Harlan Brown had been working in the wool industry for most of his life when he made the plunge into mill work from wool growing. The yarn that started it all was the now much sought after Top Of The Lamb that so many knitters adore for its lovely softness and texture. Using an aggressive marketing strategy he packed up his yarn and went from place to place trying to find buyers. He didn't have much success in the very beginning, but his iron determination and patience paid off and now Brown Sheep Company is the largest yarn manufacturer in the United States. The story of the Brown Sheep Company shows that the American Dream is alive and well for the industrious person willing to go the extra distance and make a name for themselves in the fiber industry.
A quality product is the heart and drive of the Brown Sheep Company. Every skein is checked and rechecked for quality and perfection, which has been a large factor in their success in the yarn business. Along with an excellent product, customer commitment is a strong driving force that is obvious in the mill. They never hesitate to send a special order for a customer even if it is very small. They always make time to take care of each of their many customers even though they are now a large operation that could still thrive without catering to small and special orders.
Today as much as 10,000 pounds of yarn per week leave Brown Sheep company, traveling all over the world to the delight of knitters, weavers and other fiber artists everywhere. This big business is still run like a family and there is a definite cohesiveness and loving atmosphere in the mill that is unique and appreciated by customers and employees. The owners are still around and about the mill, even in their advanced years, making things work and getting things done right.
Brown Sheep Company has been a family run business since its inception in 1980, and hasn't lost any of the small company feel over their years of huge success. When a customer visits Brown Sheep Company to purchase mill end roving or yarn seconds they are greeted like a fondly missed relative. Short of a fancy dinner and a warm bed, you could not get a more friendly, heartfelt reception at a company than that which you will receive at Brown Sheep Company. All of the employees are tickled to have visitors and you can tell right off that they all love their jobs and believe in the quality and craftsmanship of their products.
Sherry who specializes in greeting and taking care of each customer who comes to the store makes sure that you leave feeling wonderful and happy that you came. From carefully and patiently helping you choose just the right color for a sweater that will set off your husbands eyes, to taking you around every nook and corner of the mill Sherry is a perfect hostess. You may browse the many beautiful yarns in the store, choose free patterns and have expert advice on all areas of yarn choices and uses. For spinners, you can arrange a tour of the facilities, and you will be shown the whole process from beginning to end with meticulous detail and wonderful anecdotes as well as a few cracked jokes.
A visit to this fine company is absolutely worth the drive and was a wonderful little mini vacation for us here at Spindle And Wheel. We enjoyed seeing all the mill equipment and how it all worked together to make these exceptional yarns that knitters everywhere love. We were lucky enough to hear the story behind their new signature line of yarn Serindipity Tweed. The name matches the creation of this stunning yarn because it was created by mistake. Sick with the thought of 800 pounds of yarn wasted the expert dye team started playing around with some samples and discovered the different fibers dyed to different tones making a gorgeous two toned barber pole style tweed and a new line was born. Scheduled to appear in yarn stores everywhere soon, this beautiful and jewell like yarn is sure to cause a sensation. At Brown Sheep Company mistakes happen, but when eggs break, they make an omelette and go on to even bigger and better success.
For the knitter, spinner or fiber artist, a visit to the Brown Sheep Company is like a kid visiting a candy store. The jewel tones and natural colors blend on the shelves for a display of knitting heaven that is hard to imagine. The prices are so good on these so called seconds yarns that you can come away with a ton of goodies for very little moola. I call them so called seconds, because the flaws that made them not acceptable for retail sales are so minute they are practically undetectable. Things as small as a tiny spot of miscolored yarn, a missing dye lot number or a color that isn't "quite right" are sold together in the lovely little shop for a price that will make you want to dance and sing.
If you are interested in purchasing roving as mill ends you may gleefully dig through the bins and take what you like for a very reasonable price. We dug and rummaged and got what we thought spinners would like best to offer to those of you who would like to try these wonderful rovings but can't make the long trip to visit them. In short we encourage all of you to pack up the car and make the trip, the country is breathtaking and the visit is priceless.
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