Star, grand-daughter of the founder of Galler Yarns, has recently taken over the management and direction of the company. I had the pleasure of talking with Star about the company and her yarns.
Ellen: I love Galler Yarns – they’re fabulous quality, and I’ve always admired the integrity of the company. Tell me what it’s like to be at the helm of the company and how things have changed or stayed the same since you’ve taken over.
Star: I want to stress that it really is a TINY business. I am running most everything by myself. I have my Mom and Dad who help in the background still, and two part time packers, one of whom is 98 years old. And of course, invaluable Marie, who is my internet and social media guru.
Many things have stayed the same, for instance, my relationships with the mills have been forged over generations, and those that I still do business with are those that have withstood the test of time and provide consistently superior products. They are mostly also all family businesses and I have a bond with these younger generation owners as we have all risen in our familial business lifestyles in the same way.
Ellen: It’s wonderful that your family has been working with the same mills for generations. Tell me about the mills you use and what makes them so special.
Star: I am proud of our mills, their ethical treatment of both the mill workers the animals, and their charity to the surrounding communities. For example, our Alpaca comes from Peruvian Alpaca that are part of a special breeding program designed to enhance the species. The animals are treated like gold and are well cared for and prized. They are raised at elevations of over 10,000 feet in the Andes mountains which allows them to develop the highest quality hair. Animals born that do not match the quality of hair desired (which is still superior relative to the average Alpaca) are gifted to the local farmers, thereby enhancing the genetic stock of all the area Alpacas. This is just one example of a charitable program our mills offer to their communities. There are many other programs too numerous to list.
Ellen: Knitters and crocheters just hate running in to knots in their yarn. I have heard from most vendors that one knot per 100-yard skein is an acceptable industry standard. However, I rarely find any knots in the 600 yard skeins of yarn from Galler. How do you control the quality so well?
Star: As far as quality control, both my father and I are in constant communication with the mills (several times a week at least) to ensure that our products are always exceptional. Being that all our products are organic in nature, meaning that they are all coming from living creatures and can not be mass produced, it is very tricky keeping everything in stock. Especially when we have to deal with bringing it here from overseas (which adds its own set of problems). We do our very best.
I have refused to settle for cheaper quality to bring my prices down to competitive levels with luxury items such as the Belangor Angora or Pashmina French Cashmere. I could buy Chinese Angora fiber, but it can’t hold a candle to the true French rabbit hair. Same with the cashmere. Nothing out there is processed as beautifully, is anti-felt treated, or wears as long.
Ellen : Yes, indeed, your yarns are incomparable! Is there anything else you’d like to share with your fans at Crazy for Ewe and the wider knitting and crocheting world?
Star: Mostly, I want to express that I sincerely care about the yarn I carry and the stores who buy from me. It’s very hard to compete with the big brands and the huge budgets. I can only hope that people will recognize the absolute quality of and love that goes into everything I carry and that my yarns will stand out in the sea of choices.