When I write an email newsletter, I try to pass on information that relates to the business of knitting and crochet. It is so frustrating to spend time creating email newsletter content, sending it out to over 1,500 yarn shops, and have only 400 or so people open them. I am not into generating tons of sales pitches all the time. I prefer sending out 5 or 6 email letters per year and hope to share some knowledge, tips, or insights I have collected as I run the business of Foofaraw. I love what I do, feel blessed to have something I can do in both the countries I live in (Australia & the USA), and hope that I keep learning more and more to share with you as time goes on.
My first post will be a recap of my Fall 2012 newsletter. I shared some information I learned from Rena Tom, who writes about creative retail strategy. I highly recommend signing up for her newsletter. She has good insight and information to share.
Rena had an article on her blog titled Open and Closed, it is a must read and has lots of great pictures to get your creative juices flowing. Reading the article reinforces the idea that your LYS has a personality that the big box and online stores can never match. Capitalizing on the idea for a fun, unique open sign is a huge step in getting customers to walk into your shop. Plus it is your first chance to show your customers what kind of charisma you've got.
I think one of the main reasons people go to the big events and festivals is for creative inspiration and innovation. They also go to interact with others and to share in their love of craft. The big attraction of a LYS is the sense of community you provide to your customers. Big events may come and go, but you and your staff are always there to welcome your customers in.
As I spend most of my year in Australia, I won't be doing a lot of retail events like Stitches, which will mean that the LYS is the main place where people can purchase Foofaraw Shawlsticks. They are one way of keeping a unique product in your shop that your customers can't get anywhere else. Another attraction for your customers could be a book club which welcomes knitting during the discussion. One shop I sell to had a shawl of the month club and she has bought more Foofaraws than any other shop I sell to! Keep your LYS intriguing by having mini festival-like events and trunk shows. I invited some if the indie designers on Ravelry to participate in my booth with their own trunk shows. I think Laura Aylor sent more people over to the booths selling the yarns used in her shawls than I could count. Her designs were strikingly simple. A shop model does sell yarn, I watched it happen over and over again with All Shades of Truth and Derecho.
Thanks for reading my 1st blog post!