6 February 2016

The Adventure Begins ...


Back in December, I eluded to an adventure I was about to embark on.

It sort of started with a stroll down a road close to where I live in Leicester, on a very wet day.  This road is lined with 19th century terraced houses, most of which have been converted into small independent shops and eateries.

When I was a child, I used to spend my pocket money on glittery stickers, torn from a large paper roll, and fruity fragranced felt-tipped pens from one of the gift shops.  It's still there.  When my own children were little, I would occasionally buy coloured beaded bracelets and painted wooden yo-yos from the same shop.

One of my first Saturday jobs was working behind the sweet counter in the post office at the top of the street.  I loved that job.  The elderly chap who owned the post office frightened the living daylights out of the 15 year old me though.  He was a no-nonsense man, quite small with tightly curled hair and a furious expression.  The shop remains but is now a newsagent.

Anyway, back to this stroll.  Halfway up the road was an empty shop.  I honestly couldn't tell you if I'd ever noticed it before but I certainly did on this occasion.  It was perfect.  Well, that's not strictly true - it was a bit shabby and very unloved but it had so much perfect potential.

A chat with the lady owner of a nearby shop led us to discover that the previous tenant had done a moonlight flit and the gentleman who lives in the flat above was going to take it on.  I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I was.  You see, if I closed my eyes, I could clearly visualise how it could look.

There then followed what I can only describe as a chain of 'meant to be' events.  A lot can happen in a month, as I'm sure you know.




My lovely friends, may I introduce you to what will eventually become the newest yarn shop in town, Pink Milk?

Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!  You can't see me I know but I'm grinning like a mad thing!

This is how it looks right now.  I only took possession of the keys yesterday.  As I type, D and a friend are in there with tools and paintbrushes and I will soon be setting-to with my bleach and steam cleaner!  I've chosen the colour for the outside.  (Surprised?!)

I'll be totally honest with you, I'm ever so slightly terrified because I have never done anything like this before.  Over the last few weeks, I've had to get my head around taxes and insurance, costings and forecasts and all the nitty-gritty stuff that comes with running a business.  I am also designing my own online shop.  I'm putting absolutely everything I have into this little venture of mine.

I've had a few wobbly moments where my bravery and self-confidence have temporarily deserted me.  On those occasions, I sit and crochet a bunting triangle.  Does that sound a bit bonkers?  The truth is, I haven't had much opportunity to do a lot of crochet or knitting recently and the ten or fifteen minutes it takes to select a colour and make one soothes me.  It acts as a sort of 'time out' when I can take a few deep breaths, remind myself that we only live once, and all feels good and positive again.  My Simple Bunting Tutorial was the very first crochet pattern I published here on my blog, four years ago.  It remains my most visited post of all time.  For me, it sort of heralds where my journey began and it seems fitting.  The bunting will then be strung somewhere in my shop.

Most of all though, I cannot begin to tell you just how excited I am.  I have so many plans and ideas, sometimes my head feels like it's going to literally spin right off my neck!  I've been spending hours with yarn samples and colour charts.  I've been squishing and stroking, sniffing and poking like you wouldn't believe!!!  I've also been working on a few secret projects and have made some lovely new talented friends in the process.  Aargh, I cannot wait to show you everything!  I will only be selling yarn and products that I love.  I hope you'll love them too.

You have all played such a massive part in giving me the confidence to do this.  For that, I cannot thank you enough.  I feel so lucky and proud.

I will be keeping in some pretty tea cups, just in case you call.  The kettle will always be on and the shelves filled to the brim.


xxx

140 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Heather! I wish I could someday visit your shop. Godspeed and wishing you all the best. - Oyee

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  2. Woo hoo! Sounds exciting! Can't beat a bit of bunting :-)

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  3. Congratulations, would love to visit one day....how exciting x

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    1. And I would be delighted if you did! Thank you. X

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  4. I'm so so happy for you! I'm sure it will be a huge success and I will have to be sure to make a trip to visit you someday! Looking forward to the online shop too you have fab taste I can just tell it's gonna be awesome! Hugs xxx

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    1. Oh Lisa, I'd love it if you could. Thank you my lovely friend. xx

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  5. Ooh how exciting! Look forward to seeing it full of lovelies x

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  6. Congratulations, would love to visit one day , so excited for you, will be keeping watch on your progress & upcoming website x

