Waterville yarn and sewing specialty shop celebrating 70 years in business
A popular shop in Waterville's Concourse is celebrating 70 years in business.
Yardgoods Center offers everything from yarn and other fabrics to sewing machines.
“I got a bunch of new colors coming in, too. If you ever want them, I would gladly try and get them for you," said co-owner, Joyce Vlodek Atkins.
If you’re into crafts, knitting, crocheting, or sewing – Yardgoods Center in downtown Waterville is for you.
You can bring in a project, socialize, and get advice and expertise from the owners – free of charge!
“Crocheting and sewing is therapy. So, our customers are never bored. They’re always full of life, and always come in with big smiles," said Atkins.
Customers have been doing so since 1949.
That is when Beatrice Vlodek started Yarngoods Center with her husband.
Now 98, Beatrice has taken a step back from the store but, she still has her ways of keeping an eye on things.
“I bank everyday so, I know what’s going on. I go to the post office. I run all the errands. Luckily, I can do it and I’m still driving" said Vlodek.
Her daughter, Joyce, and son, Ken run the day-to-day operations at the store in the Concourse.
The family moved the shop there in 1966.
Since then the store has grown. They now offer over 600 types of hand knitting yarns, and classes too.
“We give knitting classes Monday through Saturday," explained Atkins. "Its $6 for two and a half hours, and they get a discount. It’s just a nice feeling to be able to go somewhere and feel like part of a group.”
Joyce says it can be difficult at times having to compete with big box stores and online sales.
However, their customers are what keeps them going.
“Luckily so many people come in and say, “Joyce, I just want to be able to touch the alpaca. I want to touch the wool. I want to see all the different colors. I’m so lucky that my staff has always been busy knitting pocketbooks, sweaters, and hats," said Atkins.
Yardgoods has seen some changes in its 70 years but, one thing that hasn’t changed is the family’s dedication to their customers.
“I know that when I go somewhere, I like someone to greet me and welcome me. I try to make sure that I know all my customers’ names. “It’s just nice to feel that you’re welcome," said Atkins.
Now that Beatrice is 98, Joyce says she has to live up to her mom's legacy.
She plans on working for at least another 25 years.
If you would like to learn more about the shop visit: http://yardgoodscenter.com/.