posts / 🧶 Our crochet queen

Sherri

🧶 Our crochet queen

It was 3am, in the wee hours before we opened our 3rd Loops location, at 61st and Yale in Tulsa.

We’d all been in a mad rush for months, as we wound down two smaller locations, moved everything into storage. and built out the new store.

Sherri Torrez had been crocheting chain-link rings for weeks for our front window installation. At 3 in the morning we were the last ones standing, me breaking down boxes and putting yarn on shelves, and Sherri on a ladder meticulously hanging string by string.

Always with that smile.

Sherri came into my life in 2010 when she joined the Loops Troops. Never in my life, before or since, have I met a kinder, more joyful spirit. She radiates. She glows.

Chances are, if you’re reading this email, you’ve interacted with Sherri. You’ve felt that kindness and experienced that quiet joy in an email she has fielded, or a “blue bag” she has shipped you, or a crochet lesson she has taught you.

It was Sherri who taught me about the “customer service sandwich” which I think about to this day, with every email I compose.

Start with the bread – a warm greeting. Only then do you follow with the meat of the message. Then wrap up a heartfelt close, like another nice, warm slice of bread.

It was Sherri who, when LoopsClub went viral and grew overnight into a major monthly operation, raised her hand to take on all the logistics, working tirelessly night after late night to be sure everyone’s blue bags shipped on time.

It was Sherri who raised her hand again to go to conferences with me and help implement what we were learning about best practices for online business.

On that trip, I remember waking up early and Sherri was already up, airpods in, listening to her morning devotional. In that moment I caught one of many glimpses into Sherri’s dedication to her spiritual life, nurturing that light within that shines so brightly for all who come into contact with her.

It was Sherri who asked to come over to my house and sat with me around the kitchen island, telling me what I needed to hear – that I could no longer do so much on my own, that I needed help and she was ready to step up for whatever the business needed.

It was Sherri who raised her hand yet again when we needed her leadership at the Flagship store, overseeing operations and e-commerce. No task has ever been too great or too small for Sherri. She is the epitome of servant leadership.

So last fall, late one night as I was in the final throes of wrestling with whether to close our physical store and focus 100% on our masterclasses and Yarniverse membership – telling the yarns, full time – there was one last reason keeping me from closing…

It was Sherri.

I fell asleep without a solution.

I woke to an email from Sherri, telling me how much she had loved her 14 years of our journey together, and that the time had come for her to retire and spend more time with the love of her life and husband of 43 years, Chico.

I called Sherri immediately with tears in my eyes, astounded at the timing and synchronicity. Even in her retirement she had given me yet another gift. And of course, in typical Sherri style, she offered to stay and help as long as needed through the transition.

So now, as our beloved Sherri prepares to cast off and enjoy life full-time with her sweetheart and beautiful extended family, I’d like to ask you a favor.

If you have a great story about Sherri, will you click here to reply to this email and share it with me? I’d love to compile some memories to send her off with.

xoxo,

 

 

 

P.S. You can keep up with Sherri and her future adventures on Instagram @crochetcoloredglasses

It’s getting really juicy now, folks.

As we prepare to wind down our physical product site, we’ve marked everything 50% off. The discount automatically applies at checkout.

Here are just a few of the many goodies with great remaining stock:

Shop the site 50% off here

We’re meeting up IRL!

If you’re anywhere near the Washington, DC area on Sunday, March 3 at 3 pm, come for a Knit Stars meet up with me (Shelley) and Sunnie! We will hang out, knit and crochet, and hand out some swag!

If you can make it, please fill out this quick RSVP form so we can know how many people to expect. Location and more details are on the RSVP form. The event is free!

 

Mangonadas

We asked Sherri for one of her favorite recipes and she had this one to share:

“Mangonadas are something that I make as frequently as possible because I.Love.Them! (OK, Chico also loves them as much as I do.)

We are fortunate to live near all of the Mexican grocery stores, restaurants, antojito (snack) shops, and taco trucks that our hearts could desire. One of our favorite treats to pick up at the snack shop is a sweet, spicy, refreshing Mangonada. When I did a little Chef Google research and found out how easy they are to make, well, Hello! I make them quite often at home now!

Pro tip: Do NOT use store-bought frozen mangos. It is well worth it to cut up fresh sweet mango chunks and freeze them an hour or so ahead for the tastiest Mexican treat ever!”

