Midland business partners living best lives at Stranded Yarn & Coffee

Midland business partners living best lives at Stranded Yarn & Coffee

Carolynn Porritt, 44, and Nicole Woods, 45, own Stranded Yarn & Coffee on the Ashman Circle, next door to Pop-Pop’s, in Midland’s Center City. They’re located in the Soeur Group Building.

Nicole said, “We have yarn and coffee (laughs). We offer classes for knitting and crochet. We have late-night crafting time. We’ve offered charcuterie for a year.” Carolynn said, “We offer a curated selection of yarns which include yarns dyed by local and independent dyers.”

They have two employees, Jodie Gardner and Liz Cammin. They are open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. They’re open until 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. On Saturday, they close at 4 p.m., closed on Sunday.

Carolynn and her husband, Tim, have been married for 22 years. He’s a Senior System Specialist at Huhtamaki in Coleman. They have three sons. She’s a graduate of Perry High School and she attended Baker College in Owosso.

Nicole is engaged to Ryan Ball. He’s the co-manager of the Kroger in Saginaw. She has three kids. She’s a graduate of H.H. Dow High School and she attended Delta College.

How long have you owned your business?

Carolynn: A little over two years, opened in the end of December 2020.

What inspired you to own the business?

Nicole: Carolynn and I had been talking about it for a long time, to have a yarn shop and coffee shop together. We used to be on the PTO (parent teacher organization) together for our school for many years, then we had another mom, Megan Tschirhart, who had a hair salon (ShearHeart Studio) in the building. She contacted me and asked if I would be interested in opening a coffee shop in the building and then I asked if I could bring some yarn, too, and then I called Carolynn.

What makes Midland a great place to own a business?

Carolynn: I think the vast quantity of small, independent business in this town gave us the courage to open our own. We have received support from Jen Semer, the owner of the building, as well as many other local shops and myriad family and friends.

What are some ways your business is active in the local community?

Nicole: We have supported the Midland High cheerleaders. We are also Chemic Card participants. We’ve contributed to the prize bags for the Senior Christmas Dinner Program presented by the Midland Area Community Foundation. We take part in the United Way Coffee Week. Knit for Food, an all-day knit-a-thon on March 26 (Sunday) which supports four different food charities. We also do the Shelterhouse Restaurant Week and the Self Love Beauty Affirmation Day on May 9.

Carolynn: We really do have volunteer hearts starting with the PTO and the community, too.

Nicole: Carolynn is also a Boy Scout troop leader.

Carolynn: During all of our fundraisers, we donate a percentage of our café sales to the charity in question.

What are some of your interests and hobbies?

Carolynn: We’re living our best lives here. I love all things yarn, tasty coffee drinks, and spending time with lovely fellow crafters. Nicole: I enjoy knitting, that’s really all I have time for, outside of spending time with our families.

What are some local businesses you work with that help make your business a success?

Carolynn: We could not have opened our business without Jen Semer, our building owner, who also owns the Tax Café, and without the other businesses owners in the building including Megan Tschirhart, Aleta Alexander with ReFURbish, a pet groomer, and Alex Brothers.

Nicole: He was the building manager here for two years. He also learned how to make coffee when we were busy, and he made repairs around her. Jameson Pnacek, with Jameson Party Rentals. Pop-Pop’s, they were a welcoming presence on the Circle and gave us shelves.

Final thoughts to share?

Carolynn: I’m not sure we can adequately express how grateful we are for the opportunity we’ve had to open this business. We could never have done it without Alli Sheehan, who owned a yarn shop in Sanford for several years. We have received free labor and gifts from several private individuals and unending support from our crafting community.