I have been meaning to write a post about where the business is at the moment. I know I don't need to. I thought I would as I appreciate the support from so many of you who have bought from me and connected with me on social media and I know a lot of you are invested in more than a financial way to helping this little business to grow. I cannot thank you enough for that! I never expected to have so many people willing to come back time and time again. I had hoped of course but you never really know do you? The other wonderful thing is that the wonder of modern technology means I am able to communicate with you and so many of you have now become friends.
So, what is the state of the business? Well, I won't go into financial details - boring ;) - but in general terms we are treading water and on occasions floating freely with our head above water! As in the original plans I made I take no wage from the business. Not one penny. Everything is put back into the business. The plan is to keep doing that for at least another year.
When we took over the studio the thought that we had to find £300 rent a month on top of the money needed to restock the products sold was terrifying. Then there are the water rates and the insurance, packaging and so on. It can be quite scary at times. When that threatens to overwhelm me.... I take a step back and look at where I have come from. I look at the pictures on the blog of the way the dining room evolved and then I look at the range of stock I now have to sell. I have come a long way! It is by no means plain sailing it takes hours and hours of work. Emails and messages to reply to. Book keeping and stock control. Filling shelves, packing and posting orders are all enjoyable but take time. Planning for the future is vital as is trying different ways to keep stock moving. Making decisions about stock to purchase (what a choice there is too!) is like shopping in a sweet shop but it is hard to make choices and at the moment those choices have to be conservative until cash flow becomes more stable. Over the colder months the money I made each month in sales was paying for everything plus the new stock I introduced. As with most small businesses there is a constant awareness of costs to be covered and a slight worry that I won't have enough to cover costs at the end of the month.
Over the coming warmer holiday months I am hoping things don't quieten down quite as much as they did last year! Wow, that was scary :) Thanks to all you guys sharing and recommending me my customer base has grown significantly so it shouldn't be as difficult. However, with that in mind I have been racking my brains to come up with ideas to keep some funds coming in. As always my health has to be taken into account. Although I do work a lot it is very much all on my terms and at times that suit me. Work is often done in pjs and even working late at night has generally been offset by rest during the day. I am able to take Milly out during the day as needed and fit in the healing treatments I use to keep improving my symptoms.
One of the ideas I have had is one that has been on the back burner for a number of years. Craft kits are in the final planning stage. I have books and folders of ideas that I have kept over the years. The time has never been quite right to take the ideas from the paper to reality. I have a much better idea of how I want them to look and with Sophie creating the website and branding I feel confident I can make them look as I see them in my mind! They will be simple creations with a lot of Loopy love added in.
I got out the book and folders that I have written in over the years and got super excited that I might be able to get the ideas off the paper! I also got out the various box samples I have collected from various sites over the years. Non of them were right but they will come in for something in time...There is a lot of work still to be done as I don't want to put out a half finished and low quality product. Luckily what I have researched and recorded over the years makes looking for the ingredients an easier process. Knowing the boxes I didn't want I have ordered 100 boxes that I know will work and am playing with packaging ideas. I have plans for two simple patterns to start the kits off with. In time there will be a mix of craft kits for children and adults.
I have a few new products to share. The Scheepjes stonewashed XL is now in stock in all shades. Also some fabulous buttons! I was approached by a customer who sells on Etsy. She knew I stocked Sheepjes and asked if I could stock some Scheepjes laser cut wooden buttons for her. When I saw them I couldn't resist! She is going to use them in her makes. I have two types in stock. The final new item is a really gorgeous Book - a -zine called Yarn. A lovely book with a mix of interesting articles, great photography and fab patterns.
I don't know where the business will be in a years time. I hope it has grown to offer a wide range of yarns including some higher end ranges alongside a wider range of accessories and the craft kits of course ;)
I want to set up some kind of reward system for returning customers and to in some way pay back by using my knowledge to help others.
Whatever happens I will enjoy the journey and appreciate your company <3