Does anyone have suggestions on how to find wholesale yarns, specialty yarns, or other suggestions? maybe recommendations of some wonderful yarn I HAVE to stock? I have been given the opportunity to open my own shop (my dream!!) and I have no idea how to go about it. I have years (ages, really) of experience with knitting, crocheting, felting, and anything needleworky (that's a word), but I've never started a shop before. Where does one start? Thanks to ANYone who is willing to offer suggestions.
There's lots of free info for business owners at www.sba.gov
I would also talk to several owners of successful yarn stores for advice.
Let us know when you open your store!
The National Needlearts Association is a great place to start. They have some booklets you can buy which would give you a rough estimate for start up costs. Its geared just to needleworkers, knitters, etc. Just google it .
Where will you open your shop? I am real excited for you and your new venture and wish you alot of luck!
Trish, how exciting! Good luck to you! To find wholesalers, I'd go on line to some manufacturers' sites, like Patton's or Ella Rae, and get the contact info to find out who wholesales their products. From there you can contact the wholesaler to see what other lines they carry. Make sure you have a business/marketing plan, and that you actually make a profit on your sales. There's nothing so frustrating as working seven days a week and taking home no money because you wanted to give everyone a good deal. Make sure you have money to build an inventory and have enough of a cash reserve or line of credit to tide you over until you start building a customer base and selling product. I'd want my store to be well stocked so when people came in they didn't feel the need to go anywhere else. Offer classes and help for when people get stuck. Here's something we don't really have in Denver - someone who will sew sweaters together for a reasonable price. Many knitters hate doing that, and one shop has a gal who will do it for $75! That's too much. Maybe you could do a "bring in your most hated task and we'll do it together" night.
A friend opened a shop last year and she is having very good success, and here's my opinion of why: She's in a desireable neighborhood that isn't too close to other yarn shops, it's decorated very nicely, she has good lighting so you can see the yarn colors, she put in a couple of nice big tables and comfortable chairs so customers can come in and sit and chat and knit, she put in an espresso machine and sells coffee drinks, she offers a bunch of classes, she helps out with local charity causes, she has knowledgeable staffers, she does an email newsletter announcing stuff like trunk shows, sales, classes, events, etc., and she has a broad range of yarn options in tons of colors in many price points. She bought an inventory program for the register and puts those little bar code tags on each ball so they ring up correctly and she can track sales. She also sells gift cards.
Now here's the downside - make sure you have enough help because at the beginning you'll be working all day every day you're open. You'll be paying rent and utilities and your staff whether customers are spending money or not, and the #1 reason most young businesses go under is being under capitalized. The other post suggesting talking to the SBA was very good advice.
I hope you take the plunge, good luck and have fun!
Congratulations and the best of luck and success.
yes, please let us know where you are opening your store. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it's somewhere near Elizabethtown, KY, LOL. We really could use a good yarn store.
i know this may be too late. I really hope you were able to go ahead with your dream.. I had the same dream 5 years ago. I only had my store for a year and had to close it but it was a wonderful experience and I have no regrets at all. My problem was that I had enough money for startup but then did not make profit enough to keep going. It takes time. I meet some of the most wonderful people who are still friends today. Contact me if I can be of any help at all. Good luck,
Your wish came true, Claudia!
thank you so much for your continued support!
Blueball Mountain Spindle & Needleworks
I am very interested in doing the same thing. I just do not have one clue on where to begin?? I want to start small, I was even thinking about going to my neighborhood coffee shop and possibly doing a knit knit a couple times a month and get a consensus if a knit shop would do well in my town. Where do I begin?????
Hi, I think this is a great idea. I also believe that no matter how small you begin, you will want to expand very rapidly as Crafts is a major part of our lives today. Personally, I would start by gathering a poll so to speak, but talking with people in your circle (friends), church, associations etc to get a feel of how receptive they would be and if they would in fact support the shop, which I might add, most will. You could also hook up with some of the larger specialty threads via the Internet and explain what you want to do and see if they would be willing to guide you and perhaps work with you on a small scale level, as most of them want mass production sales, but you just might find some who are willing to work with you.
If you need a website to show off your shop, promote your products, showcase your completed items, then might I suggest we have a chat personally via email!
First things first tho, make a list of the types of things you want to carry, it will most likely be a very long one, then you can scrunch it down depending upon the amount of space and the cost of the overhead you are looking at. There really are many things that one has to consider before operating their own, which I am sure you have already investigated.
Just throwing my 2 cents worth into the mix, hope it helps. May you have much success in your endeavors.
May you be blessed in all you do, say, think and in your actions.
thanks for the help guys.
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Hello I know this post was long ago... I have a question I am in the process of writing my business plan to open a yarn store.... the closest one to me is about 30 minutes, I live in a very good area to open a little shop. I also intend to offer classes and after school sessions for the extra income. i was wondering if you could give me a little advice. thank you Nina