Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, this was one heck of a year, wasn't it? In the US, we survived the longest election campaign in the history of the universe. We watched a bunch of rich guys take their private jets to Washington to beg for our hard-earned tax dollars. And we watched the stock market tank because our banks were irresponsible in their lending practices.

To make matters worse, we're told that this is just the beginning of the Big Credit Crunch. it wasn't the best year ever. But let's be thankful for all the good things that happened.

We elected a man who sincerely hopes to bring positive changes to our country. The American automotive companies are now -- finally -- going to respond to what the market actually wants and needs. And the banks are going to be more cautious with our money.

That's all good.

At Yarnmarket, we saw a lot of good things happen, too. We added a couple of new YarnMartians to our staff. Jenny, our Web Mistress, is doing great work for us online. And Emily is helping us fulfill orders to knitters throughout the world.

We added oodles of new yarns to our inventory from over 70 manufacturers, we expanded the products we carry on our sale site, BargainYARNS, and we launched, our online fashion magazine. We also helped a lot of yarn shops test new products or fulfill orders through YarnMerchant.

Pat, Michele, Susan and Stefanie completed our Showroom and it's absolutely gorgeous. Every day we have visitors stop by to look at our 700 brands of yarn (yes, 700!)and to shop from the thousands of bins in our warehouse.

Jan helped Alex select the new yarns we've added and wrote her popular newsletter and bulletin twice each month. Research we did on her publications showed that our customers really appreciate the information she provides about yarns, patterns, fashions and charities.

Josh created our BargainYARNS newsletter and introduced The Bargain of the Week. That's when he takes a popular yarn from Yarnmarket and puts it on sale at BargainYARNS for just one week.

Our pickers and packers -- Amy, Alma, Julie and Lisa -- were very busy in 2008 because we're getting many more orders than last year. Lori and the other Lori ensured we got our new merchandise from boxes in the back to bins on the shelves as quickly as we possibly could. And Tina and Brenda saw that every single order was handed over to Marlin each evening when he arrived.

On the customer side, Lynn, Sharon, Susie and Jill ensured that every one of our Yarnmarket shoppers received the best service we could possibly provide. Pat, Josh, Stefanie and Susan were always delighted to help out whenever they could.

Over at Yarndex, Sharon, Susie, Pat and Susan also did a heck of a job keeping the online yarn directory current with over 4500 yarns. (We're always so happy when we visit sites like Ravelry and see how much knitters depend on the information from Yarndex.)

So we've been pretty darned busy. And that's all very positive.

On the personal side, I'm very happy to be working with my husband, Alex -- the man who, when recently asked if he loves me as much when I'm fat responded, "Yes. But it has to cover a larger area, so it doesn't seem like it's as much."

Boy, I laughed so hard I almost choked. For 27 years he's kept me entertained with his very dry, twisted wit. (The kids are sometimes shocked that I don't haul off and belt him. I guess they don't understand.)

Before the year ends, I'd like to thank everyone at Yarnmarket for all their efforts throughout the year, all our manufacturers and their representatives who are so wonderful to work with, our beloved Marlin the UPS guy, and -- mostly -- all the shoppers who have entrusted us with their orders. We really appreciate that you have chosen Yarnmarket to be your online store, and we hope that we've provided you with the top quality service we promise.

I'd also like to give thanks to Dr. Shields of Cross Creek Veterinary Clinic here in Pickerington, Ohio because he provides such wonderful care to many YarnMartian's pets. This year he comforted Alex and me as our cat, Hannibal, needed to be put to sleep. (I still cry when I think about Hannibal.) He also tended to Scarface, the stray who needed medical attention. And he's now taking good care of Gatsby, Michele's pussycat. I think Dr. Shields is someone to be admired. He does the work he loves and he does it well. He is less concerned about money than he is about the welfare of his patients. And he is very quietly kind, caring and sincere.

Maybe in 2009, we'll learn to celebrate nice guys like Dr. Shields rather than larcenous business people, dishonest politicians, airhead heiresses, reality TV stars, and others who deserve our contempt rather than fame.

That will be my wish for 2009. I wish that all you nice guys out there get the recognition and rewards you deserve. It's been a long time coming.

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