We had the good fortune of connecting with Marsha Corn, LCSW and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marsha, what is the most important factor behind your success?
In the store, I put on the wall I face a saying…” I myself am made entirely of flaws stitched together with good intentions”. Honestly I feel this reminder, I see every day is the most important factor to my success. When I am having self doubt, I remind myself that I really do have good intentions, when I am feeling a little boastful, I remind myself that I am filled with flaws. The most important thing I can do to keep my business successful is to demonstrate these words in my actions with my customers and community.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Owning a yarn store is my second career. I spent most of my professional career as a medical Social Worker working with babies who were born premature, with complications and mother’s with high risk pregnancies. I will always be a Social Worker at heart, but after giving of myself to help other, while caring for my own children and caring for my elderly parents, I came to a place that I needed to have a job that allowed me to sleep at night. I still don’t always sleep at night; thinking of my business; but at least it is not life and death situations. Social Work gives you the skills to handle almost any situation. Customer services is my specialty! I’m a people pleaser, but also been forced to deal with confrontation and delivering messages that are not always pleasant. This again, brings me back to my wall saying. I might do things wrong or flawed in my business, but everything I do, I have good intentions. If I am wrong or flawed, I admit it, but I also find a solution to the problem. I think a good example of this: I can knit am I an expert knitter…NO! This scared me when I was thinking of opening the store .How can I help people with their mistakes in their projects? A couple of way I remedied this was by finding people who are experts and keeping them close by or even better, I am know to sit with my customers and admit, that I don’t know and we pull up a YouTube video together and figure it out. I’m still developing my brand. Important things for me to think about when planning my store included what I liked and did not like about other yarn stores I had been to, I loved going to hang out at a yarn store with my friends. We would get lunch and bring it back to the store eat, talk and knit, What I did not like was having to look for was parking blocks away or worry about moving my car because of street sweeping or feeding a meter. Going out in the cold, rain or heat to get lunch or coffee. So when I was looking for retail space I discovered the Edgewater Public Market and it had all the things I loved and a solution to all the things I did not love. First the building supplies a sense of community, plenty of free parking and food and drink. I love that my customers can grab a glass of wine or beer and lunch and sit at my work table. I designed my store so that colors pop. It bright and cozy. I really wanted people to feel at home here.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First and foremost I would take them to The Edgewater Public Market. Show off my store! We would grab a drink from Rogers Liquid Oasis or a beer from Barquentine Brewery and hit the roof top deck at the Edgewater Public Market. I would buy them lunch from one of the many yummy food vendors here. Introduce them to all the hip vendors and make them spend some cash! From the roof top deck I would show them my house that is near Sloan’s Lake and brag about the beautiful view I get to see every day. I grew up in Boulder, so we would have to spend a day in my old stomping grounds, Hiking Chautauqua Park and roaming the Pearl Street Mall and showing them all my crazy places (Party Spot Number One…AKA Mt. Sanitas) where I explored in my youth. We would do an overnight or two in the mountains. I would pass on the tradition of honking the car horn as one passes through the mountain tunnels. We would stop and buy bread from the Bread Lady in Silver Plumb, Glenn Wood Springs is a must. We would spend a day in Estes Park…eating our way up and down the main street, just like I did as a kid. Back in town I would explore the bubble of North West Denver with them. Too many yummy restaurants to name and shopping all the boutiques.
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 sweet mama taught me to knit upteen years ago. She was an art teacher. My mom used to joke with me telling me ” don’t tell anyone your mom was an art teacher”. I could not and still can not draw a straight line. But she did instill in me the love of crafts and I found my outlet in knitting, sewing and other crafts. Unfortunately my momma passes away three years ago and did not know about the store. I do have a picture of her I keep up in the store, so she is with me everyday. The second person who deserves a shoutout would be my husband Michael Penka. His patience and love for me are tremendous. For years I have thrown out ideas on starting my own business, he would always bring me back down to earth, patiently going over the risk and investment it would take. When I told him about my idea for the yarn store, he had a total different reaction than my past ideas. We talked about it and did some research and within a month we had created the LLC. He keeps my books straight and my taxes paid and spend many evenings and weekends helping me out at the store. He is my best employee and only gets paid with gratitude and a kiss.
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