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“It’s disappointing and frustrating, and I don’t think anybody likes it” — Pussy Hat designer leaving Atwater Village behind

BY LUCY GUANUNA

ATWATER VILLAGEThe Little Knittery, home of the Pussy Hat — the pink, cat-eared knitted caps worn by thousands of demonstrators during the Women’s March — is being forced to seek a new location after the landlord refused to renew the lease, said the store owner.

Kat Coyle said the doors of her Glendale Boulevard shop will remain open through April. But she is unsure whether the shop will still be open in May.  The landlord is hoping to bring in someone who will open a restaurant or cafe, she said.

“The timing is all up in the air,” said Coyle. “It depends on if [the space] is rented to somebody else.”

Coyle bought the yarn shop from its previous owners four years ago and has since built a solid base of customers who come for the shop’s fair trade and sustainably-sourced materials and classes. But the Little Knittery got much busier after Coyle created the pattern for the Pussy Hat after Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the November presidential election.

The pattern for the hot pink hats was made available for free and “Pussyhat Knitting Parties” were held at the Little Knittery on Fridays leading up to the Women’s March in January, when they were worn by thousands of demonstrators on the day after Trump’s inauguration.

“I was happy here and I was getting into a nice groove. I just had so much attention because of the Pussy Hat Project, so it’s weird to have so much happening and then all of a sudden it’s like, ‘I gotta go?’ It’s disappointing and frustrating, and I don’t think anybody likes it,” said Coyle.

The Little Knittery is one of many businesses on the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Edenhurst Avenue that have closed up shop to make way for businesses that cater to Atwater Village’s changing demographic.

Within the past three years, the corner’s long-time businesses have been replaced by a health food cafe, a solar panel showroom and a new clothing store that has yet to open. Coyle said she is the last to go.

“I don’t think there’s any fighting it. I wasn’t really given any options [to work out a deal], so I’m just going to go,” said Coyle.

Coyle has a new location lined up in Los Feliz and is waiting to sign the lease before making it public.

“I’m looking forward to my new location, I just gotta sign the lease first,” said Coyle.

Lucy Guanuna is a freelance reporter who has covered a variety of issues, including business, education and social justice movements in her native Los Angeles. Her work has been published in the Daily Sundial, L.A. Activist, and the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

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10 comments

  1. No one, not even the changing demographic in Atwater, has any interest in this stretch of new businesses. It’s half assed and souless now. Long live Villa Corona.

  2. Does anyone remember the casket showroom on that section of Glendale Blvd.? From what I remember, it was a few doors down from my dentists’ office.

    • I remember when I lived in Atwater in the early 2000s and the hood was starting to change quickly. On one of the local web chat pages for the neighborhood, so people were complaining about not wanting a coffin store in their hood. I think I took the bait and shot back a defense of the coffin store. There needs to be a coffin shop for the Atwater businesses that die!

  3. Lol. I’ve been in this store before and the reception was only rude. Why isn’t the headline: “knitting shop moves on after enjoying favorable lease terms”?

  4. I’m so glad you you found another location! I hope it does great things for your business there.

  5. Nevertheless…. you will persist!

  6. “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”… Out with the Old in with the New. Business is business. It was about time this shop left Atwater Village. Can’t wait for a new shop, something more hipster. Good riddance and welcome with open arms new tenant.

  7. I’m so sorry Kat. But we will all find you easy enough once you settle into the new place. You did great things at this location and you will do even more great things wherever you go, because you care enough about the important things to actually do something. Onward and upward.

  8. Sorry I have to agree with Buster… I’ve gone into this store several times and she is always rude to me too. If you aren’t a hard core knitter you aren’t really welcome.

  9. So tired of the flippers and greedy business landlords cannibalizing this neighborhood!!! I’ve lived here for 20 years; it was much better when it was a little sketchy, weird, and off the map.

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