While pub crawls are a long-established marketing tactic, several local shop owners have employed a similar location-to-location concept and created L.A. County’s Yarn Crawl.
After a two-year hiatus during the pandemic, the crawl will return later this month with 15 local yarn shops from Pasadena to Long Beach participating to create a weekend treasure hunt for fiber arts shoppers.
Gather DTLA on Spring Street downtown, Stitches in Time Yarn in Bellflower and San Fernando Valley-based mobile Yarnover Truck are among the businesses featured in the 143-mile crawl.
Maridee Dangcil, owner of the Yarnover Truck and the crawl’s president, said the event is meant to attract knitters, crocheters and crafters.
“Every shop has a different personality, and this is a great weekend of events and special things that are happening to encourage people to come out and go to as many shops as they can and see,” Dangcil said.
The pandemic caused the Yarnover Truck, as well as other businesses participating in the crawl, to pivot to an online sales model. Yarn sales are largely reliant on customers seeing the colors and feeling the specialty fibers, so Dangcil and other yarn retailers had to rely on virtual consultations to ride out pandemic-related decreases in in-person shopping.
“Covid-19 was, and continues to be, a tough thing to navigate, no doubt, and it has been the one big thing that everyone has shared at the same time. … Somehow, a little stitching helps us see the beauty in life,” Karen Damskey, owner of L’Atelier in Encino and Redondo Beach, said in a statement.
During the four-day event from March 24 to 27, participating stores will give away crochet or knitting patterns and offer discounted yarn to visitors. Customers who complete and submit a stamped “passport” after visiting all 15 stores will be entered in a raffle to win a prize package of goods donated by the businesses.
“It has been frustrating for some of our customers to adapt to the new world, but many have, and we along with them,” the owners of The Altered Stitch in Valley Village, Dawn Stancarone and Sherri Andrews, said in a statement. “Some people just needed a project to focus on to get them through the lockdowns. We started offering online classes, meetups and video shopping. It has been a difficult time, but we’re happy to report that, somehow, we are still managing to get by.”