With music playing, and needles working, Sally Moore has stitched together a one-of-a-kind shop. Along the walls is colorful yarn, and lounging around are fellow crafters knitting and crocheting away. She is the first black woman to open a knit shop in Detroit.
“It’s creativity, it’s no different than crayons on paper,” Moore explains. “It’s playing with color, it’s playing with texture, it’s a way to express yourself.”
She first came up with the idea, thanks to her close-knit group of friends. The women all loved crafting with fiber and would plan weekend jaunts to check out different stores. Unfortunately, during that time, her 3 friends all ended up dealing with breast cancer.
“I realized that through building the fiber, I had built a community for the three of them, and if that was all I ever did, that would be enough.”
That drive to create a community, lead her to win the WomenUp And Pitch competition by Michigan Women Forward, giving her the means to make her dream a reality. She opened her doors the day after Christmas in 2021 and named it Parker Avenue Knits after the famous author, Dorothy Parker. Moore says she resonates a lot with the witty writer.
“A lot of people may not know,” Moore adds, “that she was actually very quietly a civil rights activist.”
Now, this isn’t your typical yarn shop. For one, they have a DJ booth to play music and an original Sheefy McFly on the wall. She carries all types of yarn from small indie brands made in people’s homes, to high-end fibers like silk and cashmere, to brands from all around the world.
“I tell people I failed retail 101,” jokes Moore. “I gave up a good portion of my square footage for a lounge area, or living room as I call it. "
That’s because her number one goal is to build community. She wants everyone to feel welcome and like they have a space in her store. Many of her customers have thanked her for creating a space and a community they can call their own. The store offers classes and holds social knits, where everyone is invited to come to the store and work on their latest yarn project, share advice, and build community.
As Moore puts it, “The product is yarn, but the real service... is community.”
Parker Avenue Knits is located at 1578 Franklin Street in Detroit.