Natural yarn shop Skeinz has been making and selling a variety of yarns to people right across New Zealand while remaining dedicated to good quality and incredible value. Skeinz's range includes merino, possum, silk, and wool yarns.
Since the start of her involvement 17 years ago, Maree Buscke (a current manager) has seen Skeinz develop greatly, going from selling out of a tiny store at a mill to moving into a much larger space. Buscke estimates that Skeinz has grown close to 100x in size over her time with the company.
Skeinz now sells 80,000-100,000 standard balls of yarn every year, and by making most of the yarn themselves, Buscke says customers receive great value for what they buy.
“I think we’re exceptionally fairly priced for what we are. Because we do direct from the mill, we’re able to offer customers incredible value.”
Giving consumers confidence
Buscke has noticed a resurgence in hand-knitting over the last 15 years, noting that a lot of people either took up or re-took up the craft to give them something to do over the COVID-19 lockdowns.
She understands that a lot of people knit for charity or for comfort, and they want to know they’re getting good value for the yarn. She asserts that because Skeinz supplies yarn that is self-made and/or grown in New Zealand, customers can place confidence in the provenance and quality of Skeinz’s natural yarn range.
Buscke also explains that the process of making products for these consumers is very complicated. Getting things right requires a lot of people and work.
However, she believes that Skeinz has been excelling on this front, stating that the business’s operations have been successful since its establishment in the 1970s.
Why Skeinz is NZ made
In addition to the importance of value and quality, two things which being NZ made provides for Skeinz, another bonus for Buscke is the level of understanding and assurance that Skeinz has in their yarns and fibre, which is something that really matters to her.
“When we buy direct either from farms or small brokers, we know where that fibre has come from. We know the quality of the fibre, sometimes even down to the farm of that fibre, and it’s really important to do that. It’s part of New Zealand’s character. It’s part of New Zealand’s heritage.”
Buscke thoroughly enjoys her work, laying out her vibrant appreciation for her team and for the encouraging online community that Skeinz has built up.
“We’ve got an amazing team at the mill—really amazing team. I’ve got an incredible team here, and a wonderful online community that are so supportive.”
“I love the yarn, I love the colour, I love the creativity. No two days are the same. I just love what I do!”