Everyone needs a hobby and nothing feels better than serving people who share the same interests as you. Opening up a yarn store is a darn good idea but it is not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of things that you need to consider, market research that you have to conduct, and a few legal stuff here and there that you need to plow through. If you are like me, in that you feel like the opening up a tidy and colorful yarn store is your calling, then look no further as I journey you through my own experience.
Make no mistake, the path towards the completion of this journey is no walk in the park. But, if there is anything that will sustain you, it will be the love of yarn and knitting. So, if your heart is not set into it, and if this is just a job to you, then turn back now. The yarn store business is cutthroat and feeble wills shall bend. With that said, let us see just how much fun you are going to look forward to.
Dreaming of a Yarn Store
During my earlier years, I was kind of an odd duck among my peers. They dreamt of curing cancer, heading multinational conglomerates or becoming president. While I was daydreaming about the years when I can just sit back and relax on my rocking chair, watching the sunset, and a pair of knitting needles in my hands. It is not that I am lazy or do not enjoy the thrills. But something about the gentle solace as I look forward to a future doing nothing that sits right with me. Knitting will shield me from the overly convoluted world and keep my mind serene is what I thought.
Nevertheless, I did have friends who share the same love for knitting but perhaps not as fervently as I do. We made each other scarves, gloves, sweaters, oven mitts, and pretty much everything else we can knit. We would sneak into our favorite corner in the library and knit the entire recess period away. We were just a group of cheeky teenagers wrecking havoc again.
As soon as I made it past the point of no return, I already had my mind set on the thing that I love. Knitting was no longer just a hobby for me and I felt that under the deluge of yarns is where my place was going to be when I grew older. The eureka moment happened during a guidance counselling session. When I was asked what I would do after I graduate, I knew I could not say knitting. I understood that a vague plan like that will not sustain me and I did not want the counsellor to break my heart by saying it is just a hobby. She would be right however but I did not need any negativity then. They said it will be bad for the yarn. As she leaned over after the usual monologue about how graduation is the start of my own epic, I knew the question that was coming. And in that moment, I just blurted out the first thought that I had. I knew it had to have knitting in there somewhere but I need to make a living out of it. So, with all the fake confidence I could muster, I challenged myself and said I wanted to open up a yarn store.
To be honest, I could not remember how the counselor reacted then, but I knew in my heart that what I said, I said in earnest. She might have been laughing or surprised that I even had a plan and sounded decisive at that. But I guess my biggest takeaway from that session was that I knew what I was lacking. I got the yarn part of the yarn store. But my knowledge on the other half, the store, was completely limited to buying from one. The selling part, not so much. So, for my bright future entangled with yarn, I knew what I must do. I needed to learn business.
The Yarn Store Business
Opening up a business is hard especially if you do not have the faintest clue on how to do it. Aside from my brief stint as lemonade stand manager in the commercial space that is the front of our lawn, I knew next to nothing. I started with gaining basic financial literacy and it really opened my eyes. At first, I was simply doing it for the love of yarn, but then later on I realized just how important it is. I kept asking myself how I was able to survive being so ignorant in this matter. Maybe they taught it in school but my head is filled with too much cottony yarn to focus.
After a long overdue crash course on how money works, then came forth the business planning. My yarn store business was going to be as fluffy as I pictured in my head, but apparently that was not enough for a business plan. I need the plan to be as clear and concise as possible but it was not going to be easy as I needed to clear my mind from the fluff.
Yarn Store Costs
If there is anything as good as yarn in the world, it would probably be money but that is just because you can buy more yarn with it. Before I can start my yarn store business I needed to amass an amount needed for starting up my business as well as keeping it running. By my estimates, I needed to get at least ten thousand dollars just to start. Tempting as it might be to spend that entire amount to buy yarn, I had to set aside money for costs to run my business. These costs include the rent, utilities, insurance and equipment. I did not think I would need staff at least in the first few months of operation.
What makes it so expensive to start up a yarn store is to fund the marketing drive. It is surprising to find out that a lot of people need convincing to start buying yarn. And to convince them to buy it from me, is a whole different matter as well. Even though it is painful, I had to accept that knitting is just a hobby for most.
I did all the tricks to get the word out about my yarn store. I opened channels on a few streaming platforms and annoyed the heck out of the members of online selling groups with my very informative videos. And to top it off, I still did traditional advertising.