We often hear of women pursuing careers in occupations that are considered ‘traditionally male’ fields. It’s not as often that we hear of the opposite, of men entering an occupation that is usually considered a ‘traditionally female’ environment. But Jason Potter, of Charlotte, has done just that.
Jason’s wife, Lindsay, is the owner of The Yarn Garden, a specialty shop in downtown Charlotte for those who knit and crochet. The Yarn Garden has a wonderful collection of colors, textures, and unique art displayed in a visually appealing setting. The store is located in the heart of downtown Charlotte at 131 South Cochran Avenue.
Jason was laid off from his previous employment when it went all virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and eventually the position was totally eliminated.
“We’d talked about him working here in the past, but COVID escalated the situation,” Lindsay said.
“Having him as a partner in the business has been wonderful,” she added. “Without him, the business wouldn’t be where we are today. We jumped forward in the business by years.”
Jason focuses mostly on the logistics of the business, especially shipping, which has grown considerably since the pandemic began with an increase in their e-commerce sales.
“What I do is very similar to what I did before,” said Jason, “which was materials fulfillment. But instead of automotive parts—I ship textiles.” Lindsay focuses on customer service with her many years of fiber expertise.
“With his help, we have been able to grow our e-commerce part of the business so much faster than I could have on my own,” Lindsay said.
“We ship all over the country, and it’s definitely accelerated our plan to reach a wider audience,” Jason said. Seventy-five percent of their products are available for online purchase now.
The Potters will be celebrating their 14th year in business on April 17, in connection with the event “Local Yarn Store Day.” It also marks their fourth year in their building at 131 S. Cochran. Previously the store was on Lawrence, across the street from the old courthouse. The new location provides additional space plus is more visible to the public.
There is also potential to increase their business even more in this building. The second floor of the building is available, although it will require considerable work and money to make it usable. They hope to eventually convert that floor into studio/classroom space. “It’s just an empty shell currently,” Lindsay said. The basement of the building, however, has transitioned into a classroom for their twin daughters while they are attending school virtually.
“It’s been such a relief to have that space and have them here,” Lindsay said. “And it shows our customers how their support benefits a local family business.”
The Yarn Garden is open from noon until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and on Saturdays, it’s open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. You can reach them by phone at 517-541-9323, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit them on Facebook at #TheYarnGarden or on their website at yarngardenmichigan.com.