Ingredients

For the Glass:

  • 1 teaspoon chamoy (Mexican chili fruit condiment)
  • 1 teaspoon chili-lime seasoning (such as Tajin®)

For the Mangonada:

  • 1 cup Mango chunks, frozen
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ medium lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chamoy (Mexican chili fruit condiment)
  • 1 teaspoon chili-lime seasoning (such as Tajin®)
  • 2 tablespoons diced fresh mango

Directions

  1. Place 1 teaspoon chamoy on a plate. Place 1 teaspoon chili-lime seasoning on another plate. Dip rim of glass first in chamoy, then in chili-lime seasoning. Set aside.
  2. Combine frozen mango, water, and lime juice in a blender; blend until smooth.
  3. Place 1/2 tablespoon chamoy in the bottom of the glass. Add 1/2 teaspoon chili-lime seasoning and 1/2 of the blended mangoes. Repeat layers and top with diced fresh mango.

    A message from Jimmy of LolaBean Yarn Co.:

    Greetings and salutations!

    As many of you are aware, we experienced a tremendous loss recently. After five and a half years of battling various cancer diagnoses (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and cholangiocarcinoma), we said goodbye to our beloved Matilde Cruz, affectionately known as Grandma Bean, on Friday, February 16, 2024. She was in the company of her two amazing children, Adella Colvin and Charles Lynch, as she closed her eyes and made her transition to the other side.

    Matilde lived a life of service. From her time spent in the US Air Force to teaching in underserved communities, she left an indelible mark on the lives of so many. Despite going through aggressive chemotherapy sessions and facing incredible odds, she still found a way to serve and take care of others.

    She would often cook and bring food to other patients undergoing treatment and the staff of the Oncology Department at the James J. Peters Veterans Administration Medical Center in the Bronx (Bronx VA). This brought her immense joy and satisfaction to know that she was fueling those that are responsible for taking care of so many others and those answered the call to service of our nation.

    I was personally amazed to see how she managed to control her destiny in her final days by dictating to her daughter and her best friend, Victoria, the details of how she wanted to be laid to rest. There was one thing that she did find challenging and that was what she wanted her last act of service to be. That’s when the universe did, what the universe does….

    It was during one of the last visits that Matilde’s Oncology Team made at her bedside that the idea was birthed. Adella asked the team if she were to help raise money, how could she ensure that the funds would go directly to their department. It was at that point that Matilde perked up and was overcome with joy as this would be a great way to support the team that provided the best care and comfort that they could for her.

    After a meeting of the minds, which consisted of multiple email exchanges between doctors, a patient, and the Executive Director of the Bronx Veterans Medical Research Foundation (BVMRF), a plan was put together to support the BVMRF and the Oncology Department at the Bronx VA.

    The underlying mission of the BVMRF is to ensure that more Veterans receive the best quality of care possible as a way of thanking them for their selfless service to our country. They support these efforts by administering and supporting research, educational and quality improvement projects at the VA so that Veterans can benefit from new treatments, technology, and unique health education opportunities.

    As part of providing better quality of life for patients, and to honor Matilde’s life of service, a new program will be implemented called Mattie’s Meals. This program will provide hot meals for those undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the Bronx VA. Even in her absence, her legacy of taking care of others will live on.

    If you have read this far, thank you!

    There are three ways that you can donate to this cause:

    1.     Check payments made out to the following:
    Bronx Veterans Medical Research Foundation
    130 West Kingsbridge Road
    Bronx, New York 10468
    Memo/ref: Oncology-MCruz Giving

    2.     Online donations:
    https://www.bvmrf.org/donate
    Direct gift to: Oncology-MCruz Giving

    3.     The “Mattie’s Life of Service” GoFundMe campaign.

    Every quarter, the LBYC Team typically announces a “Cause of the Quarter” (COTQ) where we select a campaign and/or organization that aligns with our overall goal of making things better for EVERYONE. We like to keep track of and provide receipts for all the causes that we announce. This allows us to highlight how much the community that we’ve helped to build shows up for worthy causes. Rather than a COTQ, we are making this our only cause for 2024, which is why we created the GoFundMe campaign for this effort.

    As a Veteran, I cannot think of a better way to memorialize my mother-in-law and to continue her life’s work of taking care of others.

    We want to thank you all for your words of comfort and support during our time of bereavement. As always, please be kind to yourselves, check in on your loved ones and try to not take this opportunity that we call life for granted.

    If your spirit moves you to do so, we ask that you please share this post and the GoFundMe link so that we can reach as many people as possible.

    – Jimmy

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