Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Firefly Fibers: Open for Business!!!

After months of getting ready to open, we finally did it!!!

Our opening day was May 29 and we had so many customers and visitors!  The positive feedback that day had our heads spinning and made it worth all of the time, sweat, and energy we put into our store.  Thank you all SO much!

Since then, it has been 3 weeks... I spent the week after opening finalizing orders, the following week I went to TNNA, and have spent the last week getting caught up.  Whew, that was a lot of work!

Here are a few pictures of the store:

I have really missed working face-to-face with people and having the opportunity to experience so many different personalities.  I enjoy meeting and talking with each and every one of our customers and visitors.  I love when knitters and crocheters come in and we talk yarn, share our current projects, and I get their thoughts on the store.  On the flip side, I love it when passers-by wander in (either intentionally out of curiosity or by accident, and they do wander in by accident) and disappointingly say "Oh, it's just yarn" and start to walk out when something catches their eye and they are here for another 15 minutes "ooo-ing" and "ahhh-ing".

We have had one Open Knitting (now called Sit 'n Stitch) session and it was a lot of fun!  There were flowers (pending re-potting) and lots of chatting and clicking!  As I type, we are getting ready for our second Sit 'n Stitch and I am sure it will be just as much fun, if not more fun.

Thank you to everyone who has come into the store to share in this experience, I look forward to seeing you again.

Cheers and Happy Knitting!

Friday, June 18, 2010

TNNA Review

Wow!  I am finally taking a moment to sit down and blog.  It's hard to believe that my last post was April 30th!  Since then, Firefly Fibers has been open for 3 weeks and there are so many stories to tell and pictures to share, but that is for another post in the near future...

Today's post is about my first experience at the TNNA Needle Arts Market June 12-14 in Columbus, Ohio.  For those of you that don't know what TNNA is, here is a quick summary:  The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) is a trade based organization with a conference (yes, a conference for yarn) providing classes and an unbelievable market with all things needle related.  This means, yarn, accessories, more yarn, more accessories, and then more of everything still!  A totally amazing experience!

Columbus, here I come!!!

Wednesday:  I left our store in the care of my husband and was off to Columbus, Ohio.  I spent the evening in Chicago to split the trip up and to visit with a friend that I haven't seen in a very long time (thank you again Nicole).  Of course, I went to bed much too late and had to get up much too early Thursday morning.  

Thursday: After getting up at 3 am and leaving Chicago at 4:30 am, I experienced several events, including, but not limited to: getting in the wrong toll booth lane and stopping traffic (yes, that was me and I am very sorry), having my credit card get stuck in another toll booth and having to talk to the voice in the toll booth machine (?) to get my credit card back (this was a little like ordering at McDonald's), taking 2 wrong turns, and arriving in class to disappointingly realize that Columbus, OH is on Eastern time (I was on time for Central time).  After class was out, I managed to check into the hotel, finally find the parking garage and my way back to the hotel, eat, and call it quits for the day.  Whew, that was a rough day!  I did have a good view from my room:
Friday: I got up early to attend the TIPs sessions. These were quick 30 minute sessions on a variety of topics and they were wonderful!  I attended the retail lunch and sat with some very nice yarn shop owners from Montana.  I had another class in the afternoon and then squeezed in time for some supper and a little bit of time to relax.  In the evening I met up with a new friend (Hi Ellie!) who is a buyer for another company here in town and we attended the 2010 Spring/Summer Fashion Show.  It was fun to see the new trends and comment on them with a fellow fashion lover!  The show was great and I can't wait to get a copy of the dvd!
Saturday: Got up early again to attend a couple sessions and get to the market as soon as they opened the doors at 10 am.  The booths and products were amazing!  There was so much to look at and touch.  I somehow managed to injure my ankle and had to take it easy with the walking the rest of the weekend.  Those of you that know me should not be surprised by the comedy of events over the course of the event, it could have been much worse.  I sadly ended up skipping supper out with Ellie and some others because I was so tired and had an early class that I was determined to be on time for.

Sunday:  More class time in the wee hours of the morning (I was on time).  I took Mosaic Knitting with Melissa Leapman. This was my only technique class and it was so fun and easy that I am developing a class for here at the store to teach the technique.  After class I was off to limp around at the market again and then off to bed early.   

Monday: I was up early and on my way home.  The drive home was, thankfully, uneventful.

Overall, it was a great weekend!  I enjoyed meeting the designers, seeing the new trends, and meeting my vendors face-to-face.  After being at market, we now have new colors in Misti Alpaca Chunky and Spud & Chloe (all weights) in stock.  We also have several other new yarns and accessory items on the way and will update you as they arrive.  Here is one of our new Misti colors, Montego Bay (not yet on the Misti website) and is stunning in person:
TNNA was a wonderful experience that I look forward to again next year, only in more comfortable shoes, with more rest, and fully knowing what to expect.

Cheers and Happy Knitting!