FOR most businesses, the COVID-19 lockdown would have been an undesirable time to open a new shopfront. But for one selling yarns, no other time could have proven as perfect.
Customers were "chomping at the bit" to get into Yarnish South Windsor before it opened last month, according to owner and craft enthusiast Nicole Vesterholm.
Ms Vesterholm had run the family business online for four years, working from home at Kellyville Ridge and then Jordan Springs with her two daughters, Shelby and Tierney Bryon, before setting-up a showroom in Mulgoa which they opened to the public a handful of days a month.
But demand grew, until a proper shop was required - and even then, they anticipated the majority of their business would remain online.
But after creating such a beautiful and colourful environment in the shop - formerly an auto parts store - a haven for knitters and crocheters was born.
"We wanted somewhere quieter, as foot traffic wasn't our main source of business. But a lot of locals have been coming through, and we feel comfortable here. It's been a match made in heaven," Ms Vesterholm said.
For the crafting industry, COVID-19 was a big boost. "So many people were home and doing crafting and sales went through the roof," said Ms Vesterholm.
What sets Yarnish apart from the big craft chain stores is the atmosphere.
"We're all about creating a welcoming experience. Having people serve you who know the products and who craft themselves and are supportive makes a huge difference," Ms Vesterholm said.
"Crafting is so important for mental health, and we have customers with PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder] and crocheting is part of their therapy.
"The shopping part of the experience should be as welcoming and fun as the crafting. I can see the difference it makes in people's lives."
Like many adults who are into knitting and crocheting will tell you about themselves, Ms Vesterholm was taught as a child by her grandmother, and took-up the skills again when she was older.
"I started doing blankets for Wrapped With Love, knitting wraps for charity. We have a classroom space here [at the shop] and we plan to launch a weekly group to knit squares and give to charity," she said.
Yarnish is at 519 George Street, South Windsor. Go to www.yarnish.com.au.