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  7. What a wonderful adventure! You'll see, everything will turn out better than you ever expected. I wish you all the best and am really excited on your behalf. Can't wait to read more about it. xx

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  8. Congratulations, sounds so exciting and I can't wait to see it all finished.x

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    1. Thank you cheeky chops! Should love to see you if you ever got the chance to visit. X

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  9. Congratulations and I wish you every success in your new venture. Wish I lived closer, it would be great to visit. Make sure you show us lots of photos. xx

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    1. Oh I most definitely will. Thank you Jan. X

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  10. Wow how exciting. Starting a business is so scary and exhausting but I have had no regrets. Good luck! Where is your shop as would love to visit. I am again going on a crochet workshop to Marrakech with Ingrid from Wood and Wool Stool and I've often thought you would love it even though I don't know you... Silly huh? Maybe one day we will meet X

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    1. No, not silly at all Kathy, I love that and almost definitely would. In fact, I'm quite green with envy - I do hope you have a fabulous time. My shop is in Stoneygate, just outside the centre of Leicester. I'd be thrilled to meet you one day, I fear I shall come over all swoony if you're decked in your own creations though! X

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  11. Congrats....so excited for you...dreams come true x

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    1. They do, they really do. Thank you. X

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  12. Congratulations!! Such a lovely post to read - you can feel the excitement through your words!! Best of luck with your new venture!!xxx

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    1. I keep letting out accidental squeals of excitement! I wonder when that will wear off?! Thank you! X

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  13. What great news and of course you had to have a fab pink colour - like a marshmallow!! Keep us all posted. xxxx

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    1. Oh I promise I will, Penny. Thank you flower. X

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  14. Aww brilliant news! Although I'm rubbish at crochet, I do enjoy your blog - it's chock full (sp?) of loveliness and I'm sure your shop will be no exception. Huge congratulations on taking the plunge and diving in with your dream and I wish you every success. Jac x

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    1. That's so kind of you Jac, thank you. X

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  15. It looks wonderful Heather. I just know it's going to be 'fabulous darling'. I'm quite envious as there is no dedicated wool shop in our local town so I've had thoughts swirling of a lovely one here with a large table for workshops and walls full of cubbyholes filled with yarn glorious yarn. Now doesn't that sound like a great name!!! I don't know that I would have the guts to do it as hubby is hugely risk averse so I will be watching your journey closely and am behind you all the way. Good luck lovely lady and I'm adding to my bucket list 'visit Pink Milk in Leicester'!!!

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    1. And I should be absolutely tickled pink to meet you Lisa. Thank you so much my lovely friend. X

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  16. So exciting! Congratulations and well done! Wishing you every success, Sam xx

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  17. Congrats on your leap of faith....I just know it will be a great success as you are such a wonderful talented lady and you deserve it too! I will DEFINATELY be putting this on my "to visit" list when I am back in the UK?. I will continue To follow your progress with the new shop on your blog with baited breath!!!

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    1. What a lovely thing to say, thank you so much Lesley. X

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  18. Congratulations, how exciting. You are just down the road from me and I am regularly in Leicester so I will be searching you out when you open.

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  19. It's normal to have a few wobbly moments when starting on a new venture and it sounds like you are dealing with them in the right way. Nothing like a bit of yarny gorgeousness to calm your nerves. I wish you all the very best of luck, judging by all the lovely comments I don't think you will be short of customers xx

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    1. Thanks so much Tracy. I hope you're well my lovely? xx

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  20. Super excited for you lovely! It'll be like living in your very own yarn cloud. Wish I lived nearer, a little part time job would be ace :)

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    1. I know, right?! Move down here now! Mind you, we wouldn't get a bloody thing done! ;-) xx

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  21. Oh wow, it IS perfect! Oh my, I can just imagine how fab this will look when you've finished with it. Such an exciting adventure, I wish you heaps of wonderful luck with it and can't wait to see more. Make sure you find a moment to blog your progress! 😉 S x

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    1. Cherry Chops, I most definitely will my gorgeous chum. Cannot wait 'til you can come and play!!! xx

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  22. That is awesome! If I ever get to England I'll pop in for that cuppa! Congratulations!

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    1. Oh yes, please do, and don't forget to bring some sunshine with you! Thank you. X

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  23. Wow - what an exciting enterprise! I wish you all the best, loads of customers and a friendly community. Can't wait to see it all when it is ready!

