Monday, 2 April 2012

Shop Talk

I've been busy carding for the past 3 days. Turning a drum carder to prepare 3 kg of fibre gives you a lot of time to think...
I've been thinking, there's been a few upsets with in the UK fibre world, a couple of yarn shops (bricks and mortar, but with an online presence, have gone out of business), and the giant ACM debacle just keeps rumbling on.
A few more prominent yarn dyers have written a few posts recently that have made me think, this one, by Posh Yarn's Dee, about customer service, and this one, by Natalie of The YarnYard, about targets and resolutions.

Those posts, coupled with a customer service incident regarding something I bought that left me incandescent with rage, have been churning round in my head.

I believe in treating my customers how I would like to be treated.
If someone is not happy about something I have sold them I will do my level best to put it right. I make mistakes, I am human, give me a chance to fix them, and I will. Email works best, but Etsy convo's and Ravelry messages are ok if that's what you'd rather do.

I work hard at this business, I have grown it from nothing in the space of just under a year. I am extraordinarily proud of what I have achieved, but I do have a few rules for myself.
What you see, in the shop, is usually what I have in stock. I don't overcommit myself, this is a one-woman show, and it won't do anyone any good for me to be over stretched.

The same thing applies to the fibre club, there are only 22 spaces, I'm certain it could be bigger if I wanted, but there's only so much of the same sort of fibre I can face prepping in one go. This way, I stay in control, I only have to take a few days out of my regular schedule to get the parcels ready (I do have plans for a different sort of club that has the potential to be bigger though)

I owe it to myself to pay myself a decent wage. Since I started, I have put prices up, some things have got more expensive, others I was massively undercharging for. I will keep looking at prices, doing the sums, and deciding wether I am being fair to myself, and to you. Some things won't need to increase in price, because I can buy more of them, I can get the raw ingredients cheaper. I started the business using my final wage packet from teaching, things have grown a lot since then.

Growing the business is important to me, but I am realistic, there is only so far that I will be able to expand, and acknowledging that is important, a lot of businesses go bump because they grow too fast, and beyond their limits.

In short, the past year has been fantastic, I want to keep having fantastic years, and I hope I'll get to share a few more years with you as my customers.


  1. Sounds like you have everything in hand! I agree that you need to grow sensibly.

  2. Great post Katie. I, too, agree that you need to reasonably manage your growth in order not to compromise quality, customer service and your own sanity! Don't let the business run you! :D