Business: Yummy Yarn and Co, Dubbo
Providing a haven for yarn lovers to source a range of quality products is the overarching aim of Dubbo’s Yummy Yarn and Co. Supplying yarns and threads to dedicated crafters, the shop has been described as the hidden gem in the heart of Dubbo.
Business owner Robyn Hicks said the shop is also intended as an inspirational backdrop for people to learn new skills or update their knowledge.
Describing herself as a crochet artist, designer, maker, teacher and yarn shop owner, Robyn adores sharing her own passion with customers.
“The store is really just me sharing my yarn stash,” she laughed. “I’ve never been in retail before. A friend and I started the business. I’ve always had a love of and wanted to run a yarn shop.”
With personalised service and a range of quality products, Robyn believes she is fulfilling a need in the market.
“I’m passionate about the products, I love Australian, I appreciate the quality. That was one reason I started the business – I like to source Australian products and support Australian retailers.”
With previous experience in customer service and hospitality, Robyn’s massive social media following helped her gain the confidence she needed to establish the business.
With 215,000 Instagram followers and 2096 on Facebook, the increasing interest was a motivating factor in opening the shop. Robyn’s social media following is now worldwide, including Turkey and the USA.
“It happens because I’m in a niche market,” she explained. “Instagram grew over the years, because it is very user-friendly. It gave me the confidence to do something like this.”
The business has been operational for three years and Robyn loves helping customers find exactly what they need for their next craft experience. Yummy Yarn and Co customers come from as far away as Broken Hill and Sydney. Her main challenge is online stores undercutting the market but Robyn overcomes this with excellent customer service and quality products.
“I learnt early on that its better to be there for everyone that walks in the door. There’s something for everyone who comes into the shop.”
Robyn’s customers span different generations as a lot of people are just discovering these crafts.
“Lots of people are learning to knit, it’s easy because they can learn on the internet. It’s not just a granny thing. People who don’t knit and crochet put it into that box. But thanks to Instagram, homemade is in again.”
When she’s not helping customers or working on the business, Robyn is busy creating. One of her patterns has also been released across Australia.
“I’m a designer, I’m an artist and craftsman. I get creative when I have nothing to do.
“My kit is coming out in Better Homes and Gardens which will be available nationally.”
While she has enjoyed being in her knitting nook at the rear of 138 Macquarie St, the Yummy Yarn and Co has moved shop to a more prominent location in Talbragar St.
“Growth has increased locally mainly through word of mouth and social media,” she explains.
“I don’t have any trouble selling the stuff that I love. I have been a hidden gem in the heart of Dubbo but it doesn’t expose me to passersby.”
While she currently runs the business on her own, Robyn is excited by the prospect of possible future expansion.
“I am so excited to be taking the shop mainstream and main street. Hopefully the move to my new location will see an increase in sales so I can employ someone at least one day per week. Then I can spend more time doing the day to day business stuff and more design time for making patterns and kits.”
Robyn encourages others to try crochet and knitting.
“The more you are the more you become. Creativity begets creativity.
“Being creative is important because it stimulates the brain.”