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  24. Oh Heather that's absolutely brilliant, fantastic. What a gorgeous shop you've found. And how wonderful to follow your dreams. I'm wishing you every success and happiness. Good luck! CJ xx

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    1. Bless you CJ, thank you so much. xx

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  25. This sounds just like a dream come true and it sounds absolutely wonderful. I wish you all the luck in the world. I'll drop in to say hello as soon as we'll manage another holiday in the UK - promised!

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    1. Oh yes, that would be fabulous. Thank you Marjan. X

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  26. I spotted this over on Instagram but wanted to pop over and wish you the very best of luck. I am a knitter who cannot get the hang of crochet, but I adore looking at your creations. I'm sure your shop will be just as lovely. Much success to you, Heather!

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    1. Thank you so much Casey. Perhaps if we could spend an hour together, I could help you with crochet and you could help me with my knitting?! X

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  27. Congratulations!! I hope that it goes really well for you!! xx

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  28. How exciting! This is awesome news. Ho'omaka'i to you.

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  29. Congratulations!! I'm so excited with you! I want to visit your shop. :)

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  30. Oh wow, that's super exciting! Congratulations and here's to a successful venture 🍾
    If I find myself in the UK, I'll mosey on over to Leicester for a visit :-)

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    1. That would be great! Thank you Cat. X

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  31. WHat a fabulous story of the street in your village. This is meant to be. Congratulations on the bravery of taking on such project. Your life will never be the same and you will grow every second. in confidence, knowledge and self love. So proud of you and wish I was closer and could pop in for that cuppa and see how you're doing there in your paint spotted overalls and tied up messy hair. It can only be fabulous. Looking forward on following you every single step on the way.
    Bravo!!!
    Xxx
    Annette

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    1. Oh thank you so much my lovely friend. xx

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  32. How exciting. Have been reading and enjoying your lovely blog for a while now. I knit but sadly crochet still eludes me but I am determined to learn very soon. Leicester is not too far away from me so I will be able to make a visit, it will be lovely to know there is a lovely wool shop not too far away x

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    1. Oh that's so kind of you to say Vinny, thank you. I should love you to visit. X

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  33. Looks fab, what an exciting adventure. Good luck & have fun setting it up xx

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    1. Thanks so much Lindsay. I must admit, I'm enjoying every minute! :-) X

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  34. Dear Heather

    I have only been a blog reader for a year or so now but yours was one of the first I found. You have such a warm, humourous and honest style. You seem to be able to keep it real and I am sure your shop will be just as warm and wonderful. Good luck!

    Lucy xx

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    1. What a lovely thing to say Lucy, thank you so much. X

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  35. I love it when fate takes your hand and walks you into your dream. A similar thing happened to me and a friend, a throwaway comment resulted in a 16 year patchwork shop partnership - shop still going strong though we have recently retired - and fate took a hand in that too ! Enjoy your new venture.

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    1. Oh that's so wonderful to hear. You must be incredibly proud and rightly so. Thank you. X

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  36. I have a big smile on my face just for you, Heather! A pink shop full of yarn - could there be anything more perfect?! I look forward to seeing pics and reading about your adventures...and keep a teacup ready for me, I'll plan a trip up your way, promise! And hey, you may need a friend to teach some crochet workshops while you're at the front desk... Cxxx

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    1. Pretty teacup ready and waiting Chrissie! I cannot wait to meet you! And, yes, I'm definitely interested in your offer. xx

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  37. Congratulations Heather. Can't wait to see your progress, I can already imagine it will be one of the prettiest yarn shops! Much love. Em xx

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    1. Oh thank you lovely Em. I'm pulling out all the pretty stops, believe me! xx

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  38. Congratulations and best of luck in your new venture!

