When Danielle Romanetti opened fibre space™ in historic Alexandria, she was excited to finally have her own space. It was an extension of her original business, Knit-a-Gogo, Inc., which offered knitting classes literally on the go. “I taught beginning and intermediate knitting classes in coffee shops, bakeries, and other businesses in the DC area,” she says. “Using these spaces required a solid relationship with the businesses that hosted us and that, in turn, has led to the collaborative philosophy that fibre space™ still maintains.”
As Danielle’s customers grew, the Knit-a-Gogo community needed a permanent home, a place where stitchers could meet outside of classes, buy quality supplies, and share with other stitchers. In 2008, Danielle met with Business Analyst Jack Parker from the Alexandria SBDC. “I knew how to create a business plan, but the SBDC helped streamline it.” Danielle adds, “The SBDC also helped make connections with banks in an attempt to get $95,000 in funding.” Unfortunately, the bank denied the loan, so she borrowed funds from a friend and her parents and used her credit cards.
“Danielle opened her shop just off King Street in 2009 to a large and immediate customer base comprised of students she had taught,” Jack relates. “Her first year’s projected revenues were ambitious, but she was able to exceed them. She became profitable within a few months and has never looked back.”
Eight years later, Danielle began looking for a property to purchase near her existing location.
“Purchasing our own building was the next natural step for the shop,” she says. “We’ve enjoyed steady sales volume since an initial growth period, and I felt that we were better served by investing in property rather than continuing to pay rent.” Jack Parker helped her again with banks offering SBA 504 Loans. “She closed a loan at EagleBank and the Business Finance Group in mid-2017,” Jack adds.
That September, fibre space™ opened its doors in the only known flatiron building in the historic city. As part of the building purchase, fibre space™ partnered with the City of Alexandria to adopt the public space in front of the building for small community gatherings, including her knitters from the neighborhood. “Danielle’s success comes from her marketing talents and knowing each of her customer’s needs, almost before they do,” Jack notes.
There’s little doubt that fibre space™ has found a place in Alexandria.