One of the first local businesses one sees when coming into Bandon from the north is the cozy Wool Company, owned and operated by Gregg and Kelly Oney. Before coming to Bandon, the Oneys had a nice life in Adin, a small town in northeast California. Kelly was a school librarian and computer teacher, and she and her husband owned and operated a ranch. For vacations, they frequently came to Bandon (which, of course they fell in love with) where they eventually bought land and built a house.
In Adin, the Oneys also owned and, with the help of their daughters, ran The Oney Frosty in Town, a burger and ice cream joint. On one of the major routes to Reno, people would travel several miles for Frosty’s special BBQ and to be part of the community hangout feel the Oneys had created.
In December of 2013 on one of their Bandon vacations, Kelly was shopping at The Wool Company on Highway 101. She happened to overhear a conversation about the fact that the store was for sale. She asked a few questions, talked to her husband and decided that day to buy it. A few months later, they moved to Bandon for good and put their time and energy into the store.
The Wool Company has been open since 1983 as a local source for wool and hand-spun yarns and has since been known as a destination yarn store. Indeed, as the oldest and largest yarn store on the Oregon coast, people travel from miles around for its variety of products and quality fibers, many of which are locally sourced.
Kelly has committed to continuing to provide customers with the quality fibers and supplies they were accustomed to. Dozens of shelves around The Wool Company display yarn of every imaginable color and type for every imaginable project. Kelly finds as many local yarns and fiber as possible, such as mohair, alpaca and wool from Cedar Grove Ranch from Reedsport and wool and alpaca from Bethel Creek Farm in Langlois. Some come from sheep and alpaca right here in Bandon.
The Wool Company’s inventory goes far beyond the fiber. Fiber artists can find just about anything they need for just about any project, including books, patterns, a huge selection of knitting needles and crochet hooks, and other supplies for knitting, crocheting, spinning, and felting. Customers can also find buttons of any kind, shawl pins, gifts, jewelry, and more.
Kelly has also made it a point to provide friendly customer service and a warm, welcoming environment. She is truly interested in fiber work and in people, and that has made for a winning combination. In one section of the store are a table and chairs, ideal for classes and workshops. Folks can find classes in projects such as knitting socks as well as free open workshops for spinning, knitting and crocheting, and for getting helps and tips in finishing pesky projects. A Bandon Youth Center knitting workshop for students 3rd grade and older also meets weekly at the Wool Company to which Kelly donates her yarn, needles, space and time.
Near the workshop area is a comfortable area with a couch and several Field and Stream magazines, perfect for those accompanying someone in a class or workshop.
On the store’s website, interested shoppers will find a partial list of the brands, supplies and products carried there, but there are far too many to list. Some items are available to order online as well. Also found on the website is a list and descriptions of the various classes and workshops happening at the store.
The Wool Company with their quality and varied products is clearly a regional go-to for anyone needing supplies for their fiber project. However, with Kelly Oney’s vision and direction, it has become much more than that. It must be second nature for her to create community as, just like the One Frosty in Town in Adin, The Wool Company has become a community hangout. But instead of enjoying burgers and fries, patrons are enjoying each others company and help as well as their shared love of fibers.