With colourway names like ‘I love Cake’ and ‘Magical Unicorn Supreme’, Heather and her beautiful yarns caught my attention long months ago. Her ‘Bad Day’ colourway was selling out as soon – within minutes – as it got listed in her Etsy shop each week! Heather does have quite the eye for colour, and her fans are fiercely loyal to her fun brand.
Heather is quirky & fun, like her colours, so I’m glad she agreed to take some time off her busy schedule to answer some questions. I promise it’s a fun read =)
(Q) How did The Lemonade Shop come to be? Both in terms of you dyeing yarn & also that name!
(A) The Lemonade Shop came to be when my husband was out of work. He is an architect and designs gigantic beautiful homes, and when the US economy was hit so were we. I started using my crafty skills to make things and sell them. We were handed lemons, and like the saying goes, I was trying to make lemonade. For years I made clay covered crochet hooks and stitch markers. It was an amazing ride and I really enjoyed it, but after a while I was spending more time sitting at my desk than not, and I knew I had to make a change because it was just beginning to take a toll on my body. I had learned to dye and enjoyed it as a hobby, but never thought I would sell yarn. Wanting to make a change though, I thought I’d give it a shot. The rest is history.
(Q) Is this a one-woman operation or do you have a person/team with you?
(A) It used to just be me, but I just can’t do it alone anymore. My husband often comes to help with reskeining and shipping. Even our daughter who is in elementary school likes to come in and help ship. This Spring, Ryan (a godsend) started helping part time at the shop and she can do anything in addition to sharing my passion for all things fiber…and sugar.
(Q) What is the inspiration behind your colourways? What yarn bases do you use?
(A) I use more mixed fiber bases….bases that can be washed and loved. I’d like to think that I am young at heart so I love candy, cupcakes, glitter, unicorns, and all that amazing stuff. All these fun little things come in amazing colors and have a great impact on me.
(Q) Do you crochet or do anything yarny outside of dyeing?
(A) Oh geez, yes! I first learned to crochet, followed shortly thereafter by knitting. I couldn’t resist all the amazing hand dyed roving out there, so I also learned to spin on a drop spindle. If I can find the time, I’d like to learn how to spin on a wheel.
(Q) How did you learn to dye yarn?
(A) I learned to dye from a local dyer in a class at a nearby yarn shop. Her yarns still take over a good portion of my personal stash. I have been dyeing for the shop for about a year and a half….not too long, but things progressed quickly. My favorite yarns to dye are the Super Bulky weights in the shop because everything about those yarns is amazing and they work up like a cloud.
(Q) Now, about you. Tell us a little bit about your family, your pets, and where you’re from?
(A) My husband, daughter and I live in Castle Rock, CO. I like it here, but it doesn’t hold a special place in my heart. I grew up just North of Chicago where we had big trees, were minutes away from Lake Michigan, had great shopping, food and culture. I miss that and hope to get back to it after our daughter is done with her schooling here. My husband is again working as an architect who specializes in high end residential homes. He designs homes we will never be able to afford and believe you me, we are okay with that. Our daughter is a goofball that prefers watching Top Gear over cartoons and wants to be a chemist when she’s grown. We have two dogs, Pearl (our Pug) and Stella (our teacup Chihuahua). Stella is my baby and often travels to the shop with me and sleeps the day away in the front room. Our daughter also has a cat that is bigger than both our dogs. Together they are quite the trio.
(Q) What are your very favorite colours and fibers?
(A) I adore Pink, and Grey holds a close second. I don’t have a favorite fiber, to me it’s all about a few things: color, twist, feel, something different….and that little voice that says take me home.
(Q) How do these favorites compare to your The Lemonade Shop best sellers – and while we’re on that subject, what are your best sellers?
(A) Bad Day might be my best seller. It’s just different. I love that the rainbow starts with Pink and the outcome is a happy little rainbow in a field of darkness.
(Q) What are your favorite pieces to work on?
Oddly enough my favorite pieces to knit are socks. I say this because I worked in my local yarn shop for five years, and for the first four I was not shy about saying I would never knit socks. I despised them! But then I got Ann Budd’s Getting to Know Socks and it changed everything for me. It taught me how to knit socks, not just follow a sock pattern.
(Q) It seems your shop is empty minutes after stocking. It’s a happy problem… but what are your expansion plans (if any).
(A) Thankfully, I have weened off the big uploads. The shop is now usually stocked all the time. Everything is still dyed to order because there are quite a few bases to choose from and I have never had the chance to get ahead to have stock on hand. My goal is to change that. The shop moved in to it’s own space this April which was exciting. I am a workaholic so when I had the business at home I just could not leave it be. I was always working and it was also starting to physically take over. Very recently I started taking wholesale orders and have quite a few shops to stock. I think that will be all our growing plans for this year. but maybe next year we will do a few markets…time will tell!
(Q) Tell me an anecdote, a mishap, a secret… something about you we don’t know.
(A) Hmmm…I went to New Trier High School which was the school the movie The Breakfast Club was based off of. I spent some time (ahem) in the Breakfast Club and in high school being a skinny redhead I was more often than not was called Molly. It got to the point I didn’t even answer to my own name. I don’t really have secrets or mishaps. I got all my crazy days out of my system in high school (hence the mornings in Breakfast Club). Now I just prefer to hang out at home with my family, have a cup of coffee, eat something sweet and scroll through Instagram and knit. It’s not very exciting, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thanks so much, Heather!
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And purchase The Lemonade Shop yarns on Etsy!