On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast, we’re talking about owning a local yarn shop with my guest Rachel Bratcher, owner of Ritual Dyes.

Ritual Dyes was created in 2017, by Rachel Bratcher an avid maker and true Libra. Ritual Dyes was born in Rachel’s kitchen out of a love (obsession) with knitting and creative control over all the things. Later Rachel and team moved out of the kitchen and established a neighborhood LYS and dye studio in Southeast Portland.  Drawing inspiration from nature, the great Pacific Northwest, nostalgia, and the occult. Ritual Dyes cares deeply about our crafting community and community at large. 

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We begin this interview by talking about Rachel’s upbringing in California where her dad had a retail clothing store. Rachel talks about her college years, moving to New York for a while, and then returning to the West Coast. She learned to knit as an adult and then began dyeing yarn in her home kitchen.

We talk about her first wholesale accounts and Rachel explains how she found the commercial space Ritual Dyes is now which she first used as a dye works and office, and later transformed into a retail store that is open to the public. Ritual Dyes offers a Crafting Circle where locals can come and work on any craft project they have going and be in community together. We talk about the decision to carry both fabric and yarn, as well as a curated selection of notions, and what Rachel is looking for when she chooses products to carry.

Rachel explains some of the marketing she does for Ritual Dyes, including taking beautiful photos and creating a fantastic email newsletter. We also talk about her ecommerce strategy, including the decision to use Shopify and to expand into offering a subscription box program.

In this episode, we reference:

And, of course, I ask Rachel to recommend great stuff she’s enjoying right now. Rachel recommends:

Keep up with Rachel on the Ritual Dyes website and on Instagram, and definitely subscribe to the Ritual Dyes newsletter (at the bottom of their homepage) for a treat in your inbox every week!

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