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A Black Dyer Shakes Up the White-Dominated Yarn Industry

Adella Colvin’s LolaBean brand, named for her daughter, is sold in shops around the country.
Adella Colvin

Adella Colvin

Photographer: Lynsey Weatherspoon for Bloomberg Businessweek

Adella Colvin was 34, recently married, and living in Georgia when she first visited a yarn shop on her own five years ago. One of her neighbors had suggested knitting as a hobby. Colvin figured she’d give it a try and headed to a shop in South Carolina, about 40 minutes from where she lived.

That experience could easily have become her last. Colvin barely made it past the front door when the owner, an older White woman, stepped in her way. “My bathroom is for customers only,” the proprietor declared.