June 19th, 2009

Tradeshow Warriors

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I am beginning to think that maybe Steve and I should create our own reality show with the above title.  Just back from 9 days on the road with two back-to-back tradeshows.  Driving down our street late yesterday afternoon, I swear the theme music from “Rocky” was playing.

We had a great trip to TNNA.  Meetings, yarn, meetings, more yarn, food, yarn, meeting yarn. . .. .Columbus was a whirlwind.  As always, I did a lousy job taking pictures.  I do not have one yarny picture to share.  I know, I know, I disappoint you once again.  *Sigh*.  I can tell you about yarn though! 

Now, I must preface this by saying that Steve & I do the majority of our buying before TNNA.  We see all of the major lines and many of the mid-tier companies as well.  So just because I don’t mention them here is not a sign that I didn’t like their yarn or that they don’t have super cool stuff coming.  These are show treasures only. 

I have to say one of my personal faves was the new Spud & Chloe line debuted by Blue Sky Alpacas.  A collection of three lovely yarns that are machine wash & try.  Fashion meets function with this collection.  There are three weights – fine, sweater and outer and a limited, but succinct palette for each.  Terrific pattern support for each is a delight as well.  I think what I like most about this line is that it’s complete – yarn, design, packaging – everything is put together, integrated and ready to go.  I love this as a marketer who can appreciate what it takes to make this happen, but also as a shop owner who has been provided with everything I need to be excited about the brand.  The Blue Sky folks have created a wonderful story in Spud & Chloe and were smart enough to give the voice of the brand to the super-talented Susan Anderson.  It all rocks and we’ll have it in the store and on-line shortly.

Steve & I also got to meet the lovely Ron of Buffalo Gold.  We’ve never carried his yarns, but I got to *know* him in the on-line world over the past few months.  I was looking forward to meeting in person at TNNA and we had a great talk.  I’ve admired his yarns from afar for awhile, but my buddy Guido gave me the nudge I needed to really give the yarns serious consideration.  I thought this was one I was going to have to drag Steve through kicking and screaming and was pleasantly surprised when he willingly and with no pressure, not wifely glares that said “I”m buying this yarn with or without your support”.  We even brought in a brand new yarn he debuted at the show which has been hand-dyed by the fine folks at Lornas Laces.  If you click through to her blog and scroll down, you’ll see the lurvely colors.

We bought some cool new bags & accessories from Namaste, Della Q and Lantern Moon.

We hung with some old friends and made new ones.

We stayed up past our bedtime, ate too much good food but a great time.

We left Columbus and headed to Beantown for a conference of another nature.  We went from TNNA where “everyone knows your name” to an intense business conference where people wonder if anyone can actually  make a living selling yarn.  Even one of the speakers, who also spoke at the Yarn Market News Conference in March, mentioned her experience at the conference and found it rather unnerving to see an audience knitting rather than typing on their Blackberrys.  As always, we learned a lot, had some fun along the way but boy oh boy, did Dorothy get it right.  “There’s no place like home”.

Remember – our Berroco giveaway wraps up tonight at midnight.  Go to the previous blog post for the details, read all about the Berroco Fall line and get yourself in on a great giveaway!


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4 Responses to “Tradeshow Warriors”

  1. Sarah C. Says:

    I am so psyched for Spud & Chloe! It’s funny how the buzz for that line (for me) started on Ravelry, and a few days of clicking around have made me very, very anxious for it — and of course I shall wait to buy until it’s on your site. 🙂

    Yay for Kathy and Steve – thank you for everything!

  2. melissaknits Says:

    really cannot wait to touch the Lorna’s Buffalo Gold stuff. really really.

  3. GinkgoKnits Says:

    I too can’t wait to see the LL’s Buffalo Gold — the colors on the LL blog are wonderful. Thanks for the TNNA report!

  4. John Says:

    Tradeshows can be very, very interesting. No matter what the outcome is. Thanks for sharing!

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