With two sticks and string, a gang of wannabe knitters, and a community atmosphere, Wool and the Gang has changed “Nanna’s knitting shop” forever.
If you haven’t heard of it, Wool and the Gang, is a fashionable, new retail concept that opened in Soho in November 2009. It’s part stylish design studio, part DIY knitting school, part luscious Peruvian yarn shop and part trendy knitwear boutique. Knit them all together and you’ve got one fantastically, fun shopping experience.
Here’s how it all began. In late 2007 Lisa Sabrier found some fantastic chunky yarn in a downtown knitting shop in New York and thought if she took hunky yarn and combined it with chunky needles she could get fast results—ideal for today’s hectic lifestyles. She had the concept and then just needed the design. She and her partner Carolyn Main sensed people were looking for a connection to what they were wearing beyond logo’s and mass merchandise. They felt they wanted a more personalized, meaningful experience. One where instead of “simply wearing it”, consumers could “make it as well”. Sabrier and Main designed some hip styles, packaged them in cool kits for quick, easy knitting and launched them at Colette (one of my favorite Parisian boutiques). They were an instant hit and the rest is history as they say.
As soon as you enter their shop in Soho, you’re hooked. Surrounded by bright-colored skeins of Peruvian yarn, white washed walls, designers abuzz with ideas, a huge working table in the middle of the store, and a crowd of people so interesting you can’t wait to join them in the fun and castoff a funky scarf or luscious sweater.
Their website is an engaging version of their store. Fun, hip interactive. It’s a mix of easy how-to video tutorials, sketch memos, and great on-line shopping.
Wool and the Gang unlocked the mystery of how to connect with consumers in today’s fickle marketplace. They put the FUN and the SOCIAL back in ready-to-wear.
If you are a boutique owner or a designer get over to Wool and the Gang for a healthy dose of imaginative thinking and out-of-the-knitting-basket thinking. It’s worth the trip to New York or LA to get your creative juices flowing. Also their kits make a great addition to any boutique that sells knitwear.
Stop doing the same old, same old. Get Inspired and your customers will follow.
If you can’t travel there, check it out here.
Photo’s – Wool and the Gang Website
Studio/Shop 98 Thompson Street New York, NY 10012
(212) 966 9266