The winds of change blew through on Saturday after spending a lovely, full day with Anne of Middle Brook Fiberworks.
We took a ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island so she could see Churchmouse Yarns & Teas in person as well as a stop in to visit Emily of Local Fiber Studio and her herd of Finn sheep.
We then drove on down the road to Port Gamble for a delicious lunch at Butcher Baker, where we shared the most delicious fried chicken sandwich and kale/beet salad.
Another stop to see Heidi at The Artful Ewe and a quick look around Port Gamble before we trundled down to the Kingston Ferry Terminal to catch the boat back over to Edmonds/Seattle.
I had the pleasure of also meeting Anne’s friend, Megan, of the Fiber Gallery Yarn shop.
This was about an eight hour day, of almost non-stop chatting. Anne had many great ideas to share and I just was in awe of all the possibilities of things I can do to be a great #spin15aday shepherdess.
So I dove in, head first, with no real workflow to ensure that I can get to the end goal. Most times in business, without vision and planning, the project fails half-way through. I’m hoping I can avoid that pitfall.
The first thing to do, updating the website from blog to something more powerful and useful to fiber folk. A cleaner, professional look. I’m getting there!
Next, working on #spin15aday gear to help sustain #gift-aways and to bring the community together through small items that other’s recognize when at a fiber festival or a spin-in. We spinners love anything that’s wool-bling.
Then there is the BIG project, the “(fiber) farm directory.” It’s almost scary if I really sit down and think about it, but I don’t. I just go about my research, looking for fiber farms around the world and grabbing their email addresses with hopes that they are still in business and that the email doesn’t bounce back.
I’m trying to stay as efficient as possible, using a Google form to send out to farms. They fill out a short questionnaire for farm directory information as well as a photo. We all love pretty pictures of sheep!
There was a great article in the Spin-Off Magazine, Spring 2012, about a fiber map. I can see this being done for a guild in a specific area. I had wanted to do it for Washington State, but the timing just wasn’t right for me six years ago.
Now here I am, trying to collect information on fiber-related farms around the world and I have hopes that I can make it what it truly can be, a resource for spinners everywhere.
Until next time…
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Part One: Best Advice
One of the #wemakeyarn photo prompts for January was best advice.
As you can see in the above photo, I had decided to post about giving advice.
Never give up.
Well, I took my own advice to heart as I started working on my business website last night. It was a lot of trial and error, restarting, changing, deleting, pulling from the trash, throwing back in the trash and reading all sorts of advice out on the world wide web.
I think I did enough testing to make sure things are working as properly as possible, so I am officially opening my website store.
Part Two: The Studio
In part, the studio will not only house my love of wool, it will also house my sharing of my love of wool. Working full time outside of the home supports my home, so having a small business in place, I can only hope it will help to support the sharing for my love of wool. The studio is part of a long range retirement plan as well.
Once the studio is completed (fingers crossed for this spring), the studio will be open on weekends for fiber folks to make an appointment to try out knitting machines, different types of spinning wheels, or just rent the equipment for an hour or two without having to commit to any big purchases.
I have no false dreams. I know that Mom & Pop businesses no longer can make it in the box/online store age that we live in. Though, I do have hope. Hope that I can possibly encourage another person in the way of crafting with wool and keeping traditions alive.
Eventually, the website will house the upcoming events for the studio.
Just remember, “it’s bigger on the inside.”