Setting Out on Woolly Wobbly Legs – part one

Last week I said that I would tell you about my experience of approaching retailers when I first launched The Dartmoor Yarn Company – and to share a little more about those retailers with you. So here goes…

I can’t believe it’s been nearly three months since I nervously stepped through the door of the Kooky Nook in Okehampton clutching The Dartmoor Yarn Company’s first knitting kits.

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The Lovely Katie who owns The Kooky Nook had been very helpful and encouraging about my ideas when I’d talked to her about them, but showing her the kits was still scary. What if she didn’t like them? What if no one liked them? What if they were totally pants and all my friends and family were just being kind when they said they liked them?

To my relief and delight, Katie loved them. Not only was she happy to stock them, but she put them straight in the shop window.

Dartmoor Wool - Window of kooky Nook Okehampton

Despite Kaitie’s enthusiasm, the gremlins in my head still found their angles – one swallow doesn’t make a summer etc etc. So I was still feeling pretty shy about the DYC when I wrote a blog post to tell you guys about it. To be honest, it felt like a confession rather than a celebration with the gremlins in the background asking, Who are you to be launching a knitting kit company?

Of course I knew you guys would be kind and encouraging when the post was published, but it was a nice surprise when the Lovely Donna from the Woolly Beader in Okehampton, saw the kits in that post and asked if I’d like her to stock them. Of course I said yes.

Dartmoor Wool in Window Woolly Beader Okehampton

Donna too had been very helpful and encouraging about my ideas when I’d talked to her. But I hadn’t approached her to sell the kits, as I’ve know here for several years and felt she was as much a friend as my LYS owner. I didn’t want to make her feel I expected her to take them. Of course when she asked, I felt guilty for not asking!

From here sales of kits and requests for wool materialised very quickly. I’d made my first big step forward and my confidence was growing. However, life is never all plain sailing, but I’ll save what I learnt from my next steps for another next post – so this one doesn’t get too long or overwhelm the important part of introducing the two lovely shops that first supported me…

Kooky Nook

The Museum Courtyard, 3 West Street, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 1HQ

Tucked away inside the pretty little courtyard beside the Okehampton Museum the Kooky Nook is filled with a beautiful array of gifts and home wear all made by local crafters. If you’re local it’s an ideal place to find unique gifts for family and friends, or something unusual for yourself or your home. If you’re visiting it’s definitely the place to bag a little piece of Dartmoor to take home with you.

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The Woolly Beader

7 Red Lion Yard, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 1AW

The Woolly Beader began life as Rockin’ beads, the award winning, Best Bead Shop in the West. However its initially small offering of quality yarns grew so much that in June 2016 they became The Woolly Beader.

Dartmoor Wool at The Woolly Beader Okehampton

Set over two floors the Woolly Beader is a community centred craft shop selling a wide range of jewellery-making materials and quality yarn to suit all pockets. Donna is a talented lampwork artist, so there are many of her beautiful beads on sale in the shop. She is always happy to make beads to order and she also teaches jewellery making, lampworking, silver clay, knitting and crochet – in group and 1-2-1 sessions. A drop in craft club also runs three days a week, where you can work on a current project in the company of like minded people.

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As a local to Okehampton, I can tell you from first hand experience that you’ll be assured of a warm welcome and excellent service at both the Kooky Nook and the Woolly Beader.

I count myself as very lucky to have my kits and yarn stocked in both these wonderful shops and whatever happens from here on in, I’ll always be grateful for their support and encouragement when my fledging business set out on it’s woolly wobbly legs.

24 thoughts on “Setting Out on Woolly Wobbly Legs – part one

  1. A lovely post Bekki! It’s so nice to have such supportive friends to take your hand during the first steps of a new venture and display your products too. Your legs may stay woolly but not so much of the wobbles lol It all seems to be going the right way 😉

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  2. Isn’t it amazing when we can’t trust that our product is actually a good one…………. And our surprise when people actually like it and want to buy it 🙂 Well done to you and to those initial stockists! Feeling the fear and doing it anyway is so often a recipe for success 🙂 xo

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    1. Thank you. Okehampton is uninteresting place. On the surface it doesn’t look much and definitely not as sparkly and swanky as other towns, but there are some great shops, that are great because they are run by great people whose hearts are in what they do.

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  3. These are the sort of shops I love and you are soooo lucky to have some in your vicinity. Of course you should have confidence in your kits. You use local yarn, design your own patterns and are a champion knitter. You have packaged the kits up and branded them beautifully. Who wouldn’t want one? I do!! When you have gone multi-national, do mail order and I can get my paws on one, I am leaning towards the tea cosy now I’ve seen one looking so gorgeous in the shop window.
    Go forth and sell! We know what we’re talking about on here you know 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tee hee! I like that, Bekki Hill champion knitter 😉 Thank you for all those lovely comments, they really do help 🙂 On hold to insurance as I type asking for cost of product liability for selling to abroad – as I only was thinking UK originally, but am getting various people approaching me and desperately need to set up web sales. Glad you like the tea cosy. Sadly I don’t even have one as that is my own teapot in the shop window.

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      1. What! No teapot! I couldn’t survive.
        From a selfish point of view I have access to a U.K. address but you might as well explore all avenues for your future woolly empire.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m a dunk it in the mug kind of girl – unless it’s afternoon tea and then I need fine bone china. Of course fine bone china teapots do not wear Aran sweaters 😉 Maybe I should work on a new version for Royal Dalton. I can just see the Queen pouring tea at Buck House with her teapot clad in a nice lacy cardi and her sugar bowl sporting a knitted tiara 🙂

        Had a right game with insurance, they’re ringing me back Monday 😦

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  4. How wonderful to see your dream become a reality, I am sure the kits will sell as they look great! It is so good to see so many businesses supporting one another! If I find myself in your neck of the woods I will certainly do a tour of those lovely shops, thanks.

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    1. Thank you. I have found it refreshing how many business down here are keen to and do support each other. I believe, as I’m sure you do, we should all support each other in any avenue of life and such a shame that’s not always the case.

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  5. Wonderful to see your kits getting out there. Well done. I think you are excellent,and these kits are stunning. 🙂
    Great shops, so pretty, just gorgeous to see them inside and outside. I would give a lot to be able to visit such cute shops.
    Go on, go for it, I know you can and will.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well done you! I would love to order a couple for Xmas presents,if u let me know how.Was kinda on Dartmoor today at Parke estate Bovy Tracy. Saw some Dartmoor ponies there.x

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  7. These are exactly the kind of shops I sneak into when we’re on holiday – if I can get away with it. They look really welcoming, and sound it, too, from what you’ve described. I’m so pleased for you that your kits are getting the reception they deserve.

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  8. inspirationalchristiangifts

    Your local community sounds so supportive Bekki. I can understand you being reluctant to approach people. I’ve considered approaching my local yarn shop with my hand dyed Yarns but I know them so well that I’m afraid of them saying no, or else saying yes because they feel sorry for me! I hope all continues to go well with it all xx

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    1. Thank you. That’s exactly how I felt – and actually continue to feel about mine. To me the relationship is more important than a few sales. I do think strangers are easier to ask in that way. Good luck with selling your hand dyed 🙂

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