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An Interview with Melissa Llarena

Jun 23, 2020

Jessica James-Thomson loves yarn! Her Nana taught her to knit as a youngster in Oregon, and there was no stopping her after she learned the basics. Ginger Twist Studio opened its doors in June 2013, and it is the cutest wee shop! Jessica feels very fortunate to have been able to take something she feels so passionate about and turn it into a career. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jess for this podcast. 

During our conversation, she opened up about her move from the U.S. to Scotland to make a change. She also offered some great reminders about executing goals with persistence and focus. Is there something you want to bring to fruition? If so, what is your best next step? I hope this episode provides you with some inspiration. 

Here is some more background about Jess and her shop: Ginger Twist Studio is located in Edinburgh, Scotland. The shop is adorable. It is stacked to the rafters with delicious yarns, pattern books, and accessories. The offerings include a wide range of beautiful yarns hand-dyed by Jess. There are yarns for a variety of budgets to get your creative juices flowing, including Ginger's Hand Dyed, West Yorkshire Spinners, Brigantia, New Leaf Yarns, Bearford Flock, Navia, Woolyknit and much more! Visit her online shop to get some inspiration for your next project. And why not check out her virtual YARN CONCIERGE SERVICE? Proudly, the stock in the shop is finely curated. Jessica only stocks what she wants to knit with and can continue to be incredibly enthusiastic and passionate about everything in the shop. 

Tune in to hear Jessica's thoughts pertaining to:

  • Jessica sweeps us away with a description of her shop in Edinburgh, Scotland. (3:14)
  • Her journey from the U.S. to Scotland and her transition from musical theatre to knitting and threads.(5:29)
  • Acclimating to Scotland was somewhat easy because she felt like she belonged, attended school, and had connections in a new country. (9:53)
  • How Jess got started in knitting and why it stayed with her. (12:24)
  • There is a deliciousness to yarn. (13:23)
  • The materials and history of knitting in Scotland. (16:28)
  • Knitting is like meditation. A career coaching client of Melissa’s was a media professional who began a knitting club for relaxation. (21:07)
  • Why knitting is no longer essential, but a luxury instead. (24:28)
  • Jessica fits her business efforts into her day as a one-woman shop owner and how not having a backup plan helped Jess achieve her goals. (26:12)
  • Jess describes a virtual yarn crawl that recently occurred and how she is trying to keep up business during the pandemic. (37:31)
  • How to manage burnout and have a positive outlook. (42:31)

Tune in to hear me ask Jessica this fundamental question: 

When I look at a beautiful yarn creation, I feel intimidated. I think the same about my most ambitious goals. In what ways can knitting or crocheting help someone with big dreams move their needle in the right direction one stitch at a time? 

Links to quench your curiosity: