone to make something beautiful and useful with their hands is one of the best lifelong gifts you can give. I love hearing from customers about how comfortable and welcomed they felt from their first time walking into the shop. If that's the case, then I've done my job.”
Joining BUKU Yarns onsite in La Verne on Day Four of the L.A. County Yarn Crawl, Sunday, March 27th 2022 will be the 107-square foot mobile Yarnover Truck www.yarnovertruck.com. Owned by Minneapolis, Minnesota-born Maridee Dangcil, the Yarnover Truck celebrates its 9th anniversary selling hand-dyed yarns in L.A. County.
 
“We're so excited to be bringing back the Los Angeles Yarn Crawl in 2022. After missing two years, we're also looking forward to welcoming all new crafters who started working with yarn while we were all asked to stay at home.  If this is your first crawl, or you are a seasoned veteran, it’s going to be a great weekend and there will be lots of new unique and special things to see and do!” states Maridee Dangcil, President of the L.A. County Yarn Crawl.
 
The 10th L.A. Yarn Crawl will be bringing a mix of old and new to the event.  Returning will be the classic crawl popular passport prize promotion, where each of the fifteen shops will feature a $300 gift basket prize. To enter crawl participants will drop their completed passports with stamps from the Yarn Crawl sprawl of shops visited: https://layarncrawl.org/pages/about-the-la-yarn-crawl Other prize level components will feature general crawl prizes with a certain number of shops visited. In addition to the free patterns given away as a regular feature of the crawl each year, to celebrate the 10th crawl will be a first-time additional Treasure Hunt pattern giveaway in both knit and crochet.
 
With a varying range of yarn shop business experience from 46 years to just under one year - these hard working entrepreneurs toiled diligently during the pandemic to stay connected to their respective yarn communities.  Now they are returning to work together collectively in order to unite the entire Greater Los Angeles area to continue thriving through the event at a time when fiber arts healing is needed within the live event’s all-inclusive yarn communities connecting all of their local brick and mortar businesses.
 
Of the fifteen women-owned yarn shops (14 brick and mortars + 1 mobile truck), there are twenty owners featuring eleven California Natives originally from Los Angeles, Pico Rivera, Rancho Cucamonga, Torrance, Burbank, SFV, Long Beach, Brentwood and San Dimas; and the remaining U.S. transplants to L.A. County from Austria, New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, Arizona, with two U.S. globetrotters one who spent time all over the place with some time in Philadelphia, while another is from an Air Force family. Together they have a grand total of 273 combined years of yarn business ownership experience.
 
 
The participating yarn shops (https://layarncrawl.org/pages/shops) sprawled across L.A. include the following areas:
 
San Gabriel Valley: Wollhaus (Pasadena), Yarnaholic™ Store & Boutique (Claremont), Phebie’s NeedleArt (Claremont), and in La Verne, BUKU Yarns (with The Yarnover Truck mobile appearance 03/27/22)
 
The L.A. County Yarn Crawl’s group of unique shops are committed toward educating and teaching yarn crafts. The purpose of the event is to create awareness by bringing together the Los Angeles community in the fiber arts all while creating friendships, inspiring creativity, projects, and memories to last a lifetime. For event details, COVID safety protocol and more information on the L.A. County Yarn Crawl 2022 please go to https://layarncrawl.org/ or email layarncrawl@gmail.com  For all media interview and photo requests contact event publicist Stacey Kumagai of Media Monster Communications, Inc. at 818.506.8675 mediamonster@yahoo.com

La Verne Chamber of Commerce

2332 D Street, Unit E

La Verne, CA 91750

(909) 593-5265

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