Second Odd Balls Yarn Shop to open at Chisholm Trail Shopping Center and Outlet Mall; more to come

WICHITA — A year after opening her first store, Tracie Anderson is taking the next step in her plan to grow her Odd Balls Yarn Shop by opening a second store at Chisholm Trail Shopping Center and Outlet Mall in Newton.

Anderson opened her first Odd Balls in March in 4,000 square feet at Brittany Center at 21st and Woodlawn to sell high-end knitting and crochet supplies, luxury fibers, weaving looms, spinning wheels and needlepoint supplies, among other things. She also offers about 80 related classes at any given time.

This March, Anderson is opening in 3,000 square feet at Chisholm Trail next to Charlotte’s Bargain Fabric & Stitchery.

She says she did market research first.

“The traffic out there’s phenomenal.”

Anderson already is thinking of a third Wichita-area Odd Balls for next March.

“That’s pretty aggressive, but that’s our goal.”

Her bigger goal is to franchise her business and help others with their dreams of having similar shops.

She’s working with the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Wichita State University.

“There’s a lot of guidelines that you have to meet through the Federal Trade Commission,” Anderson says. “We’re in the very early, baby stages of working with this.”

Her motivation for franchising, she says, is that the type of people who want to open shops such as hers may know their craft well but not know business.

Anderson wants to help “so they can focus on the artsy-fartsy part and not get in trouble businesswise.”

She says the average life of a shop like this is four years. Consequently, Anderson says, the wholesale industry can be fairly predatory, and she wants to help others navigate that by creating what she calls a boilerplate business for them to follow.

“That’s really my passion and my goal in this whole thing.”