February 20th, 2007

The Yarn Harlot’s Call to Action

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So how many of you read The Yarn Harlot’s blog on Friday? If you have not read it as of yet, go there now, read Friday, February the 16th’s post and then come back. For those of you who read Harlot regularly, you know the post I am referring to, the one about representing. I posted a comment, which I don’t think I did correctly, but since there’s somewhere around 800 comments now, I might just be passing it by.

Anyway, she really struck a cord. Steve and I have experienced first hand what she is talking about. We travel to at least one or two conferences each year that are not industry related, but business related. Sometimes it’s marketing, sometimes it’s technology. The technology/internet conferences are the best example. Steve and I go to learn, there are work sessions, networking opportunities and the always dreaded “marketplace”. The marketplace is where vendors set-up shop and try to get you to spend your money on their products that will supposedly help us make more money. There is no question that we are a small fish in a very large, scary pond at these events. So there we are, in the marketplace and we approach a vendor to discuss their products/services. We introduce ourselves and undoubtedly they hear nothing past “WEBS”. We talk about what we are lacking/needing/hoping to find. They are smiling and nodding and then their eye catches our name tag and you notice just the slightest face crinkle. The vendor asks “What type of business do you have (they’ve read past WEBS) and we say “We own a yarn store”. This is when their eyes glaze over and the nice smile freezes on their face. I swear if we touched their face at this moment, it would be like a clip out of a cartoon – their entire face would crumble into a million pieces. More often than not, the vendor hands us their card, a free pen and says “we’ll be in touch”. Not. They do not take us seriously and I’m sure they cannot possible envision a yarn store needing whatever slick product/service it is they are pedaling. This is their really big mistake.

So read Stephanie’s post, the comments and her subsequent post today. If you can be in NYC on March 22nd, with a sock or any knitting for that matter, I urge you to go. Steve and I will be in Florida, otherwise we would be there in a heartbeat.

Although I am sad to miss, what has the potential to be an event of epic proportions, I am actually highly energized by the whole thing. I am working diligently with “Jayme-the-wonder-publicist” to get The Harlot back to Northampton and in a BIG way. For those of you who attended last year’s event in March, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! And if Stephanie’s plans really start to take hold, trust me, WEBS will be on board and making it happen right here in Northampton. Stay tuned.

In other news, I am interviewing Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle tomorrow for this week’s radio show/podcast. This is the first interview I’ve done that is outside of the industry and with somebody I don’t “know”. She is a big time author and I have to say that I am just a wee bit nervous. Steve is off at Stitches West (well, actually he’s in Minneapolis on his way, but you know what I mean) so I will be flying solo. The book is really good, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. So tune in Saturday to the show or the podcast for what I hope will be a very interesting and in-depth interview.

And while we’re talking books, just a reminder that Kate Jacobs, author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, will be at WEBS on Monday, March 12th at 12:00ish for a book reading/signing. We’ll be serving a light luncheon and it promises to be a really nice event, so make your plans now to be there!

My next post will be from Stitches. I arrive on Thursday, just before the show opens. Had to hang back for some business reasons and to give the kiddly winks less “sitter” time and more “parent” time. We have an awesome sitter, but Steve and I are both harboring a bit of parental guilt. We have quite a bit of travel this year and we’re trying hard to keep it all balanced.

Watch for some amazing pictures from the show. If you are in the Santa Clara area this weekend, do not miss the show! Remember, if we hit our goal, my darling, dark-haired honey will be getting some lovely blond tips. There will be photos. Please come and shop ’til you drop!

More knitting next time.

Kathy

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