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Meet Cassandra Allen – Brown of Yarn Shoppe Denver in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cassandra Allen – Brown.

Cassandra, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I learned how to crochet when I was in Middle School, once I arrived in high school and became very busy with activities I put my crochet hook down. Then in 2005 working as a litigation paralegal for several years for trial lawyers I became very ill and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I quit my job and took the entire summer off to get my life and my health back together. I began with picking up my crochet hook and the granny square blanket project that I had put away back when I was a junior in high school. I finished the project. And just crocheted like crazy and could not stop! I decided to create an event where people from all over the city would come for one day to share their love of knit and crochet. The event was at a shopping mall. Highly successful, hundreds of people came. The general manager of the mall offered me a storefront, I accepted and then opened my very first brick and mortar. Shortly thereafter, that mall was eventually purchased by Target and torn down, and rebuilt into a Super Target. Everyone had to relocate their businesses. Therefore I relocated my Yarn Shoppe to downtown Denver. I absolutely love it! My customers love it! Each day is sheer Joy!

The original name of the store is Bags By CAB – Yarn Shoppe. CAB, of course are the initials of my name. The bags are my crocheted, knitted, and felted handbags, which were also featured a number of years ago in Vogue Knitting! Over the years the Shoppe has transitioned into Yarn Shoppe a/k/a Yarn Shoppe Denver, simply because of the location.

Yarn Shoppe Denver is noted for its handspun hand-dyed Yarns by local artisans. We are a curated group of Makers. We knit, crochet, spin, felt, tat and teach.

Customers come to my Shoppe daily from literally around the globe; Canada, the Caribbean, London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Texas, you name it, they come from everywhere! I absolutely love my customers. People often ask why do you think that they come back so often, and I tell them it is because of my customer service excellence. I love my customers. I enjoy engaging them with conversation, learning about who they are, and their backgrounds their love of fiber arts, and why they knit, and crochet. I am genuine and they recognize that.

I also teach marketing seminars on how the fiber enthusiast can start their own Knit, and Crochet shop!

I love it!

Has it been a smooth road?
Yes and no. Yes, because I have tried to maintain a specific focus and mindset on my purpose, and why I am here and why I do what I do. That part is easy. No, because as an African American female owning a yarn shop in downtown Denver can be a big struggle. The majority of people who walk into the Yarn Shoppe that do not know about me on the internet, literally are shocked when they see a Black woman owns the store! Some of them come right out and say to me “Are you the owner?” They can’t wrap their heads around that fact! The other struggle is always trying to keep marketing an advertising fresh and creative to bring people in on a daily basis. The final struggle is that I wear many hats, and sometimes it can be exhausting, however, it is always 100% rewarding.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I believe you will see more people of color within the fiber arts industry. There are so many over-the-top talented designers, creators and makers who literally are not receiving the credit that is due them. However as we speak up, and continue to make a positive change, and recognized for the talent, the shear talent, work energy, effort, work ethic that we put into this industry, more of us will be accepted in the industry then we are right now.

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Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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