Saturday, February 25, 2012

Location: Elk Grove, California
Shop: Babetta's Yarn
Owner: Babetta

Elk Grove is a suburb of Sacramento, and although only incorporated 12 years ago, boasts a population of over 150,000. It's in the bustling Sacramento County, which holds almost 1.5 million. Not at all a small town, quite a few yarn shops, and we visited a couple.

Babetta's was the first stop in the area, and the first sign of palm trees. This is what I remembered about California. Although that was 30 years ago, and Disneyland was the main existence of my memory, but palm trees stood out because they reminded me of Gilligan's Island. I loved that show. The Professor and Marianne....

Several things stand out about Babetta's. First, there's a lot of stuff in here, "Stability through variety," is Babetta's motto. She's been open 7 years, and Babetta works seven days out of each week. Her daughter comes in and relieves her for Sunday afternoons and she has a niece that helps as well.

Several years back, Babetta, a single mother of 5 children, purchased her first house by borrowing her daughter's income tax return. Several years later, much to her surprise and delight, her house went up in value. She remortgaged the house and with the money opened up her yarn shop. Pretty inspiring.

Her shop is expansive, lots & lots & lots of yarn and accessories. You could lose a few hours in this shop quite easily. She opens at 8am for you early birds, plus she serves espresso for your friends you drag along that aren't early birds. (For those of you paying attention, she opens at 8am, closes at 6pm, that's a 10 hour day, and she does 6.5 of those each week)
And of course, she's got an extensive book selection to go with her extensive yarn collection. Babetta claims she sleeps well at night, I'm left wondering: "How the heck does she do it"

Next Stop: Fair Oaks, California

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