Sunday, June 10, 2007

Busy Busy Busy!

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted on this blog! There are so many new things going on at the shop.

First, the website is up and, while I'm still loading the database for the shopping cart, the site is now operational! We even have the Merchant Mall link up and running under the "Charts" button so you now have 85% of the charts that are on the market just a click away.

Second, last weekend (June 1-3) was needlework and yarn market and so all the new items we've ordered have started to arrive. In fact, I just received an email Thursday that the new Berroco acrylic yarn "Comfort" will be delivered on Tuesday (6/12.) I'm not sure where I'm going to put it... which means we'll be doing a little "cleaning house" (if you get my drift) sometime in the next couple of weeks. Sydney (our teen help) is going to be so surprised when she gets in on Wednesday. LOL!

I urge you to go to the Berroco website ( ) to check out all the new designs and yarns! While you're there, sign up for their newsletter. It arrives every Friday morning and has LOTS of great information regarding trends and colors, as well as free patterns.

Reynolds yarns will be arriving here in July and August, and we have a second shipment of Berroco yarn due here in August, as well. Watch for more information about the new yarns in a later post.

The Patriotic Sale went well this past weekend. All patriotic charts, as well as red, white, and blue yarn, were on sale to those customers who had made a purchase in the past 45 days. (We handed out discount coupons with each purchase.)

The discount flyers were such a hit that we'll continue the "specials" right through September. You'll receive the flyer with your next purchase... and if you have a full Busy Needle Customer Care Card you may use it in conjunction with the coupon discount, except in September.

One final website note I forgot to mention... Kevin, the web guru, will meet with me at the house tomorrow (Monday) to help finalize the set-up of The Busy Needle's shopping cart. Hopefully when he leaves you'll be able to make online purchases on Tuesday morning. My next goal is to upload the sale yarn next! Yea! Watch for it in the next two weeks.

Well, the Toni Awards are on and I don't take enough time for myself, so I'm going to go and watch them. (Kevin, please forgive me for not continuing to upload data, but my eyes are now crossed!)

More later!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Market report

Market was great! It was Jackie's first time there and she was in awe of the 5 stories of designers. (I had to hurry her along when we'd only done 2 floors in 4 hours.)

Over the next 2-3 weeks I'll be bringing all the new charts and needlework accessories to the shop. I have almost all of them now loaded into inventory - what a job!

The UFO Night ladies have already seen the new magnetic needlekeeps in cameo-like designs. I was surprised at how well they were received. The remaining stock is already at the shop and I'm already planning to order more of the cat keep. At under $10 they are a steal.

We've added another designer to our mix - Hinzeit! Their new charts "Snow," "Girlfriends," "Coast Guard," "Seasons," and "Game Room" are already on display at the shop. These charts include adorable three dimensional charms, are quick to stitch, and are very reasonably priced.

On Tuesday I'll bring in the new Gentle Arts Sampler Threads colors (think brights!) as well as a new ceramic bead caddies. This caddy is not for storage, but is used for holding beads while working putting them onto your work. I really like mine! Stay tuned for more goodies.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The contract is signed!

The contract for website development has been signed and the check has been received! We're on our way!Of course, the first thing that has to be done is my responsibility. I have to sign up for web hosting. Kevin recommends and it looks pretty good. We'll need the Basic service for now. I expect that will probably grow in the next year or two, but we'll see.

I'm excited. No.... I'm REALLY excited! Putting The Busy Needle website in cyberspace has been on my list of Goals and Objectives for th past two years. Kevin has assured me that we will go "live" by April 2.In the meantime, I'll keep you all posted on what's happening.

