Feast or Famine

>> Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sales in my shop have slowed since the holidays, which is to be expected. I've been trying not to purchase more fiber to dye until I sell some of what I have in current inventory. I created my first add for Ravelry, and have been taking time to finish my holiday knitting and recharge my dyer's batteries. I've signed up for two knit alongs, one of which is in progress now (the Girls' Night Out sock). The other will start in February, and is called the Evenstar Mystery Shawl, pattern by Susan Pandorff. I can't wait to get started on this, even though I still have a metric butt ton of things still on the needles. In a way it's been good that I haven't had a lot of sales, because I've gotten so behind with other things.

I do have to admit, though, that I was getting kind of nervous. I'd started to wonder if perhaps I wasn't meant to have the awesome fiber shop that I thought originally I was going to have. I'd started to think that maybe I didn't have what it took to create a fiber business. Or maybe that the things I'd created weren't as pretty as I had thought they were when I dyed them.

Then on Tuesday, one of the other English teachers came into my room. She know that I sell fiber and yarn, and wanted to purchase some yarn for a friend of hers. The only yarn I have right now is sock yarn, and she didn't want to gift such a thin yarn that might limit someone in terms of possiblew projects. "Well," I said. If you like any of the fibers I have in the shop, I can spin them up for you. It costs more for handspun, but I can spin it more thickly so it's more versitile."
"That sounds great. I'll take two."
I boggled. Two? Two skeins of hanspun? To price handspun I double the cost of the fiber. If there are problems (knots, bunches, etc.) I take a couple of dollars off. She wants Aroostook and Acadia to be spun into yarn. That's about 60 dollars! She didn't even blink when I quoted the prices to her. She even asked for a recommendation for a good knitting book (I chose All New Homespun Handknit by Amy C. Clark) and bought that an hour later. To say I was excited was an understatment. I haven't been able to spin for over a month due to the amout of knitting I've had to do, and so this was a perfect excuse to dig Brownwyn out and get some wheel time.
Later that day the other English teacher (there are three of us) heard the first talking about her purchase and said, "You know, Heather, it would be a great idea for my mom for Mother's Day. Could I get two as well?"
Boggle again. "Certainly," I said. "Which colorways would you like?"
"I can't decide," she said, perusing my shop. "Can I see them in person?"
The next morning (Wendesday) I brought all of my inventory to school to show the second English teacher. I even showed her what the first had purchased. As the second was ogling the fibers, the first came in, picked up the one skein of sock yarn I had and said, "I like this a lot. I'd like to have this, too."

Ummm, okay. That's FIVE items purchased in two days. I was even more excited than before and couldn't wait to get started. I took those listings off my Etsy shop and got to work.

Last night I got two emails. The first was from my friend Brandy who wants to buy two bundles of fiber from me (Gaia and Hestia). She will be picking them up tonight. The second is from a former customer who was writing to let me know that she spun my fiber into yarn and knit the yarn into a beret that she then submitted to Spin Off Magazine, in hopes of being included in an upcoming issue. If it is selected, my shop's name will appear in this magazine.

Oh. My. God.

I went from having no business for several weeks to having a violent boom of business in two days. I'm still reeling, but I'm having an awesome time. Maybe this is what I'm meant to do after all.

Hugs and warm thoughts to all of my customers, past, present and future!


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