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 San Francisco, CA: Atelier for Yarn
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151 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2001 :  08:45:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage Send Admin a Private Message
San Francisco's Atelier and Greenwich have equally devoted (and disenchanted) customers.

If you haven't read the review, click on the link below.

Here's what you've said so far about Atelier:

"No one is indifferent to Atelier - people either love it or hate it. The people who hate the store seem to get a little odd on the subject though, like the poster below who lived a few blocks away and NEVER went there.

It's a small business run by someone with fixed ideas about how things should be done. Grace has her eccentricities. As one of the "girls" (we're all over 25!) who has helped her out in the past, I can tell you that looking up every single price, all day long, in that #$#$! Rolodex is significantly more irritating that waiting for someone else to do it. But since her eccentricities do not affect the success of her business, why should she change? Grace Cooper is not running a public service. She likes how she does things, and she only needs to please herself.

As for people calling her rude, walk a mile in her moccasins, if you're brave enough. Most Atelier customers are civil, polite, decent people, but anybody who shops there knows that there is a lunatic fringe that wears the salespeople's nerves to tatters. On top of the certifiables that seem to be peculiar to that store, there is probably a need to put up a sign, "You are, in fact, not the first person to drop half a grand on yarn today, and neither will you be the last."

It's a luxury yarn store, and that means that the average customer is spending a lot of money. This means that purchases in the hundreds don't buy you special treatment - and I think there's something seriously wrong with the idea that they should. Good manners means having the same manners for everybody, remember, and somebody coming in to buy one pair of Brittany needles gets the same treatment as someone buying an afghan's worth of Lorna's Laces - they're going to have stand there among the tempting yarn for god knows how long before they can get Grace's attention." Karen, 10/29/2001

"Unlike some of the other commenters, I had a fabulous experience at Atelier. I haven't been knitting long, but I was in the store browsing. One of the girls was very busy but helped me by answering a few questions. When I asked about felting, she pointed me in Grace's direction. After that, Grace walked around the store with me talking about their different kinds of yarn, showing me patterns, and helping me pick out some new needles. She was very friendly and extremely helpful... She introduced herself to me and asked my name. I felt very welcome and liked the atmosphere of the store. The only drawback was a lack of place to sit down and knit a gauge swatch or two to see what size needles I was really going to need." devbear, 6/17/2001

"I live right near Atelier and try never to go there. I do not want to give business to a person who is regularly rude and who is so blatant about just wanting to make the sale. Not only has Grace been rude and unpleasant to me, but she's been really mean to friends of mine who have spent small fortunes in that shop. The girls that work for Grace are so much better to deal with than her but even they don't make it worth the trip. For me, it's Greenwich where at least you're treated nicely and any question is answered or online ordering." knittr, 6/5/2001

"On my frequent trips to San Francisco in the 90s I would go to Atelier because I go to yarn shops when I visit other cities. It was not an especially welcoming shop, but I hoped I would find some special yarn, which I don't recall doing." LBumbalo, 3/24/01

"I visit San Francisco regularly, and I have stopped going to Atelier for 2 reasons. There are no prices listed anywhere, so I had to hunt down the salesperson and wait for her to finish with another customer every time I wanted to know a price. When you're feeding a parking meter or on a schedule this can be a pain. Also, when I went in to get some basics, like Brown Sheep, I was always pushed towards a more expensive yarn as a substitute. When I go in I feel like I'm in an expensive boutique, where 'if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it.'" Sarah, 3/22/01

"I don't know when this person has been to Atelier and gotten good and cheerful service from the staff. But everytime I've been there, I have found that there is no personal service. I have also called in advance to find specific colors of yarns (including color number), been told that yes, indeed they did have those yarns. Only to find that there were colors that the owner felt were close to the original colors I requested. It wasn't a matter of the colors having been discontinued because they were still current, but that the owner wanted to make a sale at my expense." anonymous, 3/22/01

"I love Atelier, I am always able to find what I need and the staff are always helpfull without being ovewhelming. I never feel rushed and have never regreted my decisions. It is very accessable by bus which in San Francisco is the best way to go because parking is terrible any where...

...You also forgot to tell everyone about The Yarn Garden at 545 Sutter Street at Powell Street. A large shop, Lots of room to move, tables to sit on and the yarn has prices on them so you don't have to ask how much anything is. Matthew is a gem, great to talk to and always helpful...

...Then there is Artfibers Gallery 124 Sutter Street at Kearney Street. The work from the students at the Academy of Art College is on display. She has yarn that you wouldn't find anywhere else. Also accessable by bus. Lets you sit down and do a swatch to see if you really want to buy the yarn. And face it, good quality yarns are expensive, one just needs to figure out if it is worth it or not." time4moretea, 3/22/01

Thanks for mentioning those other two shops! I wasn't able to hit them during this visit. But I definitely will, and give them due credit in Knitter's Review, soon. - Clara

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New Pal

United Kingdom
16 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2002 :  5:45:45 PM  Show Profile Send Yarnworld a Private Message
I was visiting SF from London and it was very interesting to go to US yarn stores. Atelier had a good selection but was very expensive. The girls who was helping out was very helpful but grace was not too friendly. I bought a book and a Gedfira pattern book which I later found was much cheaper elsewhere and the gedfira book at half the price at Greenwhich.

Coming from Europe I found that the prices were double what we can get in Europe. Nice to be able to see and feel all these yarns tho.


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Permanent Resident

3808 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2002 :  4:12:51 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
No one pointed out that there is a history between Greenwich Yarn and Atelier. At one time Grace Cooper worked at Greenwich. Beverley

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New Pal

41 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2002 :  11:28:38 PM  Show Profile Send caitlin a Private Message
What is the current address and phone number for Greenwich?

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queen bee

4414 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2002 :  06:08:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message
Hi Caitlyn,

I don't know them off the top of my head, but they're in the review.

Have fun!

Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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