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Topic: Opening a Yarn Store  (Read 3682 times)
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JustonsGirl
« on: October 15, 2004 10:17:05 AM »

Hey everyone...

I've been thinking lately about how nice it would be to open my own yarn store someday...when my husband and I are financially stable (we're only 21!) and when I'm "ready" to do so.  I think it would be great to have a little place that sells good quality yarn and offers classes and everything but doesn't have that pretentious vibe that SO MANY yarn stores I've visited seem to have.  I would like it to be inviting to every level of crafters, from beginners to advanced.  A warm, nice little place where people could come, ask questions, and just take their time to pick out what they need.

Does anyone have experience with this?  I know there are so many online ventures going on now, but I would like to have something more tangible:-)  What kind of money does this require?  What kind of connections or expertise or ambition or knowledge?  This is way in my future, but it's the first thing that makes sense when I ask myself what I want to make a career out of.  I was thinking that I would work on becoming a master knitter and improving my own craft first, too.   

Any advice?
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midnightsky1686
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2004 05:42:45 PM »

If you goover to knitter's review (sorry, youll have to google it for the address) they have a whole section on ideal yarn stores
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lizajane73
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2004 04:55:04 PM »

I'm seriously pondering starting my own business. I would like to open a hybrid book and yarn store. It would be like the best living room in the world X 20 - overstuffed couches, coffee, SnB-type meetings, book clubs, someplace where knitters (or crocheters, or readers) could come and be happy for hours.  It would have an online store (and eventually a catalog), and crafted goods on consignment.

But I have a few questions that I would like to put to my fellow craftsters:

1. If there are already a couple of yarn stores (not counting joann's, tall mouse, etc.) in my area - some wonderful, some not so good - is it bad of me to enter the market? a) because it could be oversaturated, and b) because I would hate to take business from some fabulous people I adore who already have shops. A popular local store is going out of business, so mine *could* be a not too big a shock to the equilibrium.

2. Are there any knitters/crocheters/readers who would be willing to be surveyed by me regarding their "consumption" habits? I have a roughly 2 page survey that I am using to gain market data - how much yarn do you buy, how many places do you get it from, how much time do you spend each week, how often do you knit outside your home, what do you like about where you shop now, what don't you like, etc.  I would appreciate any input I could get, but especially craftsters in Orange County, California.

3. If there are any shop proprietors who want to share some "lessons learned" I am all EARS!!

Thank you in advance for all your input,

Lisa
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2004 10:42:46 AM »

Hmmm, while I totally wish you lived in the Texas Gulf Coast and would open something like that near me ;-)  I'd be pretty conserned if one of the popular stores is going out of business; it sounds like the market might already be a wee bit saturated.

Part of owning a business is accepting competition; I wouldn't be too concerned with hurting people's feelings, healthy competition can turn out to be really great for both stores.  Done correctly a la advirtising and marketing in general, more stores could mean more exposure to the community in general and therefore more converts to the fabulous world of knitting/crocet and could ultimately result in more business for everyone.

Ahhh the risk of starting your own business, mais oui?  ;-)  Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck!
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lizajane73
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2005 03:41:35 PM »

Thanks, islandgirl! 

Good point about the competition... i'm such a wussy sometimes.

The store that's closing is due to a death of one of the owners, so hopefully saturation hasn't been reached yet. You bring up a good point about the marketing & advertising for exposure - it totally made me realize how critical groups and classes would be to its success.

Maybe one day you'll be able to come visit! Smiley
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jezebel7383
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2005 03:46:40 PM »

I think the idea is awesome. I wish I had the money to do something similar; there isn't a whole lot of places to go up here. If you need a survey guinea pig contact me. And I agree with Islandgirl about competition. Everyone appreciates options. Good luck!
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2005 10:30:41 PM »

whereabouts in Orange county are you opening this store? If it's near me, prepare my overstuffed couch. I'll be living there! jk, I think it's a great idea. Personally, i shop at michaels for yarn. The store near me, however, usually only has generic stuff... I kind of want more 'characteristic' yarn. I crochet and am in the process of learning to knit. Your store sounds awesome, and if it happens, which i hope it does, i want to come!
best of luck! :]
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2005 11:48:42 AM »

Keep in mind that allowing people to come in and spend the whole day on your couches is a nice idea, but they aren't regularily buying goods and services from you how will you pay you bills? I remember reading a case in marketing about many stores who offered this to their customers and eventually removed their comfy seating since their sales were down!
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lizajane73
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2005 12:53:53 PM »

Jezebel - Thanks for volunteering. I have the survey on my work computer, so I'll send it to you tomorrow. Feel free to only answer what you feel like answering.

ph33lth3lov3 - i would like to do it in Irvine, because that's where i live, but 1) retail space is expensive and 2) none of the white-bread strip malls really has the flavor i'm looking for *except* maybe the woodbridge center, but things keep going out of business there and there's a B&N so that's probably out. That being said, I've been pricing and looking for retail space in Old Town Orange or Old Town Tustin. I love how all how they have all those tiny stores that are like renovated houses.

Lia - that's a good point. I guess I will need to kind of watch it and see how it goes. My original premise was that when at SnB we're there for a couple hours and I keep getting up and buying more yarn, or needles, or pattens, etc. I hope that if people are doing comsumable type things in the chairs (knitting, scrapbooking, etc) they will buy supplies while there.
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2005 01:02:40 PM »

I'll take your survey.
PS- That idea is great. My mom and I were discussing a yarn store with a bigger sit-around area, with more activities the other day.
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