Last week I shared my experiences of approaching retailers when I first launched The Dartmoor Yarn Company and told you about the two wonderful shops that first took me on. This week I’m going to finish that story and tell you about the other retailers who’ve had faith in me, those who haven’t.
After my initial success with retailers that I’d shared my ideas with prior to launch, I moved on. Making a cold approach certainly added to the fear factor, but that was eased as my kits were already selling in Okehampton and my confidence was growing.
My first cold approached was to Yarns of Tavistock. I knew Yarns were interested in local yarns and local crafters, so I was on reasonably firm grown. But this didn’t make me any less delighted when they took my wool and kits on.
Now having established stockists in west and north west Dartmoor, I headed east. From here, things got trickier. Rejection came in different forms. There were straights Nos. There were Nos accompanied by reasons why not, advice on where else to try, and/or what they would be interested in, if I were to create it in the future. There was also one who loved my kits, said she’d speak to her senior about them being in other branches, then she did a complete U-turn a week later and told me she’d never be able to sell them.
The straight Nos were disappointing. The U-turn woman made me cross -although, of course I didn’t show it – she clearly wasn’t telling me the truth and her blatant self-contradictions were an insult to my intelligence.
The people who took time to talk to me were amazing. They helped me learn so much through how they saw their shops. Although this was different in each case, I could translate it into understanding why some of my straight Nos were straight Nos and which shops not to waste time approaching in the future.
Having failed to find a vendor in East/North East Dartmoor, I was preparing to visit the South and South East of the moor, when an email popped into my inbox. It was from Cosy Corner Crafts in South Brent asking if they could see my products. Of course I agreed and was rewarded by not just finding another retailer, but discovering a lovely craft shop run by a really lovely lady.
Of course life takes up a lot of time too. It was the end of June by now and I didn’t even attempt to connect to any other retailers before I visited Wool on the Exe at the end of July – which brings me back full circle and just leaves to tell you a bit about Yarns and Cosy Corner Crafts.
Yarns is a lovely shop that has quickly built a happy community of people enjoying their varied workshops, as well as buying yarn (both local wool and not-so-local) and locally hand made gifts. Sadly for Tavistock, Yarns is on the move. They are in the process of relocating Victoria Square in Holsworthy and will be open there full time from 1st September.
Holsworthy’s gain is definitely Tavistock’s loss! 😦
South Brent is a lovely village with a real community feel. This wonderful village atmosphere is definitely present in Cosy Corner Crafts, where I experience a warm and friendly welcome, and witnessed not just excellent friendly customer service, but neighbours popping in to borrow tools for DIY!
Cosy Corner Crafts is a real ‘Aladdin’s cave’ of textile and yarn supplies, plus kits and gifts relating to other creative pursuits. It’s one of those shops where you just keep finding more and more the longer you look.
Today my woolly legs are definitely less wobbly than they were three months ago. I’m so lucky to have my kits and yarn stocked in all the wonderful shops that have taken them on. And, as I said last week, whatever happens from here on in, I’ll always be grateful for the support and encouragement my fledging business received when it set out on it’s woolly wobbly legs.
Thank you to all the lovely retailers and their customers who’ve supported me so far!