WEBS - America's Yarn Store is located in the picturesque Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. A second-generation, family-owned business, WEBS has been the destination for knitters, crocheters, weavers, and spinners for over 45 years.
WEBS was founded by Barbara Elkins and her then business partner Donna Muller and was solely focused on teaching weaving and renting looms. The business was initially located in Barbara's basement. After eight years, Donna sold her share of the business to Barbara.
WEBS moved out of the Elkins' basement and to its first storefront on Main Street in Amherst.
WEBS moved again to a larger Victorian House on Kellogg Ave in Amherst and Barbara added knitting yarns, WEBS's permanent weaving lines, and hired her husband Art full-time into the business upon his retirement as a professor at UMASS. Together they discovered mail order and sent out the company's first set of "samples". Customer orders soon followed.
When they purchased the Kellogg Ave location, they were convinced it was big enough to sustain the business for 10 years of growth, but it barely made it three years before they were once again looking for a larger space.
WEBS moved to Northampton, where the business is still located. After exhausting every possibility in Amherst and the surrounding towns, Barbara and Art decided to give Northampton a try.
WEBS first catalog was mailed, featuring mostly looms and other weaving tools. Prior to this, WEBS mailed black and white text mailers.
Art and Barbara began thinking about retirement in the late ‘90s and after much arm-twisting from Art, Barbara, and Kathy, Steve was convinced that it was time for he and Kathy to take the leap. In the spring of 2002, Steve and Kathy took over day to day operations of WEBS.
WEBS moved into the world of online retail with their first ecommerce site at yarn.com.
The Northampton store was growing and needed a little more space. The store was renovated to expand the non-warehouse shopping area, adding 2,500 square feet to the main part of the store.
WEBS added regular catalog mailings to the marketing rotation, moving away from black and white printed yarn descriptions with small samples of the listed yarns. The catalog featured yarns for both weaving and knitting/crochet, as well as project ideas.
With the introduction of Valley Yarns Berkshire and Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky, the Valley Yarns line for knitting/crochet was cemented into the WEBS world. Before this, many of the Valley Yarns lines were just for weaving, or were large closeout lots that were relabeled and renamed.
Our first Valley Yarns catalog was introduced and featured our entire Valley Yarns knitting/crochet yarn line along with patterns for inspiration.
To better serve our customers and their preferred craft, we separated the weaving and knitting/crochet catalogs and introduced our first weaving-only catalog.
WEBS again outgrew its space, so the building saw another renovation. In addition to added offices, existing rooms were renovated and reorganized into a single stockroom, an additional warehouse area was created, and shipping was moved to a much larger area.
Yet again, WEBS outgrew the predicted space and our Easthampton warehouse was purchased. This warehouse now houses all of our yarns, Customer Service, and our Shipping Departments.
Steve and Kathy were approached by Stacy Charles and made the decision to purchase Tahki Stacy Charles and String Yarns. In addition to the yarn labels, String Yarns in New York City is now part of the WEBS family.
LoveCrafts acquires WEBS - America's Yarn Store. Kathy and Steve continue to run WEBS and assume the roles of Chief Global Yarn Officers overseeing the combined WEBS and LoveCrafts yarn businesses worldwide. In addition to all of the beautiful brands you find at WEBS, Valley Yarns, Tahki Stacy Charles, and String Yarns all remain. Both WEBS and LoveCrafts are excited about building a great partnership and look forward to continuing to provide our loyal customers with the excellent service they have come to expect while also welcoming new customers to knitting, crochet, weaving, and spinning. Learn more about this acquisition on the LoveCrafts FAQ page.