Earlier this month we were honoured to receive a Service Excellence Award from the Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce. This was gratifying and exciting for Josette and me. We were thrilled to be part of this impressive group of local businesses and non-profit organizations being recognized for their work in our community. And we were beyond grateful to our wonderful customers and staff for making Riverside Yarns such a happy place for all of us.
On a sadder note, Josette has decided to step away from Riverside Yarns. As many of you know, we bought the store in July, 2019. It was a mad move, really… I was still teaching full time and had no plans to retire soon. Josette lived several hours away and ran a brewery and restaurant with her husband Frank and their partners. It made no sense. But we did it anyway and those first months at Riverside Yarns were glorious. We learned and we worked and we had so much fun getting to know our customers and our yarns.
We all know what came next. After only seven months in business, the pandemic slammed us all, making travel and collaboration difficult at best, and often impossible. Our families needed us in new ways and everything changed. With your support, the support of my husband Yves, and the support of Shawna Katz and Joan Spence, we weathered the storm.
The weekend of the awards dinner, Josette and Frank joined us in Owen Sound. Josette worked on the window display, and we co-hosted a lovely World Wide Knit in Public Day on the patio at GBArts. It was a weekend that both Josette and I will always remember. It was everything we had hoped for when we bought the store in 2019 – community, making, fun, yarn, happiness.
Josette leaves Riverside Yarns knowing and caring for the community she helped foster and grow, and we will miss her. We don’t quite know what the future holds, but Yves, Joan, Dani and I wish Josette the very best in her new projects and ventures. I am sad to lose my partner, but my friend and I will continue to talk yarn, knitting, compare patterns, and generally giggle our way out of trouble every time.
To the many friends I have made at Riverside Yarns,
Thank you all for your warmth, your unwavering support, and your keen interest in what Cathy and I were doing at Riverside Yarns. It was a truly collaborative effort, with its fair share of laughter and hugs. I have a deep fondness for your community, and the gorgeous countryside. I continue to be inspired by your creativity, your curiosity, and your openness to share and learn from each other. My time in Grey-Bruce was always enjoyable.
Until we meet again, all the best.