Sunday, August 8, 2010

A picture's worth ten thousand skeins.

Our second Loops location in Tulsa opened on Friday in the Renaissance Center at 83rd and Memorial. Although the official "Grand Opening" weekend is scheduled for August 27th-29th, after months and months of work it felt pretty darn "grand" to open the doors and share our new store with the world!

We knew from the beginning that we wanted an open, modern feel to the space. Yarn stores tend to get cluttered over time, so we designed-in tons of organization to minimize the clutter and create a "clean palette" to inspire our customers.

Some of you might remember that we worked with the Interior Design School at Oklahoma State University, under the direction of Rick Bartholomew, who made our Loops south store their semester project. We incorporated several of their ideas, including the round ceiling soffit that became a centerpiece of the store. Phara, one of our Loops customers, helped find the awesome chandelier and provided enormous help and input in selecting colors, flooring and accessories.

This is an area for our patient husbands, boyfriends and sons to rest, complete with manly magazines and handheld games. Some of the OSU students took the "man cave" idea to the extreme, designing in a wetbar, fireplace and plasma TV. Hmmm...maybe next time!

We wanted to put a big focus on buttons, since, well, who doesn't love buttons? This display was a group effort of the OSU students' inspiration, our display magician Kara, and my random idea to utilize air duct rings as the circles. They were readily available, didn't have to be forged and fit our very modest budget. It turned out very "Trading Spaces." I love it!

Before it was a Loops, this space was an upscale meat market (like, for actual meat - not a bar!). There were cabinets all along this wall, and we decided to re-purpose the center cabinet, painting it Loops blue to provide some "pop." It's the perfect setting for our Be Sweet yarn and Offhand Bags.

All weekend, customers were drawn to this "yarn bar," where they have their "own" computer to search for pattern inspiration.

Our classroom, which can hold up to 20 for celebrity workshops, has a 14' x 10' magnetic wall where customers can post photos of completed projects.

Staying true to my passion for involving kids in the love of yarn, we have a great playroom featuring a chalkboard wall and puppet theater - generously "donated" by my own kids who have outgrown it. These toys have generated lots of fond memories for us - it was really neat to see new kids enjoying them all weekend.

Even the bathrooms (yes, that's plural - two bathrooms!) are cool:

Last but not least, my favorite photo of all. Here are the Loops Troops in front of the store on our first open Saturday!

Left to right, back row: Gene, Loretta, Dawn, Linda, Gina H., Terrie (hiding behind Emily), Gina Y., Ruth (hiding behind Jane), Cassidy, Harriet, Billie Anne (eyes closed because she's thinking of all the bills we will have to pay), Holly, Barbara. Front row: Annie and me. Everyone is holding their Three Irish Girls mini-skeins, their opening weekend gifts (watch for a blog post to come about this soon).

Hey, that's 16 people - my lucky number! And yes, I feel so lucky and blessed to know each of them. We hope you will come see us at Loops "South" - and Loops Utica - very soon.

- Shelley
shop online at


Blogger Nancy said...

I love the new store! It looks very modern and bright. I will be in to visit next Tuesday if not before. Congratulations!

August 8, 2010 at 6:31 AM  
Blogger christine said...

Great to see you yesterday! The new store looks awesome and I'm so happy to have it so close to home!

August 8, 2010 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Lisette said...

Congratulations Shelly and Loops Troops. Love your new store! It is the coolest yarn store I have ever seen!

PS: I am Ravelry pen pals with Ruth G....I can't wait to visit Tulsa and your stores...someday!

August 8, 2010 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger ANDREA B. said...

The new location looks great and the colors just pop in the modern feel of the shop. I wish you much success with the second location and will be in to visit when I get back in town.

August 8, 2010 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Tasha said...

Had a lovely time shopping with you all on your opening day - the place looks great, but more important, so welcoming! And I love the swank factor, too. =) Thanks for helping to make Tulsa awesome.

August 9, 2010 at 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Kara @ KARA PASLAY DESIGNS said...


August 11, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger LJ said...

i saw your post on the itty bitty knits for a giveaway, but feel confused as to where it is, as this is the blog. the store looks great.

i would spend 40 dollars on some spud and chloe, i love the sweater yarn, and i love cotton but need the wool to help with tension. and i'm definitely looking to possibly knit the newest free pattern coming, the flamingo!

August 11, 2010 at 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Holly said...

Anything called "Loopalicious" has got to be good...and it is. You have a beautiful selection of yarns and many pretty patterns to go with. I've "Liked" your FB.

August 11, 2010 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Shelley Brander said...

Hey everyone, thanks for the well wishes! And LJ, you are looking for Olaf's blog, which has a giveaway featuring a Loops gift card. Here's a link to the blog:

August 11, 2010 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Alesha said...

Oh my goodness! Shelley I am not at all surprised at that yummy, modern shopping mecca. Great job to you and your team! (PS... Tell Sam Mrs. Erbter says Hi!)

August 16, 2010 at 5:56 AM  
Blogger Joan said...

Oh how i wished you had a store in in Canton Michigan, we have lots of knitters

August 16, 2010 at 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Sherri said...

I love the design of the store! So modern and bright. I'm a beginner knitter, haven't quite got the hang of it yet but I may come by for the grand opening just to see the new digs and squeeze some yarn. Those bags in the pic look lovely!

August 16, 2010 at 11:15 AM  

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