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lbp884
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  11:15:16 AM  Show Profile Send lbp884 a Private Message
I've been reading all this info and am still in a dilema. I am trying to open a shop in a small town in Colorado. I'm miles from anywhere and am clueless as to where I can get wholesale yarn. I've looked on the internet, but the prices still seem a little high, especially when I add in shipping. The store I want to lease is about 500 sq. ft. I want to start with a good basic stock and add to it as I, hopefully, grow. Can anyone give me list of what they'd start with and where to go to buy it? I definitely want some wool, merino, alpaca, sock yarns and baby yarn. I would appreciate any help or advice I can get. I've been writing all the shops I've been to in Denver and Albuquerque, but can't get an answer. Thanks so much for the advice.

Linda Parmiter

umbaba
Seriously Hooked

USA
693 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  3:52:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit umbaba's Homepage Send umbaba a Private Message
Buy a couple copies of Interweave Knits and Vogue knits magazines - they have listings of contact information for various yarn distributors. Start contacting the ones that you are interested in, a lot of times you have to buy sample cards ($10 to $150 for complete sets). Talk to knitters in your area and start creating a strong picture of what you want your store's personality to be and make a business plan.
Read through all of threads here about opening a new shop and you will learn a lot.
I grew up in Denver and have lived in Durango and Boulder - where are you?

...as soon as I finish this row

www.abundantyarn.com
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wagee
New Pal

USA
36 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  4:34:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit wagee's Homepage Send wagee a Private Message
Linda,

Here's how i started out back when i was clueless: I went through recent issues of Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting and collected email addresses for all the yarn companies I could find. Not the stores, the yarn companies themselves. I sent introductory emails to everyone, telling them where I'm located, and asked for wholesale information. Be sure to include your contact info (both email and phone number - many reps are not very internet savvy). Many of the larger companies work with reps, and they will forward your information on to the reps. Be prepared for both email and phone replies to your inquiries.

Speaking with reps was extremely valuable in the beginning - they helped me understand the marketplace and the kinds of basic products I should carry. They know the other stores in the area and can give you feedback on your proposed location. In other words, reps can help a great deal before you ever place an order.

Hope this helps,
Warren
www.marinfiberarts.com
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HoJo
Permanent Resident

USA
1474 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  5:39:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit HoJo's Homepage Send HoJo a Private Message
Make sure you make a budget and decide how you want to spread it across your product mix BEFORE meeting with any reps. Otherwise, it is very easy to overspend on one yarn or yarn company and not have any left for other products.

Go back to your own stash and see what you like. Contact those yarns companies directly and explain who you are.

HoJo

Our estore: www.fullthreadahead.com
Yarn for the mind, body, and soul

My blog: www.fullthreadahead.com/blog
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wagee
New Pal

USA
36 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2005 :  11:20:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit wagee's Homepage Send wagee a Private Message
HoJo,

You are so right on that one. I was not prepared for my first meeting; to make a long story short, I met with the owner of a yarn company who just happened to be in town a month before I was ready to meet with the rep. I figured we'd just be chatting, not ordering yarn! Five hours later, after showing me all the yarn, we wrote up an order, but I insisted it be a 'proposal' order since I hadn't even signed my lease at that point. I wasn't keeping track of how much everything cost, so in the end I was waaay over budget. I went through the order afterwards and adjusted it to fit my budget. Then I adjusted it again when I met with the rep, removing some things and adding others.

The rest of my meetings went very smoothly: I had my laptop with me and kept track of everything I chose in a spreadsheet, keeping a close eye on the budget.

Warren
www.marinfiberarts.com
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pamulla@earthlink.net
Chatty Knitter

100 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2005 :  05:25:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit pamulla@earthlink.net's Homepage Send pamulla@earthlink.net a Private Message
Do you have a business plan? I think the US Small Business association may have help for you there. Next, you need a tax id number or companies will not give you wholesale prices. To be successful, you need to get your business ducks in a row before you can do the fun stuff like yarn, decorating, classes, newletters, websites, etc.
I have a friend who opened a yarn shop two years ago and she did a lot of research and planning prior to buying the first skein. She has since expanded, but in a controlled manner and is doing quite well.


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