Did you know that yarn has seasonal lines twice a year every year? And that every year yarn companies come up with ‘new and improved’ fibers to tempt the yarnaholics who own yarn shops into trying and buying their new yarns? Somewhere in the wee area in the back of my mind I must have known this when I began my search for yarns to carry in my shop all those years ago. But I have to say I really wasn’t aware of the scope of fibers out there and the creativity of people who come up with some of the most beautifully soft, yummy, breathtaking yarns ever to be found in the world!
Balance that with a budget, and welcome to my world.
Which leads me to Cathy, who made a visit to the shop yesterday. Now, Cathy’s one of the best yarn reps around, because she knows. Having owned her own yarn shop, she knows what it’s like to be me. She’s been on the receiving end of a table full of yarn coming from suitcases packed with yarn and stacked up around the table. She understands the pressure of wanting it all and having to try (and I use that term with anxiety) to stay within some kind of budget. After all, shops carry more than one brand of yarn, and they all have yarn reps! So the best thing about Cathy is there is absolutely, no pressure from her end. None. In fact, she’s more the opposite, sometimes suggesting that a particular yarn I’m leaning towards might not even be appropriate for my little shop in this particular area.
And so, of course, I try and stay focused on the upcoming season of spring and summer and zero in on what might interest my customers without breaking the bank. I go through binder after binder filled with yarn samples and color cards, and if she notices a pause, or perhaps a quick intake of breath, out comes the yarn and a knitted up swatch for me to feel. I open up the fold-out card of colors and lean back in my chair and look at her shaking my head. How do I possibly decide? With close to a hundred colors of this particular yarn, how do I narrow it down to 10? This is where the angst comes in. And this is where Cathy comes in. With her prior shop knowledge and her knowledge of my shop, she will direct me to what she thinks would be the best colors to carry, help me match yarn with patterns, and then quickly and painlessly close the book and remove it — and the yarn — from my sight.
Now that’s a good rep.