I am an alchemist. Alchemists were pseudo-scientists back in the day who thought you could transform one thing into another. The goal was to turn things into gold. I am taking my love of yarn, my love of sock knitting and in particular sock yarn, my love of color, my hobby of dyeing my own sock yarn, my penchant for experimenting in the kitchen with my dyes, and the fact that I am currently unemployed and transforming all of these things into one brand new amazing thing....a thriving company, one that I can support myself with.
Dyed Bright Here is my company. Well, technically it's still a hobby. Yes, I am starting to make a name for myself. Yes, I am working at moving into selling wholesale to local yarn shops so that I can get my gorgeous colors into the hands of more knitters. But I have a long way to go before I can support myself by doing this.
So today, the thing I am thinking-out-loud about is a "Dyer's Club". I have seen some amazing sock clubs and fiber clubs. While I would love to eventually do something like that, I am not proficient enough in my pattern writing skills (nor have I had much knitting time at all let alone design time) to feel that I could consistently offer a quality product along those lines. And my first goal is to always deliver a quality product.
I sell my yarn wholesale to yarn shops and also retail straight to you the consumer through my Etsy shop. Obviously, there is a difference in how much money I make from these two ventures. Selling straight to the consumer is much more lucrative. However, the sales are much smaller and it takes a lot longer to get my name out there. I make a lot less per skein when I sell to the yarn shops. However, on that side we're talking much larger orders plus my name is out there in front of a lot more knitters a lot faster.
Either way, one of the most important things for me in terms of getting more people to find me, look at my products, try my products and recommend me and my stuff to other people is just getting some good old fashion buzz going. That's what this space is for. I also use Twitter, and to a much lesser extent, Facebook and Ravelry. I need to work on that more, and I need your help.
I recently went through the steps to get myself added as a "Yarnie" on Ravelry. I added photos of most, if not all, of my colorways. People have stashed my yarn. There is a completed project made from my yarn. This is a great start. But, I would love to see it happen a LOT more. And that is where you come in...
The "Dyer's Club" that I'm thinking of is more like a reward system for you for helping me spread the word. I need PR people, I need mentions, I need blog posts, I need more yarn stashed on Ravelry, I need more projects done in my yarn and posted on Ravelry, and most importantly, I need more retail sales. That's a lot of I need, I need, I need... So, I'm working through ways to reward all of those things without creating a pile of work for myself in the process.
One of the things I am considering is some sort of point system for all of the above things with the reward being that the points are redeemable for discounts on future purchases and/or free yarn.
Another thing I am considering is special colorways available only to those who participate.
And, finally, special sales only for those who participate.
This was all going to start with new retail sales as of a certain date. You buy a skein and you are automatically registered. The problem with that is that there are a number of people out there who have been very loyal supporters of mine who have already bought a number of skeins. And while, I firmly believe that buying sock yarn doesn't "count" in terms of stash diets and "You can never have too much sock yarn" should be written on my walls, the truth is that times are tough all over and money is tight for a lot of us. The last thing I would ever want to do is tell those who have supported me thus far that they can't play too unless they spend more money. That's insane from a business perspective and just not nice as a human being.
That said, I really do need to generate sales. So, my first instinct is to reward sales the most. After that, posting completed projects on Ravelry that were done with my yarn seems like the next best kind of publicity. Blog posts, Facebook posts, Stashing on Ravelry, Tweets, and links back here are all components too.
So, with all of that said, what would you like to be rewarded with? Are you willing to sign on as a PR person for me? Can you help me get some more exposure and sales? Would you like it to be a contest of sorts? Should I reward those who do more on a different scale? Would you like discounts on future purchases or special colors or sales not available to just anyone?
Please leave a comment to let me know your thoughts. I appreciate your help!