January is the month of resolutions, closed books, and new beginnings. For Lisa Whiting, owner of Sifu Design Studio in Andersonville, January is also a month of milestones. She opened her yarn shop on her birthday two years ago January 25, and she will be celebrating the anniversary, birthday, and a move to a larger location with all of her customers on that day this year.
Located at 5044 N. Clark Street, Sifu had become a fixture in Andersonville in just under two years. As business started to grow, however, Whiting knew a bigger space would be necessary to accommodate both her customers and her yarns. "We need it," she said of the new-found space at 6054 N. Broadway, in the heart of the Edgewater neighborhood.
Even on moving day, it was clear that relocation was the right decision. With Whiting offering a last-hurrah sale on New Year's Eve and recruiting volunteers to help pack the yarns, sewing patterns, and notions on New Year's Day, she still had a moment of panic that she did not have enough boxes for the move. By the end of the following day, however, the vision of the new store in its east-facing space near the corner of Broadway and Glenlake Avenue was becoming more acute.
The new location will open at 11a.m. on January 7 so as not to inconvenience her customers with an extended closing, but the real fun begins on the 25th day of January. Whiting is celebrating every milestone on this day, including grand re-opening festivities involving giveaways, refreshments, and a Cosby Sweater Contest. Whiting's quirky personality is what attracts people to the store as much as her products; her facebook page hosts a Weekly Caption Contest involving a photo from the cover of a vintage (read: horribly out of style) knit or crochet pattern, with the winner receiving a $5 gift certificate and the original pattern from that week's contest.
The Cosby Sweater Contest is along the same vein; when challenged with the notion that no knitter could make a Coogi-like sweater in a mere three weeks, Whiting's response was, "That's what thrift shops are for!" With 810 followers on the store's facebook page, the chance of fire code being challenged by a buffet of ugly sweaters increases by the day.
Sifu's Broadway location is accessible by CTA on the 36 Broadway bus, or the Red Line at the Granville stop. To plan your route, visit the Chicago Transit Authority website.
The new Sifu Design Studio location in Edgewater will continue to offer private knitting lessons, services, classes, and both Stitch-n-Brunch and Sci-Fiber Friday. With a larger space, customers are also looking forward to surprises in the expanded selection of yarns and notions to come. For more updates, "like" Sifu Design Studio on facebook or check back at the company's website. In any event, milestones should be celebrated, and Sifu would love for you to join in the celebration.
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