Philadelphia Is Now Home to a Yarn Vending Machine



When 24-year-old Emani Outterbridge was stuck at home with a broken foot this past spring, she got to thinking of new ways to bring her self-made designer yarn to DIYers around Philadelphia. What she landed on was the idea of a yarn-dispensing vending machine, which she floated to her followers on social media. They responded enthusiastically, and after a whirlwind fundraising campaign, Outterbridge ordered three machines, ready to be stocked with rows of brightly colored skeins that sell for $5.00 each. With the first vending machine located inside Philly barber shop Elements of Grooming already a proven success, she’s now looking to place the remaining two at other local businesses before ordering more. Outterbridge doesn’t just make designer yarn — she also crochets custom items for her fashion line under the name “Emani Milan.” She’s been crocheting since she was 12 years old, and launched her own online business at age 15 after finishing an entrepreneur course in high school. Outterbridge is hoping to open her own brick-and-mortar store in order to give people round-the-clock access to yarn.