Monday, March 9, 2020

Progress, I think ...

This past Saturday, exactly a week after locking up the brick and mortar for the last time, ALL the yarn has found its permanent home in the warehouse. If you don't look at all the boxes of non-yarn craft supplies around the perimeter of the room, it looks quite impressive (if I may say so myself).

Mom and I have been working 9 to 5 daily filling bins, loading pegboard, watching two bins - at different times - collapse, rebuilding sturdier bins, filling them again, and finally, success. I even managed to find space for one of my small Ikea sofa beds that you may have seen in our knitting area so that I have a place to design more of my out-of-the-box patterns. I may even finish the pair of Lorigami Socks my 91 year old aunt commissioned back in September (when she was only 90).

Before the snowfall this weekend, I was even hopeful that I would be able to get into the motorhome and start tearing apart the kitchen counter to make space for the yarn, etc in the pop up store. Yeah, that's not gonna happen as soon as I'd hoped. But that's okay. I still have buttons and tapestry yarn and floss and beads to hang on the pegboard. That should keep us busy for the better part of a week. Maybe then I will even have pictures for you to help you appreciate all the work I've been doing now that I've 'retired'.

It still boggles my mind how many people think changing from a retail storefront to an online retail business means I've retired. With the brick and mortar, I had days off. With the online store, my phone rings every day because people want to check if I still have something before going onto the computer to order it. Or they want to pick something up rather than order it through the computer because they don't want to pay the shipping. When I politely tell them that they can both check availability and choose pickup on the website that's when I realize that they still want the personal touch - which I happily give them. Having said that, don't expect happy cheery greetings if you call at 3am. You will be waking up three people (one of them furry) and none of us wear our happy pants at that time of the day. Where you absolutely will receive the happy cheery greetings is in the pop up store when I finally have it up and running.

Speaking of... I made my first foray into researching markets for the pop up store. It was a bust. The venue is still in the planning stages but the cost was formidable. The smallest space was over $1300/month with a three year minimum contract and the booth was expected to be manned every Saturday and Sunday from 9-5 year round. That doesn't work for me for so many reasons, but most importantly, I am a church musician and I can't be there every Sunday. Besides, I would not be making use of the motorhome, so, no go. Next.

written by Lori, happy TCL owner who has not slept in a single day since closing the brick and mortar and is looking forward to the Farmer's Market days when the first venue starts in the afternoon.

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