Random Ideas

This blog has many purposes, most of them selfish:
– To keep my friends informed about my dreams and goals.
– To inflate my ego by making me think people other than my six followers give a crap about
what I’m saying.
– To inflate my ego by making me think that my six followers (amazing people that you are)
give a crap about what I’m saying.
But it’s also a place for me to keep all of my ideas organized in one place. It’s my public diary where all of my dreams and crazy, stupid thoughts are kept for all the world (who wants to) to see. So I thank you for not laughing.

When I get an idea in my head (like opening a yarn shop, for instance), it consumes most of my time and energy until either 1. it becomes a reality, 2. I get tired of it. Therefore, over the last week and a half or so, my brain has been working overtime with plans, ideas, and dreams, a lot of which I neglected to write down and have subsequently forgotten. So, every now and again I am going to put up a Random Ideas post that will have some idea(s) I’ve had about the shop. These ideas could be a sentence or six paragraphs, brilliant or completely crazy. But they will all be in one place where Karen and I can sift through them later.

*Side note to Karen: Feel free to add in, disagree, comment, argue, tell me to shut up, or engage in any way you see fit! *

So here are some of the ideas I wrote down tonight, most of which were inspired by a seminar I went to on success in entrepreneurial enterprises featuring the man who started Lake Champlain Chocolates:

1. Creating a sense of community is huge, and one thing LCC does is use local people for as much as possible. This includes the photography for their catalog, the marketing, etc. To this end, I think it would be great to have a section of our store dedicated solely to local and/or small, independently-owned people and shops. For instance, our own spinning could be there, roving and yarn from the alpaca farm my friend Jordan works at could be there, the divine blue-faced leicester top roving from that farm we went to in Stratton, Karen, and my friend Patience’s sheep’s wool could both be there. In other words, something other than Misti Alpaca, or Cascade Yarns, or Rowan, and all the well-known brands. Let’s discover the next big thing, and help out other small businesses like ourselves!

2. Connect emotionally with the customers. One thing the guy tonight said that I thought was very interesting was that he spent a very long time picking out the colors, fabric, texture, wording, and style of the sign with his company’s name on it. He said that all of this things have an unconscious affect on the emotional reaction the customer has, and it’s important to make sure it’s the one that you want. In my opinion this should be applied to EVERYTHING. The colors in the store, where things are arranged, the type of wood used on the floors – every last detail should be consciously decided upon to have make the correct impression.

3. Sustainability. Figure out a way to help ourselves out by: going green, buying local, fair trade. Make sure our sources are reliable/have the same standards as we do.

4. Location. This is something Karen and I have talked about, briefly, but I sometimes worry about. One (really awesome) idea Karen had was to use the space that will be opening up for retail purposes in the old nursing home in Montgomery. That space could become available before I leave school, which would put A LOT of stress on Karen, as I would have to be helping from afar.
Some pros to this location would be that
1. we could both live at home and have a very easy commute.
2. It would be a great place to start out – small, surrounded by other retail stores that would help us draw in customers.
3. It’s right on a main road – through Montgomery, it’s true, but still…
4. We have our knitting group right in Montgomery that I’m sure would be willing to give us their business if our prices were right, and I’m sure there are people in the hilltowns who would love to support locals.

Some cons would be that
1. Who goes through Montgomery? (no offense Karen).
2. What if we never grow from that location and I live with my parents forever? (as much as I absolutely love them. But, really, who wants to be that person?).
3. it may be difficult to get financial backing when we’re located in such an unpopulated area.

My dream would be to stay in Burlington, or somewhere in Vermont, and to live someplace new that I can make my own instead of going back to the hilltowns. I just never saw myself living there forever, as much as I love it. But I know it would kill Karen to leave her family, who are all in the Westfield-Montgomery area, and I don’t think I could do that to her. So, that is definitely a conversation we are going to have to have.

Ok, so this post has become much longer than I ever intended for it to be, and I apologize for that. I’ll put up a nice picture of my old angora rabbit, Tara, to make it up to you. How about that? And, as always, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about any and all of the goings-on around the blog – especially you, Karen!

P.S. My friend from home, Amy, requested that I put up a knitting tutorial on the blog, so look for that to be coming soon!

P.P.S. Another random idea – music is important. One thing I can’t stand in some yarn stores is when there’s just one or two customers walking around and the person at the register sitting and watching, and it’s super quiet and awkward, and the customers almost feel like they are taking too long to look and should be wrapping things up because it’s so quiet and weird. Music fixes this nicely.

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