We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassandra Allen – Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassandra, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
To share my love of fiber arts with as many yarn lovers around the world as possible, and educate young people (our youth) on the history of knit and crochet by teaching them to knit and crochet and create their own pattern designs. To change the world one stitch at a time.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe what sets my work apart from others is a combination of work ethic, hospitality, customer service and tremendous ambition and determination. I also see my designs i.e., the colors I hand dye my yarn, the fashion accessories that I hand craft are my personal vision. No it has not been easy starting and operating my Shoppe. There needs to be better financial assistance for minority owned business from main street banks. There also needs to be more assistance with mentoring and special programs for minority owned small businesses. I overcame my challenges with fierce Faith, and non-stop prayer. You can only walk in your own ability for so long (not long at all), before you realize you need spiritual supernatural strength. That is the only way. Only God can give you that. Lessons I have learned are stay focused, be prepared for long days and work nights after everyone has gone to bed, and learn how to say “No, sorry I am unable to do that at this time.” That alone will save you some real time and struggle. Folks who do not have an actual brick and mortar business and an on-line store with the business, may not truly understand what you are going through to maintain your physical presence and on-line presence to not only grow, but to thrive. Therefore, you need to become comfortable with saying “No.” At the end of the day family is always first. Stay focused. My brand is very important to me. I believe in hospitality, customer service excellence and honesty. Today there are so many main stream businesses out there who have no idea what true customer service is, nor do they care if you shop their brand due to their lack of customer service. But, for me and my brand, when you walk into my Yarn Shoppe YOU are the most important person to me. I will provide you with an experience that you most likely have not had in a retail setting. When you leave, you will say to yourself “I have not had an experience like that buying yarn in a very long time, if at all.” That is what my brand is about.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Denver, Colorado, so if a friend was visiting from out of town we would have a front row seat to my official Travel Concierge experiences that I offer as a service for my knit and crochet customers. First, ALL of my friends know that my schedule would not allow for a full week of entertaining. However, the four day long weekend would allow them the best time of their lives! Thursday afternoon upon picking her up at Denver International Airport, I would drive us to her four star hotel in downtown Denver. Having already made all of the arrangements, we would not need to stop in the lobby and stand in line at the front desk. We would go directly up to her suite. I would hand her the key and when we entered she would find the curtains open, sun shining in, and a small welcome bouquet thanking her for her time from her family and friends back home, and to enjoy her vacation. I would attach a note with the top walkable places to visit in downtown (also listed on my Google Local Guide account.) We would plan the locations that we can see together, and of course the locations by herself to sit knit and crochet and people watch, all while wearing a mask and social distancing herself. Each day would allow time to enjoy by herself, as well as our walkable outings for dinner. The last day winding down at the Yarn Shoppe, with our Tea service. Knitting and crocheting and enjoying that amazing view of the city through massive windows of light. Listening to the sights and the sounds of the city, the bells of the light rail, and the rays of sun as it paints the beautiful hues of ever changing colors of our surroundings. Relaxation at its best. Priceless.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My amazing family! My two kiddos have been so very helpful when I needed assistance in my Yarn Shoppe after I opened it, by coming in and working. My wonderful husband has encouraged me and he has created the interior design, window displays, and worked with customers when I was unavailable. My family is very supportive and I literally could not do what I do without them. They Rock! I love them tremendously.
Yarn Shoppe Denver