Monday, December 12, 2005

Lest you think I've fallen off the face of the earth

Things are a bit over the top here in the Lovie household. I'm not sure if I've ever been this busy in my entire life. Between shop doings, mommy duties, household chores, and Christmas, I'm now close to certifiable.

First, there have been BIG things going on for Yarntopia. We have placed huge orders with Plymouth, GGH, Louisa Harding, and Cascade. On Thursday of this week, we will order our Rowan, Classic Elite, & Nashua. The rep that is coming on Thursday also sells Crystal Palace, Trendsetter, and Colinette. We may pick up a little novelty from Crystal Palace. I think we will pass on Trendsetter this go round. One of my big hang-ups is Colinette. I think it is a beautiful yarn, just WAY to expensive for what it is. That says a lot because I will spend a lot on yarn. I know many yarn stores carry it, but to be honest with you, I've never seen anyone actually buy it. What are y'alls opinions? Is this a must carry line?

Now for the things that have given me heartburn this past week. I figure I'll start with the bad and end with the good. Our Plymouth rep put a whammy on us. After we told her on three separate occasions NOT to fill the order right away (what am I going to do with $11K worth of yarn in my house) she filled the order anyway. Sheryl and I were L-I-V-I-D!! We think she did it so that she could count that big order on her last quarter sales. Not only that, she blamed me for the mistake! And to add insult to injury, she didn't apologize!!! She has been put in Amy's permanent black book. Not a good place to be if you know me. After a huge "come to Jesus" with her on the phone, our money was put back into our account.

Next we have the incident that occurred while meeting with the Louisa Harding rep. First let me say that she was lovely. Very professional, knowledgeable, and helpful. Hopefully she is also an understanding person as well because my children were monsters while she was here. There was fighting, television watching at concert level decibels, bathroom going with the door open, numerous pesterings and interruptions, and jumping off of God knows what upstairs that nearly made my chandelier fall off of the ceiling. I was so humiliated and mad when she left, I knew I couldn't punish them. CPS might have gotten involved. I did the old "just you wait until your father gets home". There punishment was no playgroup that week and no TV for two days. A huge deal to five year olds. Needless to say when the Cascade rep came on Saturday, there were no incidents.

Now for the good news. I LOOOOVE the Small Business Administration. I'm finally getting to use a government program!! They have held our hand through the entire business plan and loan approval process. It looks like we will have no trouble acquiring a loan. They also have lawyers, accountants, and other experts to help us every step of the way at no or a reduced fee.

I am still knitting on top of all of this. I have finished all but one of my Christmas presents. I'm also knitting hats for the girls that match their winter coats. I'll post a picture when I'm finished with both of them.

Finally, Knitizen tagged me with an easy meme. Post a picture of where you knit. I won't tag anyone in particular for this one. Please post if you like.


Blogger Jes said...

You are a brave woman! I know it's must be insane at your house, but I'm sure all your hard work will pay off. Good luck with everything!

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Brynne said...

I think Collinette is too expensive, too. My stash takes up an entire large closet, so I'm not exactly shy about spending money on yarn.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Wow! I would be certifiable too if I was dealing with all of that. I hope that things settle down for you and that you have a nice, restful holiday!

8:00 AM  
Blogger Saun said...

I've heard good things about Collinette although I've never actually seen anyone knit with it. I would hold out on it. The Plymouth rep was definitely trying to pull a fast one. Who knew yarn was such a cut throat business? I hope things go more smoothly in the future. I'm sure things will calm down one the new year hits.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Holy moly, Amy, you are a wonder woman! All of this would be work enough if it weren't also the holiday season -- I can only imagine the stress that must add. Too bad your daughters aren't quite old enough to be happy with a fistfull of cash for Christmas.

Seriously, though, it sounds like you're handling things brilliantly, and it will all pay off hugely in the end.

P.S. I would say pick a few awesome, worth-the-money luxury yarns and leave most of your space for awesome mid-price-point yarns. I've never used Collinette, though.

P.P.S. Know what would be cool? If you set up an arrangement with a couple other yarn stores that might carry different yarns than you do, wherein you call each other if a customer is looking for a yarn that you don't carry and arrange to get it from the other shop for them. Am I explaining that right? So if someone comes in looking for Collinette, rather than just saying you don't have it, you can say, let me check with [other yarn store] and see if I can get it here. I bet your customers would appreciate it, you'd have access to a larger inventory, and you and the other store(s) could work out an arrangement where you split the profits or something. Am I making sense? Probably not. This may also be a dumb/infeasible idea, but I just sort of thought it up as I went along and didn't really think about the logistics.

Wow, I'm totally jamming up your comments here. Sorry.

8:12 AM  
Blogger knittingnurse said...

I am so sorry that you have so much on your hands right now. I do know that if anyone can keep it together it will be you! Good for you for standing up to the plymouth lady. Some people have some nerve don't they? As far as colinette, I keep oooing over it whenever I see it but I just can't take the plunge to wack down that much money for it. I too can spend money on some expensive yarns but their yarn is a bit over the top even for me. Stick with the mid-price good stuff and add a few expensive but more for your money than colinette for those of us who like to splurge!

9:37 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Wow, you have been dealing with a lot! I'm glad you got your money back and that your girls learned to behave while you are doing business. I enjoy living vicariously through your small business adventures!

9:38 AM  
Blogger geoknitter said...

