It can be awfully hard to articulate why you think you are special. It's very difficult to navigate that social line between communicating value and being a blowhard. That's especially true when you are more concerned about beauty, environment and community than "hitting the big time".
I'll be honest, Yiayia Black Sheep was founded because I live too far away from all the other yarn shops in the area. It was a totally selfish endeavor. However, once you decide that you are going to do a thing, you have to answer some hard questions about the how and the why.
Having spent 12 years as a professional artist, I know intimately the difficulty in getting the word out about what you do, and why the beauty of the thing is more important than the speed and economy with which you create. That gives me a sensitivity to the plight of independent yarn dyers who are focused on creating skeins of incomparable beauty - even if it means they can't always be repeated; even if it means you wait a month or two to receive your order.
This is why I carry yarn from Bad Sheep Yarns - exquisite color combinations on high quality yarn are worth the wait. Seven Sisters Arts produces subtle beauty on soft, smooth and split-free yarn. The HauteKnit Yarns I carry are unique textures (a fingering slub, and a fingering with bamboo that has a silky feel) and a really bold color palette. And of course, our local Echoview Fiber Mill makes a fingering weight yarn with 50% tencel that is dreamy to knit.
The beauty of the thing is important. As you can see from the photo above (taken from our local grocery store parking lot), we live in a truly beautiful area. It's very important that we keep it that way, and keeping an environment beautiful involves attention to stewardship of the place, and not just this place.
Our efforts to be good stewards include using paper shop bags that are made from 100% post-consumer waste. We also don't carry paper patterns or print them (except in our kits) - we use Ravelry to deliver pdf versions to you. We also include quality yarns in our inventory that are made from recycled materials. We currently have Remix from Berroco that is 100% recycled fiber, and the Recycled Yarn Collective from Echoview Fiber Mill that includes 10% recycled fibers. In the fall Cascade is coming out with a 100% recycled merino wool - we will definitely be bringing that in!
Our commitment to community means that we respect and support all individuals, regardless of race, gender, creed or any other label you might come up with. We offer the same level of gracious service to everyone who enters our shop. Within the larger crafting community, we believe that small, thoughtful producers of yarn are at the very heart of the craft industry. Contributing to the livelihood of independent dyers is a good thing that not only helps them out, it makes for a more robust industry.
So yes, we think we are "ewe"nique, and we hope our "ewe"niqueness resonates with you. If you are our kind of "ewe"nique, we hope you will shop with us and share us with your friends.