The owners of WEBS, a Massachusetts and online yarn store, are purchasing yarn company Tahki Stacy Charles and String, a retail shop in New York City, joining forces to take on what they say are changes in the knitting industry.
Kathy and Steve Elkins, the couple that owns the Northampton, Mass.-based business started 44 years ago by Steve’s mother, announced the acquisition in emails this week to customers and wholesalers. The sale will be effective on April 1.
“Stacy’s decision to sell the company is a strategic move to most-effectively carry his brands into the future,” wrote Kathy Elkins in the email to wholesale customers. “As you all know, there have been significant shifts in the marketplace for both wholesalers and retailers. … Over the last several months, Stacy, Steve and I have discussed today’s hand knitting environment and how we could best jointly build a stronger platform to promote our brands, products, and sales.”
Tahki Stacy Charles manufactures and sells wool and cotton yarns under the Stacy Charles Fine Yarns and Tahki Yarns labels. The company is entering its 50th year.
According to the email to wholesalers, Charles will stay with his company as brand and creative manager for Tahki Yarns, Stacy Charles Fine Yarns, and String. He will also continue to run the wholesale divisions of the companies and the String retail store and take on a retailer sales management role.
Charles purchased String, a yarn shop located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, from founder Linda Morse in 2015, later launching a wholesale division for the store’s exclusive yarns.
In an email to String’s customers, Charles said that the shop’s current staff will remain and there are plans to increase the product selection while expanding String’s online presence.
“We will operate independently, but we will be part of a larger organization with infinitely more resources available,” Charles wrote. “With our new owners in place, I will be able to devote more time to creating and focusing on our brands and our store. Our goal is to bring all our brands forward for the future and enhance your in-store and online shopping experience.”
Lisa is a freelance journalist in the New York Metro area who specializes in home design, real estate and healthcare. When she’s not writing, or knitting shawls and sweaters, Lisa runs Indie Untangled (www.indieuntangled.com), a marketplace and blog that promotes the work of yarn dyers, pattern designers and crafters of knitting-related accessories.