Interview with Cross and Woods

In March on the Modista Patreon we have two new feature brands offering exclusive discounts to members; one of them is Cross and Woods, based in the Hague who are offering a fantastic 25% discount to members!

I have been following Cross and Woods for a long time now as their collection is so beautifully curated, with a blend of speciality wools, fine fabrics and really unique gifts and stationery. I would love to visit in person and as lockdown in NL is very slowly starting to ease, I can now make an appointment to shop with them! In the meantime they have a brilliant online store we can all access.

I asked Eloise and Pauline as owners about running the store; I hope you enjoy reading their answers as much as I did 🙂

Could you tell us about your business and how you started it?

We ( Eloïse and I ) opened Cross & Woods 5 years ago. It started from my ( Pauline) small yarn store Woool which was two doors away from where we are now. We could see that there was potential for a bigger and better store combining yarn with fabric and we happened to find new premises very close by. Eloïse started out as one of my customers and our business relationship grew from there! Cross & Woods is a combination of our surnames Pauline is the Woods and Eloïse is the Cross.

You have an amazing selection of wools and accessories you rarely find elsewhere. What influences your picks for what to stock?

Thank you! We try to pick up new and emerging brands. We try and work with smaller, family owned companies so rather than stocking all the yarns from one large brand we like to offer customers the chance to see brands that they might only see coming by on social media. Wherever possible we like to work with organic, ethically correct, animal friendly companies.

How did your business have to change in 2020, and what does 2021 have in store?

It hasn’t been easy, not seeing our customers everyday makes our days very different. Luckily we have a strong online presence that has certainly helped us through this crisis but we are very much looking forwards to reopening our doors to customers. We also miss all the markets that we would normally take the shop to Unravel or Woollinn or even a market in Oslo. It is difficult to make plans for 2021 as everything changes so quickly but we hope to be open as soon as possible and seeing people back in the store. We have a couple of markets planned for this year and we are hoping that they will be able to go ahead. But for the most it is carrying on and trying to give our customers some great inspiration so that everyone can carry on sewing and knitting!

What has been your proudest moment running Cross and Woods?

The brick and mortar shop that we have built up and the collection that we have curated makes us proud when we hear how much our customers love visiting us.

How would you describe the sewing and knitting scene in the Netherlands? In terms of style, popularity, how it differs from other countries…

The knitting and sewing scene has certainly become more modern in the last few years, probably due to social media and the availability of yarns from across the world. Ravelry has certainly played a part. Our Craft nights are busy with enthusiastic knitters and sewing who all provide a source of inspiration, new products and ideas for each other. I’m not sure if differs much much for other countries as the trends from around the world can now be seen here too! The crafting scene is growing in popularity especially with the younger generation.

What is your top tip for anyone just starting to knit or crochet?

Ravelry, for tips and tricks and inspiration. And follow a class ( when it is possible) as learning from sitting next to somebody is always much easier than learning from a film online.

What do you look for when shopping for wool?

Firstly colour, and then texture and something non superwash!

Is there a pattern designer you’d love to stock in the future?

We are trying hard to support our local pattern designers – the Netherlands has some great up and coming designers – saltandstoneknits, the.wooly.one and Fibre_creative ( all to be found on IG) to name a couple.

What is your favourite thing about running a independent business?

The freedom to choose which brands you’d like to stock in the store. Choosing a colour palette is something we really enjoy, although Eloïse and I have very different taste – I love strong bright colours and Eloïse loves the more muted neutral shades – but it means that we end up with a wide range of colours!

Finally, what’s on your sewing machine/needles right now?

Eloïse is sewing more at the moment, making Ikatee patterns for her daughter . On my needles is a Seli sweater from the Laine 10 in Tukuwool and from Strand of Joy ( the new book from Anna Johanna) Sprout using yarn from Biches & Bûches.

Thank you!

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