At Edinburgh Yarn festival (doesn’t that feel forever ago?) I spoke to the lovely Cathy Rob who owns Kathy’s Knits.
Yes, Cathy with a C. Cathy whose family felt that Kathy with a K went better with knitting.
Anyway, spelling differences dealt with, I’m delighted to tell you that Kathy will be stocking several of our yarn bases, so if you’re anywhere near Edinburgh you can go and squish them in person.
I thought you might like to know a little bit about Cathy and her shop, so I’ve taken the chance to be nosey and ask a few questions.
Kate Davis outside Kathy’s Knits during the recent Book of Haps Launch
What made you decide to open a wool shop?
My grandmother from Shetland taught me to knit as a little girl. So I have knitted for over 50 years! I love knitting, did a knitwear design diploma course over 3 years in the 90’s and I have always wanted to have a yarn shop. The triggers four years ago were
(1) my husband retiring (to help me with the finances),
(2) a great shop in a great street, Broughton Street becoming available, and
(3) what I felt was a big gap in the market in Edinburgh. I couldn’t buy what I wanted so I thought there must be a chance to build a successful business based on high quality yarns.
I know lots of people dream of opening a wool shop – what’s one bit of advice you’d give them?
It’s a big commitment in time and you have to carry a large amount of stock. So you have to be keen and prepared to commit capital.
What did you do before this?
I have been a district nurse, a housewife while the children were young and made and sold garments at craft events.
What makes your shop special and different?
I specialise in British and Scottish yarns, I encourage smaller specialist suppliers and it’s a personal service to customers with no online purchasing facility. I aim to be a destination shop for interested visitors to Edinburgh
What have you got planned for the next year?
Stocking your lovely yarns! (And no, I didn’t pay Cathy to say that!!)
Build and strengthen relationships with suppliers and customers. Introduce new interesting patterns and yarns my customers will like. Hold events and classes.
What would you love to be able to stock?
I will know when I see it! I like positive surprises when I meet a new supplier or see new yarns I know my customers will like.
How can people find you?
Walk down Broughton Street from the tram or bus stop. I am 64a, on the left below ground level.
My website is www.kathysknits.co.uk
I’m on Ravelry as CathyRobb
I’m on Twitter as @kathysknits
L-R Lucy Hague, Kate Davies and Cathy in the shop
All images copyright Cathy Robb
Thank you so much for taking time to chat to me – and for having our yarns in your gorgeous shop. I’m already planning a visit for the next time I’m in Scotland.