My blog has been sick. I've finally nursed it back to health. What a not-fun experience that was.
I have updates for you!
We are almost done collecting squares for Knitters for Newtown. There's still time to get yours in, if you mail them in the next week or so. It will take us a bit of time to make all the blankets, and I'll be sure and update you on that! For reference, here is the mailing address:
Three Irish Girls
Attn: Knitters for Newtown
PO Box 161165
Duluth, MN 55816
I have another important announcement, too. One that I've giving very careful consideration to and am excited and nervous to take public.
I love my website. I love my local yarn shops. I love my customers. I love my family. And I've decided that I am going to focus my attention on helping yarn shops help you, our customers.
The decision not to sell yarn on our website anymore is a hard one. I've met some of the best people in the world because of my little internet domain. And now that we've met, we're not going to un-meet. I'm still going to be here.
I hear all the time from people that they don't have a local yarn shop to go to that sells our wares. They would really like to touch XYZ in person and decide on the exactly perfect shade of blue without the hazards of monitor calibration.
One of the reasons so many of you have a difficult time finding yarn locally is because we just don't have the capacity to sell via our website AND run our large yarn clubs AND do trunk shows AND have lots and lots of wholesale clients.
My love for the LYS has been well cemented over the past few years of traveling around the country from Florida to Alaska. I want to make sure you have a place to go to knitting nights, to take fun classes, to fondle lovely yarn, and to get help when you need it. Try as it might, the internet cannot replace a physical store.
And that's not to say that internet retailers won't continue to be a valuable part of our family. There will always be someone who lives just outside of driving distance from one of our retailers, or someone who needs a skein of something that their LYS doesn't have the shelf space for. We love our webstores too.
Making the move to selling yarn only through our retailers will also do something else, something even more important. It will give me more time to spend with my babies, who are growing at warp speed, and are practically ready for retirement.
Our internet business has grown rapidly over the past nine years. We've never seen less than 15% growth in a calendar year, and in some years, it's been closer to 50%. With 50% more business means 50% more emails and packages to ship, 50% more skeins to make perfect. All of that takes about 600% more time. Even with lots of help in the studio, the volume of emails and packages is just staggering.
As I was thinking about this issue, I kept asking myself the question, "What do I really want?"
I kept coming back to the same answers.
I want to use my creative talents to make people happy.
I want to do good in the world.
I want more time to kiss chubby cheeks and sticky fingers.
Once I figured out what I wanted, I needed to figure out how to get it, and after a lot of soul searching, this is what I came up with.
Shipping one big box to a local yarn shop instead of 120 individual packages a day will save over 40 hours a week in work. Answering twenty emails from yarn shops instead of six hundred emails a week from individual customers will save another 40 hours, at least.
Not having to devote 80+ hours a week to these tasks will mean we can take on more retailers, and we can get them their yarn faster. Which, in turn, will be better for you. You'll have more places to shop, and those places will be able to have a larger selection.
And it will get me more time with:
1. A ten year old boy who likes to cook and quiz me on trivia. (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.)
2. A red headed eight year old girl who just got her ears pierced.
3. A six year old sunbeam who never stops talking.
4. And an eight month old Baby Shamrock who is very proud of her four teeth.
I know this might be a lot to digest. But I know that this is going to be a win-win for both me and all of you.
Now, to answer some inevitable questions.
Q: I placed an order on ABC date. Will I still get my yarn?
A: Yes indeed. We're not going to leave anyone hanging.
Q: What about your yarn clubs? I love those yarn clubs!
A: Sadly, March is going to be our last yarn club shipment. We will be contacting club members individually, don't worry.
Q: But... but... but...I love all of those exclusive club colorways! What will happen to them?
A: Some of them will head into the vault. But some of them will be made available to our local yarn shops so more people can enjoy them.
Q: When is the last day to place an order on your website?
A: March 31, 2013 will be the last day. You'll have until 10:00 pm Central.
Q: But YARNISTA!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!
A. I know. But it really is going to be OK. I'm not disappearing.
Q: I own a yarn shop and am interested in opening an account. How do I do that?
A: Drop us a line using our contact form, or at threeirishgirls AT gmail DOT com.
Q: Will you still write this blog? Will you still make the blankets for Newtown? Will you still work in your new studio?
A: Yes, yes, yes.
Q: What about your lookbooks and patterns?
A: Still working on them! We've had some challenges. But they are forthcoming!
Q: Will you still teach workshops and do trunk shows?
A. Occasionally. And we are developing a traveling trunk show with sample garments! (Sadly, I do not accompany said trunk show.)
Q: This announcement makes me sad. What should I do?
A: Hug your family. Knit something with pretty yarn. Send happy thoughts and deeds out into the world. Good things will come back to you.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for your support over the past 9 years, and for your support in the coming 9.
Happy knitting to all of you.