The Rice family originally became involved with Bartlettyarns in the early 1980’s. Lindsey had a 4-H sheep project as a teenager and raised Hampshire sheep. He was a sheep shearer throughout New England and enjoyed demonstrating shearing at local schools. On his days off as a Professional Firefighter, he continued his sheep shearing and the entrepreneurial spirit was alive.
The question then became what to do with all that wool? Sound familiar? Well, Susan was also involved in 4-H, in fact that is how they met, and had been a State 4-H Award Winner in Sewing and knew how to knit and crochet. Totally un-coordinated with the whole spinning thing, it was safer to have someone else do the processing and spinning the wool into yarn. Thus, the perfect idea-take the wool to Bartlettyarns! With the Rices making the almost four hour trip to the mill, Susan picked out eight colors to start out her knitting business, while two year old Ammy ran around the store investigating everything!
Over the years, we attended various farmers’ markets and wool events and the business grew. Many trips were made from NH to Maine with Ammy and Chris in the red pick-up truck. From picnics to swimming adventures, the most surprising trip was the one when we were all together and turned the corner onto Water St and Bartlettyarns did not look like Bartlettyarns! The street had been transformed into a movie set and we had to wind our way to the office to place our order. Come to find out, Steven King was filming Graveyard Shift.
On another trip, the mule was not working and Lindsey was asked if he could attempt to fix it-to the amazement of the office staff, within 20 minutes, the mule was off and running. About 5 years later, the Rices once again were called upon as the owner was in California, to fix the mule and two weeks after that, they were asked if they would like to purchase the business! Not to refuse a challenge, we are off on our next adventure... running Bartlettyarns.
This is a very short excerpt of our adventures with Barlettyarns. For the Rice family, this is a way of life and to follow a dream that is the love of our life. We hope that you become a part of our extended family and share your experiences with us!