Yarnz, owned by Michèle Tewes is a successful business located in Alphen aan den Rijn, in the Netherlands. We have been in touch with Michèle to talk about her wonderful store. So let’s see what she has to say.
What was your inspiration behind opening Yarnz?
‘I opened Yarnz because I have always desired to contribute to a movement of sustainable production and trade. The challenge of making a successful social enterprise has been an exciting adventure. Because of my love for different yarns and handmade items, I opened Yarnz.’
Is business good in the Netherlands? Is knitting a popular hobby in the Netherlands?
‘Business in the Netherlands is good and is always growing. I can happily say there are more and more people who care about where their products come from. Whether it’s the food you eat, the clothes you buy or the tools for your hobbies, they care. Over the last few years, I have noticed that knitting and crochet are very popular in the Netherlands.’
Since opening, how far has the business developed?
‘Since opening, we have accomplished some milestones which we are very proud of. For example, we collaborate with Freeset (www.freesetglobal.com) to design our own Fair-Trade project bag, and to start the development of the Fair Way Project Club. We aim to work with many more sustainable organisations and to design a range of knitting & crochet patterns.’
In your opinion, what is the secret to your success?
‘To run a successful business, I believe you must find out what makes your soul sing and turn that into a business vision. By creating an atmosphere which is positive and kind, people will respond to those good vibes and we build customer relations because of this. The business’s vision is about making the fair way. We are convinced that it is possible to run a successful social enterprise and to add something to the world, instead of taking a blind profit.’
What do you love most about your line of work?
‘Would you be surprised if I answered: “knitting, of course.” But I do love working with so many interesting people and building connections with my customers is incredibly fun and rewarding.’