Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tangled Up

It's been a couple days since my last post. I've been a little tangled up around the house. In fact, when I'm done writing, I'll be heading into my studio to organize this yarn. Why is it that no matter how neatly I put away my yarn, it always ends up looking like this?

Well, it's the weekend after Thanksgiving and the neighbors are starting to decorate their houses for Christmas. My email inbox is full of ads from any retailer who's managed to procure my address. Blockbuster movies are filling the theaters. Ready or not, it seems the holiday season is here.

As for me, I'm not thinking about the upcoming holidays just yet. The approach of early December represents something different to me. It means that the anniversary of Wind Rose Fiber Studio is coming. This year, on December 8th, I will have been in business for 3 years.

Really, December 8 could come and go and change nothing but the date on the calendar, but for some reason, the anniversary affects me significantly. I start to think about what I should change and what I should keep the same. I end up organizing and planning. How do I make Wind Rose even better in the upcoming year?

I can get seriously caught up in organizing. My brain starts to look a bit like this yarn photograph. I stay up late at night with notepads and my laptop as though I were running an empire and not a small craft business. The results of my efforts are usually minor, but worthwhile.

Last year I expanded my inventory and took my accounting online. This year I've decided to commit to keeping a group of core colors in stock. I like the idea of being the place where you can find a huge variety of hand dyed colors any day of the year. When I was writing down the colors I had to have, the list grew long. For every color of the rainbow, I want a cool and warm represented as well as a light and dark shade. I also want to include the earth tones not to mention grey and black. By the time I was done, I narrowed my list to 40 colors. These are just core colors mind you, there are others I'd like to include if time allows.

I don't think it would be practical to undertake this goal with every fiber I sell, so I've decided to keep my core colors in Merino wool. Merino is by far the most popular fiber I carry. For two other favorite wools, Falkland and BFL, I'll keep smaller, more primary selections. I'll try to do the same for soy silk if I can ever get enough back in stock. There is one more fiber dear to me and that is Firestar. I will keep a selection of colors in stock for this fiber too. As for blends and silks and all the other wonderful wools out there, I'll keep stocking them in ecru, but will probably only dye them upon request. This makes sense to me as the demand for them is much less.

So, with my anniversary looming, I'll be dyeing pounds of wool in all of the core colors I have chosen. This should take me a couple weeks to accomplish. Then the real test will start. The goal is to keep these colors available consistently throughout the year. I suppose it won't be long before I know if this is a reasonable goal or if I have chosen too great a number of colors. I'll be back another day with that color list so you know what you can expect to find at Wind Rose in 2011.

1 comment:

Heather Woollove said...

This sounds like a very sensible business plan!! I love the idea of 'cleaning out, planning and fine-tuning' at this time of year. (Usually, my big 'clean out' doesn't happen until I take down the Christmas ornaments and look around...with horror!!) :)
Good luck and happy Holidays!