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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.