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The Yarn Shoppe's Long Journey, from Department Stores Right Back Home

A long journey always ends at home, or in this case, the Yarn Shoppe.

Sandra Torman bought the almost two decades ago from the previous owner. Since then, she has endured fire, landlords and leases to keep her passion and business going.

"It started out as a department store type thing," she said.

Now she runs the shop out of her and her husband's house on Rumford Avenue.

Back when previous owner owned the shop in the 1970s, it was downtown on North Main Street, where an apartment complex is now.

"In 1978 the building burned to the ground," she said. "When she reopened it, it was just yarn. Before then it was a yarn and gift shop."

Torman bought the business back in 1993 when the previous owner was going to shut the whole business down. When she bought the shop, it was located where is now.

When Torman bought the place, she moved the store to one of her buildings in Mansfield, and then to Norton in 2008. The stores she had then in were a lot different then where she runs the business now.

"Those were big stores, 1,600 and 1,800 square feet!" she said.” It’s a lot of work to move a business that big."

Torman lost the lease to an expanding neighboring business in Norton, and almost lost faith in the shop.

"I was just like 'yeah no I'm done, I'm not moving again three years later,'" she said.

But Torman's husband reminded her that the kids have grown up and moved out, and it's just the two of them in their house.

"He said, 'Well we could probably afford to give up a couple of rooms,'" Torman said. "And that's what I did, I moved it here."

Torman now runs the shop out of her home, and she said she could not be happier about it.

"Small businesses are always having a hard time," she said. "Sometimes things work out for a reason.  I have no real overhead here, and I do what I do. It doesn't matter to me whether I have a good month or a bad month, so it's worked out."

Torman also teaches classes in knitting, crocheting and other yarn-based crafts. She currently has about 35-40 students, but she said that during the winter classes always get bigger.

Torman said she has a wide range of students, from young children to college kids to senior citizens.

"It is truly something you can do for your whole life," she said. “If you’ve been doing it all your life, if your eyesight isn’t that well, you can feel what you’re doing and just keep on knitting, so I get a whole range of people.”

Torman said that, depending on the weather, she teaches oustide on her back porch with her students. The location of her house offers a stunning view of Fulton's Pond, and provides a very scenic location to learn the art.

Ted Casher November 16, 2011 at 07:05 PM
This is great! Lovely picture of Sandy, also! The Tormans have been an asset to the Mansfield community for many years!

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