We interviewed Taevia Magee from The Woolery, our returning 2016 Yak Retail Sponsor.
Spinzilla: What is the focus of your shop/business?
Taevia: Just about everything fiber arts related. We sell supplies and equipment for weaving, spinning, felting, rug hooking, and more. We have a strong focus on providing information for our customers about these crafts and the items we sell. As a retailer of many different brands and products we have a unique perspective on the products we sell. We also provide group classes and private lessons to help people learn about the different areas of Fiber Arts. Our spinning class is particularly popular and always fills right up!
Spinzilla: What is your typical day like?
Taevia: Busy! We start the day with pulling orders and answering customer emails. When the shop officially opens the phones are a background noise all day. Orders go out, new stuff comes in daily. We oooh and ahh over color, fibers, yarn, and equipment on a regular basis. It is rarely dull around here.
Spinzilla: What is your favorite part of your job?
Taevia: I love talking to all of the people that work with fiber around the world. It’s amazing just how far that reaches. It’s perfectly normal to talk with a beginner spinner one call then the next call is with a movie producer that needs flax tow for their planned shoot the next day. Variety is the spice of our life here.
Spinzilla: Which of your products specifically help spinners produce more yardage and how?
Taevia: Ooooo… That’s a hard one. There are many things that we sell that help people gain more yardage. I’m going to pick well prepared fiber as the most important one. We sell combed top and fluffy batts that are a dream to spin. Our Potluck Roving has the best of both worlds. It’s a dyed medium wool that is combed after dyeing so it never gets compacted, as can sometimes happen with prepared fiber that is then dyed. It can be spun worsted or woolen and comes in a great array of color.
Spinzilla: What about your business would surprise our team hosts and spinners?
Taevia: Just how many unusual applications there are of the products we sell. We’ve sold weaving products for aerospace applications; body armor; shoe lacings; prototypes for large scale upholstery companies and high end textile companies; and for marbleizing paper.
Spinzilla: What do you wish you knew starting out that you know now?
Taevia: Just how much fun this would be! I would have jumped feet first into this a long time ago.
Spinzilla: What kinds of crafts or other activities do you enjoy personally?
Taevia: Personally I weave, rug hook, knit, and crochet. I’m also an avid computer gamer. In the shop we have employees that do all of the fiber arts we sell as well as tatting, quilting, cross stitch, embroidery, and sewing. I’m not the only computer gamer, several of us are book worms, and we have one person who is building their own house.
Spinzilla: What is your fiber background?
Taevia: My Aunt got my started when I was young with crochet and cross stitch. I think it was to keep me out of her hair when she was baby sitting me. I wandered away from it as a teenager and then wandered back as an adult. At the shop we have people of various backgrounds, but thanks to our intrepid spinning teacher. Nancy. only two people in the entire shop don’t spin yarn!
Spinzilla: Wow, that’s great! What was the first fiber item that ever caught your interest?
Taevia: Yarn. I loved the colors and how easy it was to make into things. I would create worlds in my mind as a kid with yarn. People made out of pompoms were a particular favorite. (I was six, what can you expect?)
Spinzilla: Tell us about why you are in the fiber business? How did you get started?
Taevia: Personally I needed a change. I had worked in corporate America for 16 years and I was ready to leave it. The timing worked out perfectly for me to start working at The Woolery shortly after I left my prior job. I moved to Frankfort and have never looked back. Our employees come from various backgrounds, several very similar to mine. We bring our experience of fiber arts, customer service, purchasing and other areas to The Woolery. That vast array of skills makes The Woolery shine!
Spinzilla: Sounds familiar. Many folks in the fiber business are recovering from the corporate world. Why is the Woolery sponsoring Spinzilla?
Taevia: The Woolery sponsors Spinzilla because we believe in education. The art and craft of working with fiber, yarn, and textiles brings joy to so many people. It is such a versatile medium to work in and we want to make sure that it gets shared with as many people as possible.
Spinzilla: What is the most fiber fun you have had?
Taevia: Working here at The Woolery is the most fun I’ve ever had. I love conventions and retreats and fiber festivals very much. Even those cannot touch the happiness that being able to work with fiber day in and day out brings me. I get to see the enthusiasm of newcomers to this world and I get to learn from the experts on a daily basis. It doesn’t get better than that!
Spinzilla: You’re right, it doesn’t get better! Thanks for doing the interview and for your continued generosity as a Spinzilla Yak level sponsor.