Rita Bobry, who opened Downtown Yarns 17 years ago at 45 Avenue A between Third Street and Fourth Street, is retiring.
And Leti Ruiz, an employee, is looking to take over the business.
Ruiz launched a crowdfunding campaign yesterday:
I am very happy and honored to have been considered to carry on this very special place Rita has created.
When I first came to Downtown Yarns I didn’t know anything about knitting but I remember being drawn to the vibrant colors and textures, the subtle scent of the wool and the perfect samples on display. I knew immediately how special Downtown Yarns was and that I wanted to be a part of it. I took class after class, acquiring skills and knowledge, eventually joining the sales team, and then part-time staff, then teacher, now potential owner.
Downtown Yarns has been more than a store for me and so many others, it is a vital community space where intergenerational learning happens, where new skills are developed, and where community networking is initiated.
Preserving this special hub in a rapidly gentrifying New York City neighborhood is important not only for those who have been here for years but also to new community members and visitors, offering a welcoming home to curious crafters, makers, and learners.
Ruiz has already met half of her goal in the first 24 hours.
[Ruiz as seen in the GoFundMe video]
[Photo of Rita Bobry by Gudrun Georges]
H/T EVG reader gaminette!
Previously on EV Grieve:
A spin through Downtown Yarns on Avenue A
I really hope this place hangs on.
Almost wish that I knit. Because I sure love this store.
Hope they stay around.
This is a wonderful store; importantly, they have non-wool yarns in vibrant colors as well.
For anyone who wants to learn to knit, there's always Stitch 'n Bitch at Club Cumming (505 East 6th street) every Tuesday evening from 6 PM to 8 PM; before that there's a beginner's knitting class there.
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