Saturday, June 14, 2008

WWKIP - Self-employment is exhausting

Happy Worldwide Knit in Public Day!

If you didn't KNOW today was WWKIP Day then I do forgive you - I understand that there are a great many people who don't knit. This includes a bunch of folks in Major Hill's Park today - the guys in the conservation truck that slowed right down, the folks trying not to fall off their bicycles, the ambling folks passing by trying not to stare. Here are a few of the crazy knitters now -

Apologies for the dark photo - Linda is in front, then Leanne and, if you look closely - a little bit of Nancy by Leanne's knee. And here's the whole gang - minus me.

For the ravelers, intrepid organizer flyfish has posted her photos.

And I got a fantastic picture of Leanne wearing her newest shawl - her own design...but I'll let her blog it - I just wanted to share this lovely photo of her!

When the party broke up a few of us continued on at the Earl of Sussex. There was much knitting which both delighted and confused the wait staff. There was a LOT of laughing. There was definitely some wierd shenanigans involving Dino Nuggets, fries and a Thomas the Tank Engine colouring book. Shout outs to Liz, Fran, and Megot (I suspect I just butchered that spelling - if you read this please correct me!).

Me and Etsy

So as you may have gathered from my last post, I kind of opened a shop? And there's stuff in there that I'm selling?

To be honest I had been contemplating this on and off for months. I love dyeing - so much so that I have rather quickly outstripped my ability to spin it. Things like paying rent keep getting in the way of all the fun stuff like knitting and spinning and hanging with knitting people and being on ravelry and all the good stuff that goes with it.

So rather than drown in wool, and because I've gotten so many lovely comments from folks who's opinions I respect, I decided to give it a shot. At this point, it is all profit as I had purchased roving without the intention to sell. I think what had stopped me before was how wonderful so much dyed stuff already out there is...and I didn't think I measured up (as is usual for me to some arbitrary standard whereby other dyers all have fine arts degrees, long periods of dyeing study undertaken and stupendous studios - I may have an overactive imagination).

The name Three By Hand has been in my head for a long time. I like to imagine what I would name my knitting store, my long awaited novel, my hit TV show... So it seemed like a natural fit for me. Having branded the store, and to some extent me (an odd experience to do it for myself rather than work - a lot more interesting too - what am I all about and how do I convey that) - I feel like I just got a crash course in online selling.

Stuff I didn't know anything about until now:

1. I had NEVER used I have a premier account and apparently this is how I will get money in exchange for goods. I even refunded someone who ordered a second roving to combine shipping (hi Jeanne - that Dandelion is going to be awesome! send pics when spun!)

2. Costs per item add up quickly...between Etsy's share, PayPal's share, what I may swallow in shipping because I am going with set costs rather than per item, envelopes and little fiddly marketing things - well lets just say that learning about pricing is going to take some time and my profit margin may be crap for a while.

3. I have NO clue how to market this...but I am hoping that if I impress enough folks, in time it will work itself out.

I think there's a lot the meantime, I have changed my avatar on ravelry and here...

Promised reviews will have to wait...I need sleep!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and if you can (and want to) don't forget to call your dad tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Jeanne pointed me to your etsy shop after she had bought her rovings - and I can't wait to get the one I purchased - it is gorgeous - I think you will do very well and it does take some time to get used to pricing all things out - and just when you do someone raises their cost - but etsy is a great place to be - I've been there 2 years already!

Jeanne said...

Sounds like a fun WWKIP day! I did the opposite and had my knitting group at my house! Good luck with the store - I know you will do well because your dyeing is gorgeous! You know I'll be back for more!

Uli said...

Very nice blog and I already told you I love your stuff in your shop. I think you will do very well.

I wish I had been able to go to a lovely WWKIP day event but that wasn't in the cards.

betseydoodle said...

hey girl!

I don't seem to recall any shenanigans....


Leanne said...

Shenanigans? There were shenanigans? Indeed some of the other patrons at the pub thought we were a wee bit touched.

And yes, I will blog about my shawl, and other stuff. Soon. really. soon. omg the pressure!

moi in Vancouver said...

Hey, happy WWKIP day. I of course knew nothing of it. And even more, CONGRATS on your foray into e-commerce. knowing nothing about wool or knitting but loving colour, your stuff looks really nice to me. excuse the ignorance but does it have to be spun by the purchaser? i will pass on the info to a colleague at work who is knitting up a storm and drags me into conversations about it. don't know why, she knows i don't knit.

Best of luck with it!

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

I knew that I forgot to do something yesterday. Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on launching your new shop! All the fiddly start-up stuff is a pretty steep learning curve. I help artists and craftspeople with business development for a living ( and can tell you it's always a little bit wonky at the beginning, but your pricing/profit margin will balance out fairly quickly. Your work is lovely and I'm sure you'll do very well!

maget said...

Yep, you mangled the spelling of my name. No big deal. It's maget, spelled exactly the way it sounds. Ironically maget is also the result of a spelling mistake! Good to know how to find you on the inter-web especially since WWKIP was such a riot!