It has been a wonderful pastime to create colour combinations for customers and to work with their request and come up with something that suits them. I have also enjoyed playing around just for fun to see which colours go well together. I enjoy it so much that I will be doing it regularly even if I don't get customer requests :)
Stylecraft special DK has such a wide range of colours in the range and it is a joy to have nearly 60 colours to choose from.
I have been beavering away at plans for the future with ideas to add a few things to the shop. I won't mention them until I have worked through the costings and see if I am able to buy the items I need within my budget..which is minimal :)
One thing i have done though is to order more bags for the shop. They have been a great hit and I decided to widen the range to include a larger drawstring bag and some plain tote bags. they should be here and listed early next week. They are being sold as project bags but are equally useful for many other things. the Tote bags make a great foldaway shopping bag for when you are out and about and the drawstring bags would be perfect for small toy storage amongst many other things.
I placed a large order for more Stylecraft yarn today. I have more of the Dk coming to ensure I stay in stock where possible. More colours of the Aran have been ordered and a few more colours of the Swift knit as I try to complete the range of colours available whilst adding new ranges to those I offer. With that aim in mind I added on five colours in the Life super chunky range as well. it's a lovely range with a wool/acrylic mix and a natural colour palette. I'm looking forward to them coming in next week sometime.
I was thinking back over the last few years of this journey into creating a small business. There have been many twists and turns along the way as one plan after another had to be shelved (some will never happen but most are not forgotten and will happen at some point in the future). There were many different reasons but ultimately I had to decide if the effort required to see the ideas into being were worth the impact that had on my health. It has been the case that it wasn't worth the effort at this time. However they were steps that needed to be taken to get me to where I am now..
I have been busy but it is with things that I love to do and creating stock control systems and book keeping routines is right up my street. I have a system set up to make picking and packing the orders as easy and quick as possible and within very simple system all orders are triple checked to ensure the correct products are packed. I'm not in the position where I can hold great quantities of stock and have to be sure that the amounts on the website are accurate so I have an ongoing daily stock checking system which should ensure that counts of stock in the shop should stay correct. Technology is fabulous but there are ways that counts of stock available to sell could be inaccurate and by checking a handful of random codes each day (which takes moments) I can help to catch them before it affects customers. It is a routine I used when I was a manager in a very busy discount store in the middle of Liverpool. We had enormous problems with the early days of an EPOS system and codes were often wrong on stock as staff perhaps put the wrong code on the pricing gun or forgot to change it, prices were incorrect when items got to the tills and stock counts were inaccurate when requesting new stock from head office. I created a whole file of simple checks that members of staff could do daily that took very little time but was able to catch the mistakes that were made and ensure a much better shopping experience for customers and kept our stock and prices correct.
I have been packing orders most days and am looking forward to creating some fliers to let local people know where I am. I won't be trading like a shop but am happy to arrange with people to pop round for a cuppa and a look at what I have on offer. I am going to give locals the opportunity of using a code at checkout to get free postage when they shop online and they can arrange with me to pick it up. I am also looking into the possibility of hiring a room nearby that I can store more stock and work from. It is early days and a lot of decisions would need to be made as that would be a big step!
It does make sense though. Either that or I takeover more of the house :)
I have decided that it also makes sense to continue with the suppliers I stock now and to offer a wider range of Stylecraft products. They are selling very well and are a good quality range that people enjoy working with.
Once I have a range I am happy with I will consolidate and in time I will add to the suppliers I use.
It;s funny how things turn out. When I was in retail all those years ago I really loved aspects of the job and loathed others.
I never expected to be back in retail but here I am...
I am in complete control of this journey though and the choices I make are very much made with us as a family in mind as well as what is best for the business.
Let's see where it goes from here ;)