Four inches of a scarf. Well, a swatch of a scarf, really, and it’s still on the needles a few decades later. But that four inches, started when a mom sat down with her 9-year-old (who was more interested in climbing trees than casting on), got the ball rolling for what’s become a thriving yarn store in the heart of Bay City’s business district – a place where that daughter now sits down with other knitters of all ages and skill levels to create, to bond, and to grow.
How did Susan go from knitting school dropout to local yarn store owner? On her own in a new city and surrounded by men at her job, she decided to take a knitting class to meet people. She abandoned her first project, a simple washcloth, in pursuit of a more intriguing intermediate-level baby sweater that sported an intarsia whale motif on the front. That sweater led to another, and soon the class instructor began encouraging Susan to open a yarn store of her own, going so far as to find a location to set up shop.
At this point, she was a new bride with a full-time career. She’d just buried her father and settled his estate – and she was opening a yarn store.
She purchased inventory with inheritance money and set up a booth at Pepper Tree Place, an arts and crafts mall that served as her test market. Three years later and a few blocks down the road, A Piece of Ewe sublet space in a popular gift shop. Susan and her crew held classes and sold yarn, patterns, notions, and needles for the next eight years until the landlord reclaimed the square footage for expansion.
Grand experiment or life’s work? Susan’s decision became clear when she woke up at 3 a.m., designing floor plans and developing yarn displays. She believed she could, so she did it: she bought a building the day before Thanksgiving, started immediate renovations, and opened her own door at 506 Columbus Avenue – and the rest is history being made.Today, she's surrounded by colors and textures and people, and she couldn't be happier. "I love your scarf," she'll greet a returning customer. "You should go feel that cowl over there. It's really nice." She understands her customers -- what they like, what they make, what their next knitting adventure can be -- and they love her, returning regularly to check-in, to visit, and, of course, to shop. Susan's vision is aptly named. A Piece of Ewe becomes just that: a piece of you.