Guest Post by Jessie Rayot of JessieAtHome.com
Yarn. Outlet. What yarn lover doesn’t love those two words together?
Well, prepare to be jealous. I live about 15 minutes from the Lion Brand Yarn Outlet in Carlstadt, NJ. Rather than just brag about my geographical luck, I thought I would give you a little tour of the outlet.
The outlet is in the back of an industrial area, the roads are a bit bumpy, but once you get there, even the outside of the outlet is pretty.
Upon entering the outlet, my friend Jenn and I were greeted by a myriad of yarn sculptures, all previous window displays from the Studio in Manhattan, and the smiling and friendly Diane. While we were waiting for Jack Blumenthal, the Senior Vice President of marketing and sales, she showed us around a bit.
After a few minutes (we were a bit early) Jack came in and gave us a tour. The outlet features many discontinued colors of some of your favorite Lion Brand Yarns, off season items (I was tempted to buy tons of Holiday yarn!), and some overstock yarn; most in bundles of 3 at greatly reduced prices. Remember – buy enough for your project, once it’s gone, it’s gone! There are also back issues of magazines and old books starting at just $1.00, yarn kits for $3.00, and an ever-changing array of other fun items such as Homespun roving, and see-through rubber kids boots for just $2.00 a pair. Yes, I bought a pair for each of the girls; they love to wear them with crazy socks!
Jack clearly enjoys showing people around the outlet. He made us feel like we were family friends, being shown around his home. In the back of the outlet, where you can find some of the wonderful LB Collection yarn that I always covet, there are a few racks of finished items. Many of these items are the samples from the thousands of patterns that have been published by Lion Brand. Jack got a bit nostalgic as he explained the items on the collage across from the register. He delighted in showing us the large wall of photos of famous people knitting and crocheting in the work room. I want to move into that room. It has piles of comfy round knit pillows, plenty of sitting room, a little kitchenette area, and even a fun round table with yarn food in the center. Plus free Wi-Fi!
We had a sit-down with Jack to learn a bit more about Lion Brand. Some I knew already, some was new to me. Lion Brand was founded in NYC in 1878, and has been family owned for 5 generations. As a matter of fact, this past June, President/CEO, David Blumenthal and EVP/COO, Dean Blumenthal were awarded Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award for their entrepreneurial excellence in the ‘Family Business’ category. Jack showed us a short video from the “about us” section of the website, after which all three of us were a bit misty-eyed. I loved hearing about Jack’s son and daughter, both in college, and his hopes of their future with the company. He is clearly very proud of his children. Have I said how much I love the family vibe of Lion Brand?
I know I have run long with this post, so let me wrap up with a few more things you should know about the outlet:
- Every week there is a Weekly Wow, which is an outlet yarn that is marked down even more than usual for the week. There is also a Yarn of the Month, which is a current yarn that is in the outlet just for the month and marked 15% off the regular retail price.
- The Outlet will now be offering classes!! A great way to stay on top of these events is to follow their Facebook page.
- Freebie Fridays!! Every Friday there is a free gift with purchase. Here are a few that make the rounds.
Of course I could not leave without buying some goodies. So I will leave you with a picture of my loot. Have a fabulous, yarn-filled day!
Have you ever toured a yarn outlet? If so, which one? If not, what company would you love to tour?