You'll be able to see how we're progressing (though you won't be able to use the shopping cart until we go live) because Kevin has agreed to allow you to "see" the work as it's being done. You can monitor our progress!Please feel free to give me input. I want this website experience to be a good one for all of us, so if there's something that you think we can do better (or just something you really dislike) just drop me an email and I'll see what we can do.
Posted by Elise at 5:28 PM 0 comments

Thursday, December 7, 2006

New yarns, charts and fibers

It's been a quiet hectic day. Quiet because there hasn't been an abundance of foot traffic in the shop, yet hectic because of all the boxes of new stuff we've received in the past two days. New Artful Yarns and Reynolds yarn, new cross stitch charts from Dragon Dreams, With My Needle, My Mark and Kustom Krafts, new fibers from Caron and Thread Gatherer... Getting them all logged into inventory in the computer before Sit & Stitch (UFO Night) tonight has been a challenge.

Sorting the special orders out of the boxes and calling customers to let them know their materials have arrived is the fun part. People are so happy to find that their order has arrived. Once in a great while we have a problem with a supplier, but not often.

Egad! It's time to set up the tables and get the lights ready. Time flies when you're having fun!Later!

Posted by Elise at 2:37 PM 0 comments

UFO Night

The ladies are coming tonight. It's UFO Night at The Busy Needle. Everyone gathers at the shop at 7:00 pm where they stitch until 9-9:30. Dessert and coffee are served and everyone goes home with a goody bag.At least, that's how it started.

However.... about 2-3 years ago the ladies realized that I closed the shop at the usual 6 pm and had dinner with my husband at one of the local restaurants. Since then, they've called to find out where we "all" are having dinner. They come; their husbands and children come. We've had to move the shop closing back to 5:30 to get everyone in and out of the restaurant/s by 6:50 so I can get back and open the shop on time.

It's all a lot of fun and everyone has become close friends... even the husbands. (And the husbands seem to be more supportive when they see and talk with other husbands in the same situation.) While we still try to end the evening by 10:00 pm, there are nights when we've talked until almost midnight (and it wasn't even a scheduled Midnight Madness!) Those days seem really long to me (12-15 hours) but the friendships that have developed are well worth it.

Posted by Elise at 2:37 PM 0 comments
Thursday, December 7, 2006

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Web site beginnings

I met with a website developer earlier this week. This will be my second "try" at starting a website for The Busy Needle, a needlework and yarn shop I own in White House, Tennessee. While I don't want to go into the horrid specifics of the first try, suffice it to say that if you agree to give someone a chance who's just starting out, you'll get less than what you pay for.

This time I did some research, checked out websites I liked and the people who developed them, and then chose someone who came highly recommended by a computer professional I trust. I'm waiting for the developer's proposal but, at first blush, it looks as though we're going to get along well. Time will tell. I've given him enough time (3 months) for both of us to complete our necessary tasks to get the site up and operational.

Because it's a commercial site with a shopping cart, and because needlework and yarn shops have a LOT of little stuff to sell, we need to get it right the first time. Fortunately, I've won photographic awards (late '70s - seems like another lifetime!) so I'm confident that I can take the photos necessary for the site. The developer will edit out the backgrounds.

So... What's to be on the site? In addition to the aforementioned shopping cart, there will be a newsletter, shop and staff photos, class schedule, wish list, retreat and camp information, as well as an area for free charts (knitting, crochet, cross stitch, needlework, etc.) that we develop. We'll have an "About Us" section, too, as well as an Archive of past newsletters, newspaper columns and articles (I sometimes write about needlework and knitting for our local paper), and anything else noteworthy.

Because I design the majority of our class materials, those patterns will be for sale at some point as we update materials, fibers, and class offerings.

And there will be Sales and Specials sections.

But the most fun, I think, will be that anyone will be able to watch the site unfold before we're online. I know.... Most businesses don't (won't!) do it that way. They want to present a finished professional product to the public. But yarn and fibers are hands-on materials that one crafts into something more, and I believe the website should be viewed the same way - as an UnFinished Object (or UFO, as we sometimes call things.)

If anyone has any suggestions along the way, I'll be glad to hear about them. If there's something you like on another needlework or yarn site, let me know about it. And if there's something you DON'T like I'd appreciate hearing about that as well. Just understand, please, that we may have to pick and choose. What you may want may not be do-able (or it may not be within my budget!)

Anyway, this will be an ongoing project. Come back and see how we're doing!

Posted by Elise at 3:16 PM 0 comments