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