This is a busy time of year for us at Yarnmarket. YarnMartians are scurrying about, preparing for TNNA next week and ensuring that we've got all our ducks in a row for the show. As you may know, this is the big industry trade show and it's where the manufacturers present us with the upcoming season's yarn fashions. We meet with our good friends from Berroco, Rowan, Crystal Palace, South West Trading Company, -- and oh, so many more -- and we decide which yarns we'll be offering to our beloved Yarnmarket shoppers.
Alex and Jan do the heavy lifting. They go from booth to booth, checking out the yarns and the pattern books that support them, and working with vendors to determine the best selection for our shop. They're absolutely slammed throughout the event, gathering materials and negotiating deals while I have the easier task.
I get to attend at a more leisurely pace, saying hi to friends like Iris and Elliot Schreier from Artyarns, the wonderful Della Quimby, and the beautiful Twisted Sisters. (Whenever I can't find Alex, I head over to the Twisteds booth.)
When I can, I steal a few minutes from Casey, Jessica and Mary-Heather from Ravelry, mostly to thank them for so graciously taking my ad dollars throughout the year. Mary-Heather and I have gone through a lot together.
Dear Mary-Heather, Why won't my ads upload?
Dear Deb, They're the wrong size.
Dear Mary-Heather, Oh...sorry. I don't understand this new-fangled technology. I long for the days of manual typewriters that gave me enormous finger muscles, carbon paper that I invariably got all over my hands and face so I looked like a Smurf, and faxes that whirred around madly for three minutes making a crazy screeching sound until someone in another city received a dark, smudgy, slippery illegible copy of a document that would have been sent via Fedex if Fedex had existed at the time.
You know, I'm starting to enjoy this old and crabby thing that's been happening to me lately. (Why can't they make potato chip bags you can open with your teeth? Whatever happened to Koratron, that space-age fabric you never had to iron? Why hasn't David Bowie called? Can't he see that I'm getting old and tired of waiting for him?)
Okay...enough ranting. Back to work.
One reason I particularly love the TNNA show is that I get to speak to Penelope and Jennifer from Knit 'n Style, Tiffany from Interweave Knits, Rose Ann from Vogue Knitting and all the other media folks who help me place magazine advertising for Yarnmarket and BargainYARNS throughout the year.
I love advertising...so I love buying it. Which means I love spending money that Alex loves forcing me to justify with algorithms and spreadsheets with CPM, COGS, ROI and other neat little acronyms that prove the money is well spent. (I'd like to thank all those wonderful, brilliant computer geeks who invented Excel because it saves me hours and hours of number tumbling. If it weren't for you, I'd still be doing calculations on our 2007 media buy...with a calculator the size of a toaster that chugs along slowly until it prints out my answer in dot matrix on a thin strip of paper.)
We not only attend the TNNA show as a yarn shop, but we also have a booth there for Yarndex, the online yarn directory, and YarnMerchant, our special service that helps local yarn shops when they quickly need to fill a customer order for something they don't have in stock. They go online to YarnMerchant and quick as a wink, we get the yarn out to them. That way, they can keep their customers happy without having to buy the manufacturer's minimum quantity which sometimes can be expensive.
Sue and Marianne man (or "woman") our booth and answer questions about Yarndex and YarnMerchant. So if you happen to be at TNNA and you see them, please stop by and say hi. I'd hate to think that they're lonely.
When it's all over and we return to the thriving megalopolis of Pickerington, OH, Alex and Jan will give me lots to write about...and I'll probably have stories about how many times I had to go to the Twisted Sisters booth to find my husband. (I've got to admit it: If I had a choice between me and a Twisted Sister, I'd pick the Twisted, too!)