Niantic Main Street, downtown Niantic’s revitalization organization, invites the community to the grand opening celebration of KnittyGrittyYarnGirl! Located in Midway Plaza at 170 Flanders Road, the new destination yarn shop will have daily special offers and events August 4-7 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Created in 2016 by owner and knitting enthusiast Paulette Meijer, KnittyGrittyYarnGirl was originally a mobile yarn shop, a unique model for the craft industry.
“KnittyGrittyYarnGirl started as my ‘retirement career!’” said Paulette. “I loved the concept of bringing yarn to the people.”
Paulette originally comes from a sales and training background, having spent more than 30 years as a broker consultant and sales trainer for major real estate companies throughout New England. She retired from her corporate career in 2017, just after starting KnittyGrittyYarnGirl.
Converting an old airport shuttle bus, Paulette loaded up with specialty yarns and hit the road, traveling throughout New England, New York and New Jersey for knitting parties, private events, fiber festivals and retreats.
“It was a great way for knitters and crocheters to gather and enjoy the craft at the same time,” said Paulette.
When COVID-19 shut down businesses in 2020, Paulette took her business off the road and onto the information superhighway.
“My previous career taught me the importance of technology and social media in business, so when the COVID shutdowns began, I already had a website in place and a small social media presence,” said Paulette. “Thanks to my husband’s quick thinking, we went from the road ways to the air waves delivering tips, techniques and even a little humor each week. As time went on, viewers began to interact and chat with each other as well as with us. They became a community and as the community grew, so did KnittyGrittyYarnGirl.”
Weathering the COVID storm, Paulette started to plan for the next era of KnittyGrittyYarnGirl: a brick-and-mortar storefront in Midway Plaza.
“The time is right for KnittyGrittyYarnGirl to expand our services to the local market with a shop for knitters and crocheters to enjoy the crafts, gather and learn. I could not be more excited.”
KnittyGrittyYarnGirl’s boutique will be a full-service, destination yarn shop and will offer a wide variety of yarns, accessories and gifts for crafters as well as classes and special events both in store and online.
“We have a prime location,” said Paulette. “It’s easily accessible off I-95, and can easily serve customers between the Rhode Island border and New Haven County, as well as travelers from outside the area.