Knitters and crocheters be warned: one look at Three Irish Girls Yarn and it’ll be hard to work with anything else. Kelly and Erin have been in business for over four years, bringing color and beauty to Duluth and Superior in the form of hand-dyed yarn.
Let’s get to know them better.
Kelly Goetzman and Erin McFarland of Three Irish Girls Yarn
4+ years in business
First, a little bit about Three Irish Girls Yarn. Three Irish Girls Yarn is a hand-dyed, artisan yarn company based in Superior, Wisconsin on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior. They are committed to creating unique, stunning colorways for any project or palette. Using luxurious, natural bases that are a true joy to work with, their hope is that their colors inspire you! Three Irish Girls yarns and fibers are available at fine yarn shops all over the world.
How did you get started? “We both started as Fiber Artists prior to buying the business, so it was only fitting. We both have a love of color and a deep commitment to using top quality, North American milled products. We love to see what Three Irish Girls Yarn enthusiasts create using our yarn.”
Why did you choose Duluth? “Erin is originally from Duluth and Kelly has lived here for the past 15 years. It’s a wonderful community and great place to raise our families. Plus, the lake isn’t too bad, either.”
What is one thing your business is primarily known for? “High quality yarn and color, color, color. We don’t believe in flat colors. Ours has vibrancy and life that make them a joy to work with. We take inspiration from many places; music, works of art, nature, fashion. We’ve even created a line of colorways available exclusively at Yarn Harbor that are inspired by our surroundings here on the North Shore.”
What is your favorite thing about Duluth? Kelly references the amount of talent in our community. “We have the extreme pleasure to share studio space with Michelle Sternberg—a talented photographer who has taken amazing pictures of our yarn. Her pictures set the bar for photography when our yarn was on tour with renowned knitting pattern designers Stephen West and Steven Berg last summer. There are also many opportunities to enjoy live music, theater and art.”
Erin said, “I love the how committed the music community is, and how much talent is popping up here. Overall, I enjoy that Duluth has become a hub for such things as music, breweries and distilleries. I am excited to see how it will continue to grow and get Duluth on the map.”
What do you think about the current Duluth economy? “I’m hopeful that the Duluth/Superior community will continue to show support for local businesses. There are so many unique local options for commerce that offer something for everyone,” Kelly said.
Erin agreed. “I feel it is growing and changing to attract the urban professionals to this city, which will bring more diverse opportunities for continual growth.”
What would be your advice to someone thinking about opening a new business in Duluth? Erin recommends setting yourself apart in the community. “Don’t be afraid to create a market in this community for what you want to do or sell, people will surprise you in what they will try. It is better to be the trendsetter than the copy cat.”
Kelly added, “There are many resources available in this community. Use them! We’ve had great success with The Development Association in Superior. Do your research and don’t be afraid to talk to other business owners. Most are more than willing to share their experiences.”
A couple fun facts about Kelly and Erin.
Favorite place to eat in Duluth: Kelly loves Thirsty Pagan or Cloud 9 but added, “my favorite things, hands down, are the smoked salmon pate from Northern Waters Smokehaus and pistachio honey gelato from Va Bene.”
Erin confessed a long time love affair with Zeigeist Asts Cafe as they have, “THE best mussels EVER!!!!” Can’t go wrong with coconut curry sauce. Her other favorite is the hand cut fries with truffle sauce, to which she mixes in mayo that, “makes [her] tongue do a happy dance.” She also loves Lake Avenue Café’s lovely drink menu with local interesting liquors and their inventive cuisine. She adds, “I went to high school with the one of the owners, Derek Snyder, so I will always support locals to be successful.”
Favorite local business in Duluth (besides your own!): “Yarn Harbor. Kathy Thomas is great to work with and we’ve had the chance to meet several of the talented knitters and crocheters that frequent her shop.”
“We also love Hannah Johnson Fabrics and Serendipity for all the creativity they foster in the community. We can get lost on any given Saturday shopping in both!”
Favorite Duluth “hidden gem”: For Kelly, the hidden gem in Duluth is Tischer Creek, and who could blame her? And while Park Point isn’t quite so hidden, it is still Erin’s favorite place to walk and enjoy the silence on a sunny morning.