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Embraceable Ewe owner wins award for business savvy and ‘Knitting It Forward’

MI CASA SU CASA — Embraceable Ewe Yarn Shop and knitter’s retreat is located at 213 Main St. in Hamburg. Not only is it Erin Kostich’s residence, but she welcomes her customers to have a seat, relax, knit and make themselves at home. Photos by Alicia Greco.
HAMBURG — The bright green Victorian house located at 213 Main St. in Hamburg was built in 1863. Decades have gone by and this house, complete with a wraparound porch, is now the business front of Embraceable Ewe Yarn Shop and residence of the store’s owner, Erin Kostich.

The businesswoman opened her shop in Orchard Park in 1999. Two years later, she and her family moved into their current location, satisfying their stated needs for both a new house and a larger location.

Kostich said that she prides herself on the fact that Embraceable Ewe provides more than just a shop for knitters and their accoutrements. She has organized multiple events to gather and strengthen the knitter community.

“It’s not just a stagnant knitting store,” she said.

She hosts “help night” from 7 – 9 p.m. every Tuesday evening. Knitters take over the store, sitting in the many available empty seats and can either learn how to knit or receive help on their current project. The event is an open house and approximately 20 – 30 women attend, according to Kostich.

KNIT AND GRIN — Erin Kostich, owner of Embraceable Ewe Yarn Store, knits on the wraparound porch of her shop.
The business owner was recently nominated for the Buffalo Business First’s Women of Influence and Expo Award for creativity for a program that she said she began with small intentions, but that grew to something bigger than she could have imagined.

Kostich said that she was often approached by customers’ offering bags filled with unneeded yarn. She said that she never turned these items away, hoping to find gems within the stashes. She used the yarn during her charity knitting club, but the amount she received grew to be overwhelming.

She then sent baskets of yarn and needles to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute; these items were placed in each waiting room. Those who felt so inclined could knit a square that would eventually become part of a blanket.

Kostich said that she was blown away by the results. Approximately 1,000 blankets were created and then sent back to Roswell for patients to use, either while being treated with chemotherapy or as a sense of comfort.

The project, “Knit It Forward,” is one of the reasons Kostich was nominated for Business First’s award.

The business owner said that knitting “is a physical craft, but also an emotional connection.”

She emphasized the social aspects of knitting. She will often sit with girlfriends, drink wine “and gab,” while they knit together.

“I love knitting,” she said. “I think because I’m fidgety and it gives me something to do with my hands.”

Due to the fact that this craft is prominently consumed by women, Kostich said that, in the past 10 years, she has seen approximately four men come to either a lesson or a knitting night.

She said one male attendee became nicknamed “The Boy.” He came to Embraceable Ewe, prepared with a basket of yarn and supplies. Kostich said that her husband shook his head in disapproval. The next time “The Boy” stepped through the doors of the shop, he carried his yarn in a toolbox.

The shop will welcome knitters to “Bazinga! Learn to scarf night” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28. The cost includes three balls of Plymouth® Bazinga yarn, needles, instruction and refreshments.

“Knitters Day Out” will be held at the Memorial Park in Hamburg from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7. This event will include a fashion show, door prizes, demonstrations and a show-and-tell segment, in which knitters may bring their projects to display. There is a ticket price and reservations may be made, by calling the shop.

Kostich said that she is most looking forward to the 2013 Yarn Ball, which will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the Hamburg American Legion Post 527. The event will kick off the fall knitting season.

The evening will feature a fall fashion show of knitted garments, a knitting-themed auction, the shop’s version of “Let’s Make a Deal” and a cake walk by Girl Scout Troop 30884. Call the shop for ticket information, to reserve a space or to volunteer.

To keep up with the events or sign up for the newsletter, visit www.EmbraceableEwe.com. For more information about the business, call 646-6674.


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