Where oh where have I been? It's been 3 months since I last posted, and the time has been filled with new adventures in the life of a yarn rep. Yes, I will now say with pride and confidence that I am one of them. This is my job and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
I have learned so much in such a short time. Here's that list of new-found knowledge:
- Every LYS has its own personality. Before you think, "duh," I am really surprised at how very unique each of the shops are from one another. The way in which a shop is organized, the yarns and supplies they carry, and the personalities of the owner(s) form an equation whose result is that one shop.
- Times are tough for a lot of shops. That is probably no surprise to anyone, but the owners vary in what they think is the problem. The reasons include the economy, too many yarn stores, too many festivals and events, and Ravelry. Yep, hard to believe, but I am shocked at the number of shops that see Ravelry as “the devil.”
- Simple sells. Shops want yarn and projects that are inexpensive and lower risk, especially when they are bringing in a new line. One of the yarns, Gelato, has been a huge seller ever since I knit a simple drop stitch scarf with one skein.
Yet, buyers have not been so quick to buy another yarn, Cottonista, in which I knit a beautiful lace cardigan.
So, I have now knit a cowl with my leftover skeins. Hopefully, that will sell more Cottonista. More sample knitting of one and two skein projects are on the needles.
- I can drive a maximum of 6-8 hours a day. Anything beyond that and I am putting myself and fellow drivers at risk.
- I can schedule 2 appointments a day. These average 90 minutes, but I am not able to predict in advance the length of any one of them. With driving distances in-between, 2 appointments plus driving time is a full day.
- My “go to” hotel is a Marriott Courtyard. For a few bucks more, I know the rooms are clean and quiet. And, I can count on there being a good workout facility with a good elliptical machine.
I have traveled to western and eastern North Carolina, northern and central Virginia, Bethany Beach and the Eastern Shore, and Philadelphia. Over 50% of my appointments have turned into sales, with many of them new accounts. I plan to travel next to southeastern North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland.
Okay, so far the only person who's really made any money in this new venture is my pet sitter, but I know that will change once I really get to know the stores and can service much of their needs over the phone and via email.
I will say it again: this is a great "post-retirement" job!