This isn’t the post we wanted to write today, dear friends. Not in the days leading up to Summer’s first hurrah, the quintessential weekend that signifies the beginning of the best times, and one that marks an especially momentous weekend for us. This afternoon, Governor Whitmer gave the green light for retail business around Northern Michigan to open this Friday, May 22nd, and we are standing in front of you today to say we will not be joining this group. Not now. Not yet.
We miss you so much. We miss laughing with you. We miss catching up on your lives at home. We miss helping you pick out projects, matching yarn, picking up dropped stitches, giving tips, learning from you, trading book recommendations, hearing about your kids, giving hugs, crying with you. We miss everything about being your local yarn shop‑‑whether you live in Traverse City or only visit once a year. This is, without a doubt, the hardest thing we’ve ever done.
But we also love hearing your voices when you call the shop to place phone orders. We love waving to you through the front window while you pick up your curbside purchases. We love seeing your faces on our Saturday morning Zoom calls. (We may or may not have cried with you there last week.) The Zoom calls have made our Saturday mornings even better, in fact, because now, instead of gathering with 10-15 of you in the back of the shop, we’re seeing almost 50 of you from around the world that under ‘normal’ circumstances couldn’t join us. (A special shout-out to Lorraine in Kentucky, Jan in Virginia, Betsy in Seattle, Josephine in Canada and Colette in Spain‑‑and that’s just a tiny handful of faces we love!)
However, we are committed to doing what’s right. To doing what’s safe. Not just for the two of us. But for all of you. For our customers. For our coworkers. For our friends. For our parents. For our children. For our community. For your communities. For everyone. This is the time to be together in solidarity‑‑but not together in person. We do not feel that now‑‑especially this holiday weekend‑‑is the right time to be open, and we urge you to do everything within your power to continue to stay home and stay safe, wherever you are. Travel restrictions have NOT been lifted during this new development, which means that Northern Michigan businesses are opening this weekend for local traffic only. Our greatest customer base is located in the metro Detroit and Chicagoland areas, and while it’s tempting to travel North this weekend, we urge you: please, please, please wait just a little longer. This goes beyond our reach, too; no matter where you are right now, staying home is the safest place you can be. Crossing state lines‑‑from Michigan to Ohio, from Florida to Georgia, from Wisconsin to Minnesota‑‑is just not the right move for the Greater Good. We know that’s not what you want to hear‑‑we certainly never expected to say it‑‑but from our hearts to yours, please know that this won’t be forever.
Every effort we make, every point of contact we pass up right now is another chance to stay safe and do better. If you must go out in your communities, please continue to adhere to best safety practices: wear your masks, maintain 6 feet between yourself and others, and wash your hands as thoroughly and as much as you can. There are other contact-free ways to support local Northern Michigan businesses this weekend. Most shops‑‑like the best bookshop in all the land, Cottage Books–are taking both phone orders and online orders, and we’re willing to bet that any specialty shop in Northern Michigan (including Leland Gal, Brilliant Books, Two Fish Gallery, Compass Paper Co, Poppy Things, Daisy Jane TC, Grocer’s Daughter, New Bohemian Café, and Leelanau Coffee, among so many others!) would be happy to sell you a gift certificate to use in the near future. Next week, we’ll be talking more about summer plans‑‑including our delayed virtual 20-year anniversary celebration and our summer event with La Bien Aimée‑‑and how gathering in-person at Wool & Honey will look over the next few months. We have some exciting plans, and they’re evolving to include more ways to involve more people (albeit virtually) than ever before. We are so grateful for you‑‑all of you‑‑and everything you bring to this little shop. We would be nothing without you‑‑thank you, thank you, thank you. We’ll be here on the other side of the Great Pause, waiting with open arms. Stay safe, stay strong. We love you.
Melissa & Liz