About Premier Needle Arts

The Premier Needle Arts family of companies offer four leading, top-of-mind consumer brands with more than 18,000 products, which are either self-manufactured, or are sourced from the highest quality manufacturers around the globe. Today, our brands are sold directly through our own consumer sites, Amazon, and through select independent partners.

We employ more than 200+ team members, located in 8 states and two countries. These team members are dedicated to passionate innovation, with emphasis on ease of use and high quality. Education, training, and inspiration go hand-in-hand with providing the best tools and products to support our customers’ creative endeavors. Each day, you will find our team focused on designing, creating, manufacturing, and delivering products to our passionate makers around the globe.

Premier Needle Arts is located in Vancouver, WA and is proud to be part of Blue Point Capital Partners family. To learn more about our companies and brands, please visit them at their corresponding websites.

The Crafts Group (Vancouver, WA) is a leading supplier of consumable products used in various enthusiast markets, including knitting, quilting, and crochet.

VISIT SITE

Crafts Group Distribution (Columbus, OH) Ohio-based distribution center provides fulfillment services for Crafts Group and our partner company, Superior Threads.

VISIT SITE

Berroco Facility (North Smithfield, RI) Leading supplier of knitting and crochet yarns and patterns serving Local Yarn Shops (LYS) and e-commerce retailers.

VISIT SITE

Our “We Believe” statements are our core values and philosophies, which drive our actions daily.

We Believe

  • …engaging with our consumers emotionally, before monetarily, provides a more meaningful and lasting relationship.

  • …our brands are central to our overall success.

  • … in building products or services with a value proposition in mind.

  • … we are a TEAM!  Working together WE will accomplish more than as individuals.

  •   Diversity and inclusion are part of our DNA.  Together we are building an inclusive culture that encourages, supports and celebrates diverse voices, internally and externally.

  • … in being accountable to ourselves, our team members, and our consumers (do what we say, when we say).

  • … in having a family-friendly environment, because work is not everything, it is just a portion of life.

Leadership

Matt Petkun

President, Crafts Group, Direct-to-Consumer Division

Matt Petkun is the President of Crafts Group, LLC. The direct to consumer division of Premier Needle Arts, a manufacturer and ecommerce retailer of, headquartered in Washington State, with a distribution facility in Ohio, and light manufacturing facility in Dongguan China. The Crafts Group division operates direct-to-the-consumer brands: Knit Picks, Connecting Threads, Superior Threads and We Crochet. Matt purchased the Crafts Group in 2009, from his family. Matt is a seasoned ecommerce leader, providing strategy and technology experience to growing brands and companies.

Prior to his role at Crafts, Matt spent 11 years in technology investment banking and equity research with D.A. Davidson & Company.  Matt’s industry work focused on the semiconductor and related systems software industries.

Matt received his Bachelor’s degree from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, and has completed graduate work in History at the University of Notre Dame. Matt serves on the boards of several private companies in the retail and consumer ecommerce space, as well as non-profit organizations. Matt resides in Bend, OR where he enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and three children.

Kara Tripp

VP Operations – DTC/GM Columbus

Kara is a natural builder of both people and culture.  Joining Crafts Americana Group (CAG) in September of 2008, she brought her background and expertise in warehouse and people management.   Over the years Kara has held various management positions within CAG/PNA and was elevated to Vice President of Operations for the DTC brands in 2018, increasing her responsibility and oversight.   Kara’s current role and responsibility is for purchasing, inventory management, and warehouse management, including all light assembly functions within the Columbus facility. Her focused leadership continues to build a highly engaged, continuous improvement minded team.  With Kara’s oversight, new projects, process, and implementation work to drive efficiency, including a major warehouse automation initiative (Fall 2020) to facilitate growth and efficiency for the direct to consumer brands.

Kara holds a bachelor of arts from Grace College where she also participated in athletics, holding records in both basketball and softball.  Kara’s interests include running, with 1 road and 2 trail marathons under her belt, weekend hikes in the hills of Southeast Ohio with her dogs, boating, and spending time with her better half and friends.

Warren Wheelock

Executive Vice President, Berroco

Warren Wheelock established the Berroco brand of handknitting yarns over 40 years ago. Berroco yarns and patterns are sold primarily through local yarn stores (LYS) throughout North America. The company is based out of North Smithfield, Rhode Island in a former Tupperware factory.

His focus is technical development of yarns and brand marketing. He has a long family tradition in textiles and worked for many years for a family woolen mill, Stanley Woolen Inc., located in Uxbridge MA.

He holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from the University of Vermont.

He is an avid outdoors person, and enjoys hiking, running, biking and skiing. 

Caroline Wheelock

Director of Berroco Product Development

Caroline has led Berroco product development since 1986. Her focus is on developing and strengthening relationship with suppliers and sourcing products for the North American market. She and her husband, Warren, co-manage the Berroco operations. 

She grew up in the French textile industry as her family owned a yarn manufacturing business and graduated from the Universite Catholique de Lille.  

Caroline is an avid knitter and an occasional gardener. She and Warren have two grown children and a cat.

They both enjoy the great outdoors and love to escape for biking and hiking in the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire.