The Carriage House has become a gathering spot for yarn lovers, said owner Terri Jones, owner of the 38-year-old business.
“I have several groups that come to the shop to knit; we have a wonderful time,” she said. “Some days we have a packed house. We may be teaching a class, serving customers and hosting a group of casual knitters.”
The Carriage House offers knitting classes two to three times a week, Jones said, and they’ve really taken off. More information can be found by calling the shop at 423-247-9091.
“It was just something the town was missing; we didn’t have a local yarn shop,” she said of her decision to add one as a major part of her store. “It was a natural fit because we’ve always been a needlework shop.”
In past years, she said, counted cross-stitch and needlepoint were popular; as those trends have waned, knitting and crocheting have taken hold. Jones attributes the longevity of the Carriage House to understanding her customers.
“It is important to really know your customers, to be able to meet their needs and anticipate trends in the market.”
Jones is the second-generation owner of Carriage House, which her mother started in 1975. The shop has always been downtown; it moved to its second Market Street location in the early 1980s and to the current spot in 2008.
“We have always been a custom frame shop,” said Jones, who has 30 years’ experience in custom framing. “We still produce quality framing at an affordable price.”
Carriage House also sells Life is Good™ merchandise and other women’s apparel and accessories. Jones makes a point to offer Made-in-USA items, including Solmate Socks, Frontier Soups, Sunsout Puzzles, Goddess Gear and several USA-made yarns. The store carries jewelry from Sneedville, Tenn.-based Harmonic Journeys and soap from Abingdon, Va.-based Thistle Ridge.
The shop also features Kingsport-related items that Jones said are popular as gifts, including boxed note cards, coasters, magnets, and a line of functional pottery featuring Church Circle. Each year, the Carriage House offers a unique Christmas ornament featuring a local Kingsport landmark. This year’s ornament, the 15th one to be offered, features the Kingsport Farmer's Market and is now available for purchase.
Jones, like all of her extended family, is a Kingsport native. She grew up with the store and took over its operation when her mother retired in 2008. She clings happily to her downtown roots.
“I was in junior high when my mom bought the store, it has always been a part of my life,” she said – adding that she plans to be downtown until retirement.
“I would never leave downtown,” she said. “A strip mall is not the right fit for us.”
Jones says the yarn she sells is different from what’s sold in big-box stores.
“You want to knit or crochet with quality fibers,” she said. “It’s easier on the hands and when you put that much care and time into a piece, you want to be pleased with the finished product.”
Shopping at this downtown yarn shop, she said, also comes with a friendly atmosphere of fun and good times – where sharing knitting hints and ideas is as natural as talking about the weather – and the more the merrier.
“We hosted the first Friday Night Knitting Party on Sept. 6,” she said. “These events are opportunities for knitters to fellowship and start a new project. If you like to knit, feel free to join us.”
The Carriage House is located at 528 E. Market St., Downtown Kingsport. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday. Classes and knitting groups meet during the day and in the evenings as scheduled.
The Carriage House is a crochet-friendly shop. Please call 423-247-9091 for class information.