New Old Endeavours
NEW (OLD) IDEAS
As this strange era wears on we have had to be quick and nimble with adjustments to our business model, trying to move with the challenges and keep things afloat. For this I’m grateful that we are so small, it allows us to move as needed. And we’ve got some pretty big, and surprising moves coming.
A limited return
Yeah, I’m surprised too. But we are doing it with firm boundaries and solid reasons:
We work with lots of designers for collaborations. Not being part of the biggest fiber community adds needless complications to those collaborations for sales and promotions. Since we haven’t been able to do festivals, and have yet to participate in virtual events, cannot host our own parties etc., we have become quite isolated from the fiber community.
It means that I don’t know what patterns are hot right now, or who has made something lovely with my yarn unless it comes up on IG. This results in only a partial window through which I can figure out what my customers are looking for. Finally, many customers have been requesting that we add patterns they purchase from us to their Ravelry library, and we cannot unless we return.
THE (HEALTHY) BOUNDARIES
We will upload all of our patterns again, including the free ones, and maintain them, and the related errata, as needed.
- We will be able to add, upon request, purchases from our site to the library of Ravelry users.
- We will maintain our yarns pages and be able to view what others have done with our yarns.
- We will support and cross-promote other designers who wish to collaborate with us.
We will not participate in forums, host a Blue Brick Ravelry Group, or provide customer support via DM’s. This is not only Ravelry; we do not provide support via DM’s on Instagram or Facebook either. We just don’t have the staff or bandwidth to vary our support options, so the best way to reach us will remain email@example.com. I realize that can feel limiting, but it consolidates requests so we can do our best, and makes sure we don’t miss anything.
Ready for another big surprise?
(DRUMROLL) DYED TO ORDER YARNS
We have reviewed the responses to our sales and recognize that there are some recurring concerns: like not knowing how or when to buy, feeling like there is no point unless you get in there immediately, know what you want, with the stars in the right alignment, wearing your lucky shirt! It's easy to feel like you can never get exactly what you want without being cart jacked! I know this adds anxiety and apprehension to the shopping experience, so in February we experimentally tried adding a tonal as a dyed-to-order option. It’s been going very well, and we think we’re ready to add 2-4 more products to a pre-order system.
Am I crazy ?!?! Maybe ;) But here goes my logic:
We will chose a selection of both tonals and gradients for each month. I’ll try to keep it fresh, a golden oldie, a new colourway, something neutral, something bright, something seasonal. Something blue ;)
We will establish a 3-day period of capped pre orders, followed by a 4-week window to produce, package and ship them. We reserve the right (here’s the tough one) to cancel and refund an order (with a ton of apologies!) for any reason that makes fulfillment impossible within my 4 week timeline.
The customer also has the right to cancel and refund the order, but only for 24 hours following the sales period. After that I’m purchasing all the materials and starting to dye up product. It’s effectively a custom order and I’ll have to treat it like one.
There will still be ready to ship inventory, but it will no longer be regularly updated in large installations. That effort, along with the shopping guides, would be too much for me to carry in addition to the dyed to order fulfillments. When I dye something for fun and put it up on the website for immediate shipping I’ll announce it online :)
COULD BE WEIRD, BUT ULTIMATELY AWESOME
And we'll never know unless we give it a shot ;) I know these are two dramatic moves for us (it's giving me the shakes y'all) but I'm determined to be guided by what's best for my customers, company and staff, and not the people and things that frighten me. Time to rejoin the world, put ourselves out there, and see what happens!
I'm often asked how I can be so creative in so many ways. The answer is easy, I've built my life around the people who support me and believe in me. They empower me to be who I am and to follow my creativity where it takes me, without limit. That is a privilege I am thankful every day for (cue a Bette Midler karaoke classic...). Those are the folks who guide my life, not my fears.
Ok, so when will it all happen? Timing is TBD (aforementioned life things have us closed until Wednesday the 24th) but look to our IG to see what timing we settle on!