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  39. Wow Heather!! This is fantastic! I am very very chuffed for you. I wish you all the very best in your new yarny adventure and if I'm ever in Leicester, I would definitely pop round and say hi! Look forward to reading all about it! Pati xx

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    1. Oh definitely do Pati, I have a big hug waiting for you! xx

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  40. Oh my goodness its so exciting! I actually gasped with glee for you when I read that you had got the shop and am sat here with a huge grin for you :). I would love to do something exactly like this but I don't think I have what it takes, certainly not now anyway. Please please tell me what town you are in, I would do love to come and visit you. Massive massive massive congratulations, it's just soooo exciting!
    Jillxo

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    1. Oh Jill, you sweetheart! I'm in Leicester. Do try and visit, I'd just love to see you. X

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  41. yay! so exciting! am only in Nottinghamshire so am sure I'll be visiting - I'll be the one with a slightly grumpy looking husband in the background while I'm nearly wetting myself at the sight of lovely yarn. Have you considered a man -creche in a corner where we can park them for half an hour?!

    Lots of good luck on your venture
    Susan xxx

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    1. Haha! That made me laugh out loud Susan! I'm suddenly extremely pleased that I have a practical tiled floor! ;-) D has already made me promise to keep in a stack of man-friendly reading material. Mind you, there is a wine bar and deli nearby, does that help?! xx

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  42. This is so wonderful! Your shop will be wonderful! The color is wonderful! I just wish I could visit it.

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  43. E x c I t I n g!!!! This is fantastic news, good luck on your fabulous adventure! :) xxx

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  44. Oh! If only I didn't live across the pond! But since I do and most of the little bit of traveling that we do doesn't involve planes or ships, I shall have to visit your lovely, soon-to-be shop via your blog. Oh, but it would be so much fun to be there, in person, for your grand opening! Best wishes and best of luck!

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  45. Oh! If only I didn't live across the pond! But since I do and most of the little bit of traveling that we do doesn't involve planes or ships, I shall have to visit your lovely, soon-to-be shop via your blog. Oh, but it would be so much fun to be there, in person, for your grand opening! Best wishes and best of luck!

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  46. Oh WOW,always wanted to do that.Wishing you all the very best in the future and can't wait to see your online shop.Hugs xx

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  47. Fantastic!! I look forward to following your journey. I am also sending you lots of positive vibes to help you along. Well done, dreams are there to be followed where possible!!

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    1. Hear hear! Absolutely! Thank you Sarah. X

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  48. Wishing you great luck and prosperity in your new adventure I hope you still find time to blog so we can share the virtual journey xx

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    1. Oh, try and stop me! I plan to share every step with you. X

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  49. Great news! Good luck in your new venture! Will be keeping posted via your blog and hope to pop in sometime ...

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    1. That would be fabulous Zoe. Thank you. X

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  50. Wow, wishing you luck and every happiness in your new venture Heather and looking forward to seeing some more pictures xx

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  51. Amazing news!! I have never been to Leicester, but now I have the perfect excuse. And when I come, I'll be wearing the beautiful PinkMilk wrist warmers I made last month. Good luck x

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  52. Weeeeeee. That's such exciting news! Well done you! I hope it all becomes just amazing for you every day. I'll be sure to pop in if I'm ever in your area.

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  53. Ooh, that's fabulous! Wishing you lots and lots of luck with this exciting new venture! I always love to share information on local yarn shops in the Sockalong Facebook groups so when you're open and can share your address, do let me know. I'm not biased at all, but I hope you'll have plenty of sock yarn! :-) xx

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  54. How terribly exciting - you must be thrilled! I wish you all the very best with your new adventure. Can't wait to see the finished shop.
    Cathy x

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  55. Oh wow! What a new adventure! Congratulatins! I admire your courage! I'm so happy tjat there be also online shop. Will you sell and shipping international? Wish you all the best!!!

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  56. Yay, wonderful news Heather. I'm so happy for you. Can't wait to visit.
    Jacquie x

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  57. Congratulations!! Such exciting news! Your shop will be so beautiful, just like everything you make dear Heather! I am looking forward to reading about it and seeing the pictures as it evolves. Have fun...and sending you very best wishes!
    Helen xox

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  58. Oh well done for having the courage to follow your dream. This is going to be the most amazing adventure for you. Sometimes in life you just have to seized the moment and do it. Congratulations and good luck!

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  59. WOW! This is marvelous news and I wish you so much luck! I'm really happy for you and with you - it's going to be a wonderful journey and I will watch and take part from over here in Germany! All the best!

