This year Scotch Plains resident Lisa Marazzo did what most other people just dream of – she quit her job, followed her passion and opened her own business.
All About Ewe, a knitting shop and school on the corner of Madison Hill Road and Westfield Avenue, is the fruit of Marazzo's risk-taking.
"I like to say we’re a fun, friendly, funky yarn shop," says Marazzo. "We offer yarn in every weight and every price point, all different kinds of dyed and undyed fiber for spinning, knitting needles, accessories, buttons, project bags, books and magazines, finishing services and yarn detangling."
Some of Marazzo's most popular products and brands are sock yarn, Malabrigo yarn, Breathless by Shalimar, Dream in Color and Valley Yarn.
All About Ewe is also in the business of getting folks started knitting, with lots of intro classes and kids classes, plus more advanced lessons on things like drop spindle and wheel spinning, weaving and more. The whole back end of the shop is a classroom space.
Marazzo says her grandmother taught her how to knit when she was a little girl, but she would only knit every now and then until she joined the Union County crafters.
"They were meeting at the Barnes & Noble in Clark and when I met them, I really got back into it and went right down the rabbit hole," says Marazzo. "I find it to be relaxing, zenlike, and I love that reward you get from the finished product. I make a lot of things for other people and I love the look on their face when you give it to them."
Marazzo describes the UC crafters as a core group of 20-30 people, all ages, and from every kind of background including attorneys, ministers and even some men.
After falling back in love with knitting, it wasn't long before Marazzo started to dream about opening her own yarn shop.
"It was a great job, but I just got tired of doing the same stuff all time," says Marazzo. "I would talk about opening my own shop with all my friends that I met through the group and they were very encouraging. They helped me with this vision of what we would carry, filling me in on what they'd all like to see."
The shop opened in February, and Marazzo says the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
"Ask any knitter - this is their dream yarn store," says employee Jesh Leib.
"Even in first few months, we had many repeat customers," says Marazzo. "People coming from all over. We've made a lot of good friends and there are plenty of people who just come here and hang out now. A lot of times you go into yarn shops and the staff act like you’re bothering them, I wanted to really emphasize the friendliness."
All About Ewe hosts Thursday night open-knitting where folks can come in with whatever they're working on and knit and hang out. Classes run throughout the year and can be found on All About Ewe's website at allabouteweshop.com/Classes.html.