"Learn to sell. In business you're always selling - to your prospects, investors and employees. To be the best salesperson put yourself in the shoes of the person to whom you're selling. Don't sell your product. Solve their problems." - Mark Cuban
Do you want to knit a sweater? I was listening to one of the many podcasts that I listen to on my way to work and the guest and the podcaster had a response to someone who said they could never knit a sweater. The response was yes, you can knit a sweater, if you already knit, you can knit a sweater, there are no new skills in knitting a sweater. You knit, you purl.
I've always thought the natural progression for a yarn shop is that after you teach a new knitter the basics that you need to get them knitting sweaters. They start small with a hat or a scarf or a dish rag, but after that, it is time to get them started knitting on sweaters. From a yarn shop prospective, it means bigger sales, from a teacher prospective, it means additional income on the class side.
When I first learned how to machine quilt, we started with a simple small wall hanging or potholder where we learned the techniques, but once we practiced those, it wasn't long and we were onto larger wall hangings, baby quilts and eventually bed size quilts. It was a great marketing. The larger the quilt the more dollars the store brought in fabric sales, return customers and classes which in turned benefited both the shop and the instructor.
My point? A yarn shop is in business to sell yarn. Classes are basically free money, other than the cost of lights, water and to pay the teacher. The purpose of a class is to put some money into the teacher's pockets, but ultimately, it is to get the students to buy yarn and put some cash in the shop. To do that, I believe you have to get people knitting sweaters!
Since I started my blog in June 2003 , I have used it pretty much as a diary of my knitting, my life, my journeys. I've always wanted it to grow a bit and hope that more readers would stumble upon it and see value in it. I guess I have realized overtime, if you want it to grow, you have to do more, make it worth reading. I want the blog to still continue to be a diary of my knitting life, but I also want it to be a bit educational and a resource for knitters, new and seasoned. I want other readers to pass the web address on and maybe say you learned something by reading it.
On another podcast that I tuned into, the conversation was about this knitting thing we do and the comment was, if you eat, breathe, sleep and live something, then perhaps that is what you should be doing with your life. Now, I am not going to quit my day job (cause it is the venue I use to supplement my addiction - knitting and we were not so smart as young adults to think that we actually needed to save for retirement), but, lately, I've been keeping my eye on other bloggers and websites, seeing how they started out by blogging and eventually working it into a small businesses. I have often thought, wouldn't it be nice to start a little business to perhaps supplement my future retirement (think 3-5 years) fund.
Through the efforts of one of my friends, I realized how tough it is to make in in the yarn business, but what if I just looked at it of a way of educating knitters to knit sweaters? Just sharing what I have learned from the classes I've taken, the books, websites and other pieces of information I have picked up along the way? Kind of a prep for me for maybe a future endeavor, teaching my craft.
Since I was just a very small child, all I ever wanted to do is teach. From the days of my first blackboard, to using my wall in my bedroom as a pretend blackboard, I've wanted to teach. That is not the path that I took, rather, I decided to marry the love of my life and go a different direction, that is so far from teaching that I still cannot believe it! But, teaching is what I always wanted to do.
But, what if I used my blog (sometimes) as my forum for teaching. What if we knit some sweaters together right here virtually? You know like a KAL, one to pump up our knitting skills and knit some sweaters together. I'll start simple and we'll work towards getting you to knit sweaters with more skill sets. We'll take our time, learn some techniques, I'll share with you bits and pieces from the many classes I've taken, the hints I have picked up, the mistakes I've learned from. I'll give you options along the way, top down, bottom up, EZ, in pieces, side to side, oh the possibilities. All along the way, we'll be honing our sweater making skills and creating some fantastic sweaters to wear Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall !
The intent along the way, I hope, is to pick up some new friends and readers, but I also hope to learn myself from the research that I surely must do to help you knit some super cool sweaters.
What do you think? Shall we do this thing together?