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  60. I am sooo happy for you! Congratulations! Oh the excitement where 'meant-to-be' moments meet that jumping off point... Yay for you. All the best wishes and I envy you all that delicious yarn squishing! 💕💕

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  61. Heather I'm so excited for you! I think you're going to be really really good at it and with your gorgeous taste it'll be a wonderful place to visit. Do you have any ides of opening dates yet? I'm going to come down as soon as you open so get the kettle on! I'm so proud of you! Love Amanda xxx

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  62. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am in USA and I would love to visit your store but I will have to settle for your patterns. I have made several of them, and they are lovely. You are one of my favorite sites to read and crochet from. I am sure your going to have loads of success with your new store (I love the look of the outside) and keep the kettle on. Thanks for sharing all of your lovely work and patterns with us.
    ~Crystal
    http://krystlewv.blogspot.com
    A Day In My Life, Crochet

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  63. So EXCITING! I'm definitely going to come and visit. Can't wait actually. Well done you xx

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  65. Such exciting news! Best of luck! I'm sure you are going to be madly successful!

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  66. So pleased for you, your living your dream, well done and good luck on your new adventure, if ever I'm in the area will pop in.

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  67. Congratulations ~ what fantastic news! Wishing you all the luck in the world with your new adventure :O)xx

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  68. Congratulations! What an exciting adventure for you! You'll make a wonderful woolly yarn shopkeeper! x

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  69. How very exciting, good luck!

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  70. This is so exciting to see! To own a yarn shop here in Hawaii is my absolute dream and I am working slowly toward it...very slowly as rent is crazy expensive here. I hope you will continue to post updates so I can see your success!

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  71. I'd love a shop. How brave of you and what fun! There are very few wool shops near where I live in South Wales. I usually buy my yarn online and will definitely be visiting your online shop. Anita

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  72. Oh My GOSH! I am so excited for you! YOU GO GIRL!!!
    I can hardly wait to watch this whole adventure step by step...
    I'm truly so very excited :-)))
    Danette

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  73. Oh my goodness! How terribly exciting! And brave. Following one's heart and dreams can be exhilarating and excruciating. May all of your shop dreams come true!

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  74. How exciting! You have a lovely blog, Heather, and I'm sure your shop will turn out to be the same! xx

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  75. Lisa ~ Sammamish, WA22 February 2016 at 15:27

    I would love ❤ to have my own yarn shop. Rents are just far too high here in Sammamish, WA. You are SO brave and I will live my dream through your adventure of opening yours! How truly exciting. I can't wait to see how you decorate! Good luck!!!!!!

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  76. Oh my goodness, so amazing, so exciting for you! Saw your announcement on IG, just catching up on here, I expect you're incredibly busy getting everything up and running but I wish you all the luck and success in the world with your venture, you deserve it and I cant wait to see how it all looks! I shall certainly pop in if I'm up your way!
    Gill xx

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  77. Oh WOWEEE!!! Lovely lovely Heather I am so very happy for you. This is going to be AWESOME. I am actually grinning. xxxxxxxx

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  78. Oh how wonderful!! I'm excited, so goodness knows how excited you are when it's your venture. Looking forward to seeing the progress and wishing you heaps of success in your dream shop.
    Well done you!!

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  79. Congratulations, what an exciting adventure indeed!!! x

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  80. I love your blog Heath - Ruth (my newly discovered sister in law) mentioned your shop so I thought I'd have a look and it took me back to 1995 when I opened my first shop - your passion and excitement is wonderful and I wish you every success. Hard work yes of course and a massive learning curve but a thrill every time you have a satisfied customer. I ran my shop successfully for 13yrs so please feel free to bounce ideas off me - I'd love to help. Angela Macson (nee Sutcliffe) �� X

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  81. I have just discovered your blog and I love it. Your shop sounds just lovely and wish I lived near so I could visit. But as you see, I live rather far away in Indiana, USA. I wish you the very best in your new adventure and will be looking forward to seeing pictures of your shop soon.
    Mickie

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  82. How exciting - good luck. Can't wait to see it up and running. It's going to look awesome - I'll be visiting your online shop for certain. Ax

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  83. How very exciting for you,I had a space within an antiques and vintage centre,OLYMPIA HOUSE,and it was SO exciting,I had to give it up sadly,but I wish you well in your venture. I have just learned to crochet and am now addicted to creating infinity blankets!!Where is your shop please?

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  84. I wish you well. I will definitely be buying online and as you're not too far away me being in Coventry,I might just have a drive out to see you one day.x

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  85. Congratulations ,beautifully !!!

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