Kraft Work Yarns are a shining example of a local success story. What started out as a hobby and a dream of owning her own shop has blossomed into thriving business in the centre of town. Debbie and the team have already outgrown two units at The Arches in Park Road and have recently moved into a third, much larger, unit.
The way Debbie talks about her business, her dreams and her love of wool is captivating. Walking into the shop you are walking into a rainbow of beautiful coloured yarns. Smiling faces make you feel welcome and their enthusiasm for their craft is infectious.
Kraft Work Yarns is exactly what it says on the tin. Their aim is to bring a smile one ball of yarn at a time until Hartlepool is the happiest place to live. They not only stock a variety of brands including Stylecraft, Rico, West Yorkshire Spinners, Scheepjes and James C Brett but you will also find kits by Stitch and Story, accessories by Emma Ball, ribbons, buttons, threads, and of course hooks and needles.
Their best selling product remains the very first range we stocked – Stylecraft. “It’s a real favourite amongst our customers,” explains Debbie. “Their double knit range alone comes in 100 colours and makes an amazing wall of colour when you enter the shop. Other ranges like the Ricorumi by Rico and Catona by Scheepjes are particularly popular with toy makers.”
If you thought Kraft Work Yarns were all about retail you’d be wrong. They also find time to run knitting and crochet classes, knit and natter sessions and are planning to add alternative crafts to that list including paper cutting, felting and even spinning. It really is a crafters heaven!
Debbie is a champion of local businesses, believing they are the lifeblood of our town. Despite not being born here, Debbie has spent most of her life in Hartlepool and considers herself a native.
“I am old enough to remember Frank Wrights and Rogers sweet shop. These are the shops that stick with you. You remember the personal service, the ready smile and chat. Shops are not just retail spaces and local businesses offer so much more than generic chain stores. We are our own community offering a priceless service to young and old alike.”
“I feel immense pride for my town. We have overcome so much. There is a strength of character here and an amazing depth of knowledge. The longer the shop is open, the more crafters we meet and are astounded by their level of ability. And not just wool users. Hartlepool is bursting with talent.”
Some of that talent lives right there under the Kraft Work roof. Debbie and fellow Kraft Worker Linda are both currently taking pottery lessons with Louise Robinson Ceramics (another Hartlepool-based business) at the Stranton Hub. “I am a complete novice and pretty pants at it,” Debbie admits, “but I’m loving the time spent just forming clay into ‘unique’ pieces. It’s so calming. I also want to learn to spin and even dye my own yarn, take my wool journey from sheep to hook.”
Whether you are a wool lover, a budding crafter or a complete novice, Debbie and the team at Kraft Work Yarns are waiting to welcome your to their crafting community.
What question do you get asked most?
‘Do you have the…’ thing we haven’t got yet! So we get it in and the next person asks for something quite different. And so it goes on. There’s always something…