Monday, November 8, 2010

Where You Buy Your Yarn

The knitting ladies at Karma have been coming in for their visits, and their sit-and-knits.  In very large numbers, visitors have been coming in with yarns purchased somewhere else (usually online sources) and showing them off to the owner and the Knit Doctors.  They proceed to visit, drink coffee, knit awhile, and then leave without making any purchase of any kind.

Really?  I get that the economy is challenging all of us right now, and that no knitter will every buy all of their yarn from only one source. From time to time a fiber show, a vacation, or another shop will tempt us all.   I do not get people bringing in yarn purchased from competitors and expecting the staff of the Local Yarn Shop  (LYS) to be excited about their purchase.

In the national and local scenes, the LYS is threatened species.  None of us knit because we must. We knit because we love it.  It's a luxury hobby, whether you knit in acrylic or cashmere.  Since the economy is slow, fewer people have discretionary cash to spend on yarn.  Fewer yarn buyers mean fewer yarn  sales, which means LYS owners are making less money.  Sources indicate that the US has lost over 15% of its Local Yarn Shops in the last year!  Online sources have suffered as well, but to a much smaller extent. 

Our shop owner, MaryAnn, is perhaps the nicest woman on the earth.  She would never show her frustration or hurt feelings when people rub their purchases from elsewhere in her face.  I am not as nice, and am saying in plain terms "Knock it off!"  It's rude to show MaryAnn what you didn't buy from her.  Karma is a business, first and foremost.  The primary focus is to turn a small profit.  Every sale matters, no matter how small.

There are very, very few yarns that cannot be had through Karma, or a satifactory substitute is available.  Every possible price point is represented.  If the LYS is an important part of your knitting life, spend your money there.  Karma is a community shop, supported by the local knitting community.  When the locals stop buying, the shop will close.  It's karma at it's simplest.


Anonymous said...

AMEN!!! We love MaryAnn, she is an amazing person!!! Karma Knitting has the most unique yarns, AFFORDABLE knitting classes, and friendly atmosphere. We live in Batavia, and sadly don't get the chance to come very often, but MaryAnn, and Gomez are always in our thoughts. ~The Gentry Family xoxoxo

Liz Marino said...

Thanks! I'll make sure she gets your kind words. I don't know if you noticed, but our classes are now free! Gomez is enjoying all the extra company on Sundays. He's sure it's all for him!