I agree with the others on the Colinette issue. I can't imagine every making more than a scarf with their yarn, and there are just so many other wonderful scarf yarns out there to play with. Cascade yarns are great, so I'm glad you're working with them.

Good luck!

10:00 AM  
Blogger keohinani said...

omg amy! your house is crazy!
i don't think i've ever heard of anyone purchasing colinette either. and wow, you guys will be carrying rowan!? none of the stores here in hawaii carry it, and of course, it's become one of my favorites so if ever you open up an online store down the road you can bet i'd put money on it! ;) but the whole process seems so exciting!
that plymouth rep was something else! and omg, the louisa harding rep! i'm sure if she was a mom, she'd totally understand.
your house is so lovely, btw. :)

10:10 AM  
Blogger Mom (a.k.a. Mary Ann) said...

I have known you longer than anyone else in the whole world. Well, maybe your twin brother has known you that long too, but he wasn't paying as much attention those first 9 months as I was. Anyway, I am absolutely sure you can handle all of this.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Isela said...

wowzie! You are superwoman, but you can do it, you can do it! Get some yummy yarns :).

11:59 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

It sounds like you're really busy! I am so excited about your store. I've never used Colinette yarn so I'm not sure I would spend that much on it - probably not!

My kids have been out of control lately so I'm no help there. Sounds like you did a good job getting them to behave so hopefully they learned their lesson and won't do it again!

And thanks for sharing your knitting spot with us!

1:48 PM  
Blogger candsmom said...

Gosh, if I had one tenth as much going on as you do, I'd be certifiable, too!! I can't believe the nerve of that Plymouth rep! Good for you for standing up for yourself and getting the money credited back to your account. And I had to laugh about you not punishing the kids for fear of CPS needing to become involved if you did. :-) I know it wasn't funny at all at the time, but I'm sure the rep totally understands. If she's a mom or has ever spent time around kids, she'd definitely understand how they pick the most inopportune moments to let loose! You're juggling so much right now but you're doing a great job...hang in there, Amy! We're all cheering you on! :-) Take care!

3:44 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

I'm sure I've seen it, but I haven't paid enough attention to Colinette to even know what it is. My vote, for what it's worth, is that I can't wait to buy Nashua and some Blue Sky Alpaca from you, so the Colinetee won't be missed.

All this, and you're still a nice person. You are certainly amazing, Amy. (If you send your girls out to find a new place to live, let me know. I'll either take them, or put Meg out with them. It's a crazy time of year, for sure.)

3:57 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

your house is way too clean.

I'd suggest passing on the Collinette until your business is more established. It's crazy expensive and not terribly practical if you ask me.

4:18 PM  
Blogger strangelittlemama said...

I am soooo excited for you! I want to open a Knitting Cafe with Scout someday!
Your living room looks so clean and non-child-infiltrated!

5:14 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

Yowza! You have so much going on all at once. I hope you're able to turn off the brain at night and sleep like a baby. How exciting though! It sounds like things are really coming together.

I think sales reps come in good, bad, and evil. There's a small press book rep that it literally banned from my library, as in call the police if he comes through the door. *shudder*

5:22 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Whew! That is a lot to be dealing with. I'm glad the money was put back into your account. I wouldn't trust that rep again though.

That couch looks like quite a comfy place to knit!

7:24 PM  
Blogger Lolly said...

I just love hearing about the yarn shop from this side of things - so interesting! Sorry about the problems with the reps though! That is really not good.

Ahem - am I the only person here that has knit with Colinette? I have used Giotto, Tagliatelli, and Point Five, and really loved them all... the Giotto made my favorite scarf of all time... It is a beautiful yarn. I got the first two retail at the LYS - only one skein each. The Point Five, I picked up 2 skeins on Ebay for cheap. I would never buy Colinette for a sweater or anything - that would be too pricey, but I do really like the yarns I have used.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

I agree with Rachel about working together with other stores in the area to refer customers for items you or the other stores don't carry. That seems to work pretty well within our LYS group in town.

IMO, Colinette is way too pricey for what you get. I'd hold off on stocking that.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I am thrilled to hear about your start-up! I envy you like crazy.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Catherine Kerth said...

WOW! glad the girls acyted like sane little people when the cascade rep. visited :) iI like the idea of mis priced yarn.. once in a while i have been known to purchase expensive yarn though ;)

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Jeanie said...

Hey Amy!!! Was your Plymouth rep Gail? I don't do sales reps at all anymore. I can't stand the high pressure sales and simply phone my order in to the companies when I'm ready.

I am so glad to hear that things are going well for you. The SBA is great and will help you a lot!

Take care and hang in there -- hopefully things will slow down (for all of us) after the holidays.

9:32 PM  
Blogger traveling knitter said...

I'm just weighing in with my vote on Colinette. I've seen it....petted it.....loved it...and left it. It's way too expensive I think.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

wow and I thought I was busy! ;o) I'm sure you'll handle it all - and then some :o)

11:57 AM  
Blogger JustApril said...

Dern, gerrrl - that's a bunch. My kids have had many a day like that, and I understand those feelings deep within the soul where you just have to walk away. I've also found that a nervous breakdown in the middle of the night actually gives you a little perspective the next day and by day 3 you are pretty much normal. lol - thanx for the compliment of my DS =)

6:21 PM  
Anonymous knit chick said...

You certainly have been busy! I'm so excited for you and Sheryl. It sounds like it's going to be a great shop!

7:47 PM  

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