I wanted to write a review when I saw that only one person had done so and had what sounded like a bad experience. I've been a frequent customer of the Yarn Barn for many years and it's one of my favorite stores. The salespeople have always been helpful and knowledgeable and willing to answer my many questions with patience and kindness. I've taken many classes as well and the teachers have all been great. My sister who lives in Chicago always insists we spend a good part of an afternoon at the Yarn Barn whenever she comes to visit. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this store to anyone and consider it a downtown treasure.
While I am a huge advocate of locally owned restaurants and stores, I am also a huge advocate of kind and respectable customer service. 1st visit: I walked into The Yarn Barn and inquired about Noro Yarn (my absolute favorite) and received the response in an unnerving loud rude tone "Um, we WON'T and DON'T deal with Noro." I smiled and asked why. The response was that "the distributor is difficult and they don't care." This may very well be true but a simple "I'm sorry, we don't carry Noro but let me show you some comparable yarns" would have sufficed. I went on to buy a skein of sale yarn and was abrubtly told that they would not wind the skein because it was sale yarn (I never even asked about them doing it). For those that don't knit, a skein takes over an hour to manually ball and I have never encountered a store that would not do this complementary. Note that this single "sale" skein was still well over $20. 2nd visit: I was excited to try a new project of socks. In an upbeat attitude, I asked if the sales associate (same associate as the first trip) to point me in the direction of their supply of sock yarns. She assisted me by showing me the area as well as what each brand had to offer. I was thrilled that she wasn't obtuse and rude this time around and thrilled that I was on my way to my new project. Once she was done, I told her that I didn't need to be shown the books or patterns, but asked her if she could recommend the title of a good book for a novice sock knitter. She took me to the book section and went over many different options. Again, I was so thrilled that she was so helpful! I went on about my business in selecting my yarn, pattern, book, needles, and markers and checked out. Upon leaving, I notice the same sales associate sitting with another working on, what I believe to be inventory. I waved goodbye to them and told them to have a nice night. I was on cloud nine, a knitting high… ready to tackle my new project. The other associate responded “I’m sorry, if you didn’t get full attention tonight” and I responded, “no worries, she helped me a lot with finding what I needed” (motioning to the sales associate that helped me that was sitting next to her). I hear that woman say to the other woman in a loud rude voice “that’s FOR SURE!” It truly hurt my heart. I never asked her to spend a bunch of time with me, mainly just location guidance. I felt like I had really put her out. It was that same nasty attitude as the 1st visit. I’m sure it wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I wasn’t so excited. But after spending a rather large amount of money in their store and then a comment insinuating that I had consumed too much of her time, really just felt like a stab in the back. These experiences really spoil it for those of us who are willing to pay the higher prices to support local businesses.