Stockist Feature: Hillsborough Yarn Shop
More than ever, we need to look after main street stores and businesses. Our cities and towns are scattered with vibrant independent shops and boutiques, proudly stocking American- and artisan-made goods. Harmony Farm Candles is deeply fortunate to partner with some truly lovely stores that are adding to the uniqueness of their communities. And I’d like to share them with you in periodic stockist profiles! - Erin
For this second profile in the series, I’m delighted to introduce Hillsborough Yarn Shop in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
Owner Anne and shop manager Julia are a special duo of talented fiber artists and businesswomen. Their creativity and kindness make working together a total joy and I'm grateful to be able to collaborate with them. If you're a lover of yarn and ever find yourself in their town, their shop is a must-visit place!
Q: So, who’s behind Hillsborough Yarn Shop? Introduce yourself to us!
A: I’m Anne, the owner of the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. I've been knitting since I was eight years old, and it has always been part of my life, through good times and bad. Owning a yarn shop was a dream of mine for a long time, one I'm so pleased to have realized. Julia is my full-time colleague here at the shop, a knitter, photographer, and writer who keeps up our shop blog and social media. We are lucky to have a group of talented teachers on our staff as well, who keep our classroom lively and help our community of knitters hone their skills.
Q: How would you describe HYS?
A: We specialize in high-quality natural fiber yarns for people who love to hand knit and crochet. We’re set up a little like a shoe department in a department store; there’s a skein or two of every available color and kind of yarn on the shelf, and more in the back if you need it for a bigger project. Our mission is to bring the best materials, tools, publications, and instruction to knitters in the Triangle and beyond, and we're here to answer any questions that come up as our clients plan and execute their projects.
A colorful display in Hillsborough Yarn Shop
Q: And how did the shop come to be?
A: When my youngest daughter entered her senior year of college, I was finally able to follow my passion and open a yarn shop. I held onto my “day job” as a biomedical engineer while I looked for the right space. Loving the town of Hillsborough, North Carolina, and knowing there was not yet a yarn shop there, I searched for that perfect space in its historic downtown and landed right on Churton Street. In October of 2006, I left my position as director and took a half-time position, allowing me to open the Hillsborough Yarn Shop. Since then, we’ve grown slowly but surely, added a new classroom and inventory space, acquired plenty of new yarn and friends. I'm so grateful to be celebrating 13 years in business!
Q: Who are the people that come into your shop? What do you think draws them in?
A: All kinds of people visit our shop - many are devoted knitters, crocheters, and weavers, but some have never held needles or hooks and are curious to learn. I think they're drawn to the shop first by our selection - we really do have a lot of yarn, needles, and books to choose from - but second by the warm, inclusive, and creative atmosphere, which I credit to those who shop, gather, teach, and learn here.
Q: What sets Hillsborough Yarn Shop apart from other shops in your area?
A: We feel lucky to be one among many local yarn shops in the Triangle, as it allows us each to specialize in products we are most passionate about. One thing that sets us apart is a devotion to natural fibers - no acrylics gave their lives here, I often say. Our walls are covered with sample garments and accessories, most of which were knit right here in the shop by myself and my staff and teachers, and we're often told we have more samples than most yarn shops. We've also gotten a reputation for our love of making sweaters, and particularly for colorwork knitting, and our yarn selection reflects that - we always keep sweater quantities of yarn in stock, many of which are solid, tweed, or heathered.
A view inside of Hillsborough Yarn Shop (with pieces knitted by Anne & Julia!)
Q: How do you go about selecting the products to carry in your shop?
A: I start by looking into yarns I'd love to work with myself, tools that would make my own knitting life more pleasant, books I'm eager to read and knit from, and so on. From there, we strive to carry a variety of fibers and colors in every gauge of yarn, at a range of price points, to suit the diverse projects our clientele pursue.
A: A few years ago, we were brainstorming a little gift section for the shop, and Julia suggested a local candle company run by her sister's dear friend, Erin. Besides the friendly connection, so much about Harmony Farm Candles appeals to me - the US-sourced materials, handcrafted quality, cute packaging, and most importantly, the delightful fragrances.
Q: What’s your favorite or most popular Harmony Farm Candles product?
A: Erin worked with us to create a signature Hillsborough Yarn Shop scent, and I confess, our Lavender Eucalyptus remains my favorite. Year after year, Wintergreen is our best-selling Harmony Farm Candle, a seasonal pine scent that we're delighted to have back on our shelves now, as winter settles in.
Hillsborough Yarn Shop's Lavender Eucalyptus candle
Q: Is there something in your shop you’re really excited about right now?
A: Always! At the moment, it's another collaboration with one of our vendors, Malabrigo, a yarn company based in Uruguay known for their super soft merino wool and vibrant hand-dyed colors. They graciously agreed to dye an exclusive colorway especially for our 13th year in business, and named it Rite, a nod to our "bat mitzvah" year, a rite of passage. Right now, I'm knitting a pair of socks for my husband with this color, and just finished a hat for my youngest grandson, as well. It's wonderful to be able to work with makers to create unique products for our shop!
Hillsborough Yarn's Shop Rite yarn in collaboration with Malabrigo
Q: What’s the best thing about doing business in your town?
A: Hillsborough is a special place to do business because we're surrounded by a variety of shops, galleries, and restaurants, all within the space of a few walkable blocks in the historic district. This makes a visit to our shop into a pleasant day trip, and the community of people who run and patronize those businesses make it a pleasure to be in this bustling small town.
Thank you, Anne, for sharing your shop with the Harmony Farm Candles community today!
Hillsborough Yarn Shop
114 S. Churton St.
Hillsborough, NC 27278
phone: (919) 732-2128
website | Instagram | Facebook
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. - Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m 0 Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. - Sunday
Next: DIY Colorful Bottle Brush Tree Tutorial
photos courtesy of Hillsborough Yarn Shop