Saturday, September 24, 2011

LYS - All About Yarn in Columbia, MD

Another item to cross off my Year of Lovely things list - visit a not previously visited LYS in Maryland. I had a handful to choose from but I hadn't yet decided which would be the right one. The decision was made for me when there was a Groupon which was $10 for $20 worth of yarn at All About Yarn in Columbia. How could I pass that up?

On a rainy Saturday, the address was plugged into the GPS and off we went. The store is located in a business park and it was a little hard to find. After a few wrong turns, we found it. From the outside (as the photo shows), the shop just isn't much to look at.

All About Yarn
8970-G Route 108
(in the Oakland Center - near Red Branch Rd)
Columbia, MD 21045

I wasn't expecting much (more on that later) but I was so pleasantly surprised when I opened the door. You have no idea you're in a business park once inside the shop. The displays of yarns, books, needles and accessories and the great lighting make it a colorful, happy and welcoming store. There are so many different brands of yarn at all different kinds of price points, from common to uncommon yarns, novelty to high-end - there is something for everyone. There was also a wall of Addi needles at very good prices. The store is twice as big as you expect. Go past the register to some displays on either side and then a whole other section opens up. So spacious! Sorry I didn't take some photos to show you. You'll just have to take my word for it.

I got my money's worth with the Groupon. I picked up some gorgeous Cascade Yarns  Quatro - 220 yards of 100% Peruvian highland wool.


I also got a skein of Mountain Colors Twizzle, a hand-dyed yarn from Montana. It is 250 yards of 85% merino wool and 15% silk - DIVINE!


There were so many more things I would have bought but I thought two without projects planned for them was enough. I can't wait to go back to the store and at least get some new needles if not some more yarn.

After such a glowing review and considering this LYS is not far from where I live, you may be wondering why it took me so long to check it out in the first place.

The answer is - the WEBSITE. It is awful.

I will be honest that I even had second thoughts about getting the Groupon in the first place because of the website. I was worried the actual store would reflect the persona of the website. The website is hard to navigate, it looks old, but most of all, it looks unprofessional. While the website gives you the basic information about the shop (location, hours, brands carried), it does nothing to help promote the fabulousness of the store. It doesn't need flashy animation or complicated programming - it just needs to be reorganized, cleaned up, and some fun photos added.

So don't let the website fool you - this store is definitely worth checking out if you live in or are visiting the area.

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