Saturday, May 21, 2011

Retail Packing Event, May 21-27, 2011

Starting today, Retail customers will be able to purchase our yarns in half-kilo packs. The normal presentation is one kilo packs, and there are ten skeins weighing 100 grams each in a kilo pack. So, yes, that's ten times one hundred equals one thousand grams, aka one kilo. Expressed in pounds, one kilo equals 2.2 pounds, so half a kilo is 1.1 pounds. For most knitters, a pound of yarn will take care of just about any project. It's those pesky wholesale handdyers who deal in the mind boggling numbers of kilos. I often wonder how on earth some of my customers are able to put out the sheer volume of work involved in dyeing those large orders! I've tried it and found out very quickly that these artists are also strong and determined folk, and are to be admired!

But, back to the Retail Packing Event... This is a time for hobby buyers to pick up more yarns because they don't have to commit to a full kilo, and can spread the pennies around. Yarns with silk and cashmere, for instance, in the blends are more accessible. It's a great time to stock up for future projects or to tuck away a couple of fancy skeins for an upcoming dye workshop. For Christmas knitters who love to give gifts which are just about as hand made as you can get without owning and shearing your own sheep, the Packaging Event is timed just right for getting ahead of the plan. And, we all know that many of us are knitting right up to Christmas eve.

At our end, we've altered the wholesale inventory to reflect the yarn moved into these new listings on the website, and will be opening and repacking the kilo packages as the retail orders come in. It will be a week of counting, recounting, and then trying to undo all the double inventory figures at the end of the week.

It's worth it, though, especially when a month or so later there is a post on our group on from a retailer who discovered a new favorite yarn, and they post a picture of their work. Many of our retail customers grow into wholesale customers. Their hobby becomes a home-based business, and this opportunity to try out new yarns could be background research for someone's business plan. We never know.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wholesale Requirements apply to every order

Just a reminder to wholesalers: Every order must weigh a minimum of five kilos. If you have a private order and it is under the weight minimum, you will need to add in other yarns to meet the wholesale requirement. In the past, we have been nice and gentle about a little forgetfulness here and there, but some folks are making a habit of being forgetful. So, please note that every time you use your wholesale discount, you must order five kilos, and the five may be mixed between yarns, of course.

If you do not need five kilos, please create a new retail account. Do not enter your company name or tax id number in the fields as this will prompt the computer to recognize an application for a wholesale account. Use your retail account for orders less than five kilos please.

Thank you,

Monday, May 09, 2011

Holding Stock: BFL and new Falkland yarns

Every business needs to make changes when it is proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that the current system is not working, and that is just what we are about to do with the stock levels of our BlueFaced Leicester and new Falkland British Merino yarns. The demand for these two lines has taken off in the past couple of months, and our old habit of ordering in every week is not enough to keep the stock levels at a healthy point. What has happened is that we have a pile of backorders! I just hate backorders, so we are going to have more of both lines sent in, and have ordered new shelving too.

The thing is that we are fairly proud of how quickly we send out orders. Almost always, unless there is a published reason, we turn orders around within 24 hours, and most of the time they go out sooner depending on the hour they were placed. My customers know this and have come to expect it, in fact so much so that they think nothing of writing an eMail of complaint when an order is delayed two days in shipping! Pretty amazing, really.

So, we've asked Mr. Wool to ship enough of both lines to catch up our backorder list, and to send more in a couple of days of every one of the BFL and Falkland yarns. This includes all of the following yarns:
BFL High Twist
BFL Platinum
BFL Silk Sock
BFL Silky Lace
BFL-4 Socking
Falkland Merino 4 Socking
Falkland Merino DK-SW
Falkland Merino/Bamboo Select lace wt
Falkland Merino/Bamboo Sock
Falkland Merino/Silk 50/50 Sock
Falkland Merino/Silk 50 50 DK
Falkland Merino/Tencel 50/50 Select Lace wt
Falkland Merino/Tencel 50/50 sock
Falkland Merino Platinum Sock

Please allow a week or so for this to work out. It will take that long to catch up and then to get ahead on the packing and shipping.

I think this will solve the minor backorder list we have right now. Even though we have published the warning that there will be a short wait for these yarns, the creation of a backorders means more places to double check an order, and basically, more work. We try to keep things efficiently organized so that we have a handle on stock and orders. It is 'demand' which is the unknown factor, of course. And that's the way of business, isn't it?

We will do what we do best and that is explain what is happening and then move to make the wait go away for our customers. I will reference this post in the next newsletter so that all of this will not be repeated there.

Do I thank you enough? I certainly do not mean to skip over that part of doing business, so here is a heartfelt thanks for making problems like this for me to figure out! Supply and demand, supply and demand....

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Making Plans and Adding Names

The last time we had any yarn from the top bales of a special offering at auction, it was the superfine British Merino. That was such lovely stuff, and I still have a cone of the superwash Aran and a pound of the spinning fiber in my Secret Stash. One of those things that cannot be used for just any project, but saved until the right one comes along.

I believe that is how folks will feel about the Falkland British Merino we are about to handle. It, too, is limited in that there was only so much available, and once it is gone, it will be over and done. In my annual face-to-face meetings with Mr. Wool last week, I learned more about our share of Falkland British Merino. There are 100 kilos of each of the nine yarns made available to Wool2Dye4. The yarns will be posted on the website over the weekend. We will receive weekly shipments to fulfill customers orders, so this means that there may be a backorder of up to a week after you place your order with Wool2Dye4. It is convenient for us to work this way because we have a nice arrangement with UPS and weekly orders come in four or five days, so there is not a very long delay. I know that we usually ship within 24 hours, but since this is a special yarn of a special circumstance, a few days will only sharpen the anticipation.

Here are the nine yarns:

100% FBM
Falkland British Merino 4 Socking
Falkland British Merino DK-SW
Blend with nylon
Falkland British Merino Platinum Sock
Blend with silk
Falkland British Merino/Silk 50/50 Sock
Falkland British Merino/Silk 50/50 DK
Blend with bamboo
Falkland British Merino/Bamboo Sock
Falkland British Merino/Bamboo Select Lace weight
Blend with Tencel
Falkland British Merino/Tencel 50/50 sock
Falkland British Merino/Tencel 50/50 Select Lace weight

We will sell each of the yarns until the one hundred kilos is depleted, and delete them from the inventory as each one exhausts our supply. We will create a new category for this collection called, of course, Falkland British Merino.

This posting of the new line will be in time to be ordered with the next incoming restocking, which is expected around mid-week. Here is a list of what is coming on that shipment.

Cash Aran
Platinum Sock
Sheila's Gold
Silk Sock 50/50
Sheila's Sparkle
and ...

Honeysuckle is our only dyed yarn and it makes it's entrance next week! We are so excited to have the chance to have created a yarn to support our efforts to raise consciousness for breast cancer. Lots more on The Honeysuckle Project as we move forward ... (new website included!).