For those of you just joining me, a recap:
I spin and sell yarn as a small business, and I am preparing for a craft show on the 16th. Normally, I leave everything til the last couple of days and then I nearly pass out from working like mad to get ready. There are always huge things I forget, like change for purchases or my sales order book, or price tags. Not this year, though. And this year, I’m adding my destash—yarn and fiber I acquired with the intention of using it, but decided I never would. I’ve managed to cull two Rubbermaid bins full that I will sell to augment my stock of handspun yarns. I am blogging about it as I go, partly to share with the UfYH crowd, and partly to have a record of proof that I really did it. The other day, I wrote about packaging the fiber.
So tonight I worked on the next part of sorting, which was weighing, rewinding, bagging, and marking all the yarn I’m selling out of my stash. I had—you guessed it—an overflowing Rubbermaid bin full of it, some of it tangled and most of it disorganized. I figured I’d do some 20/10s on it and be done. I sat down with the new Doctor Who episode and got to work.
That was 9 hours ago.
Now, I know that marathons aren’t recommended. I promise I took lots of breaks, making a point of getting up and stretching, making dinner, eating…etc., etc. I even dragged out my old-fashioned inventory forms and filled them out as I worked, so I have a nice record of everything I’m selling in this bin.
(Note to other crafting business owners: the inventory sheet is a fabulous tool, tbh. It can be a lifesaver if ever something should happen to your wares; you’ll have an itemized accounting of everything and are more likely to get money back to replace it. You never know.)
I know there are programs online and I could even do a spreadsheet in Excel…which I do. But having that paper that I can put my hands on, or store in my Info Binder, is just an extra level of security. I’ve been really, really bad about keeping records, and I am just waiting for the day when we have a fire or a flood or a break-in and I have to remember what was lost. Not my idea of a good time.
So now I am finishing up with some tiny skeins that I’ll be selling by the ounce, and then tomorrow I start a week of entirely revamping my actual stock. That will be “interesting”, and I’ll probably need to recruit help. But it will get done! And the great thing is, it’ll be done well in advance of the show, which means less stress in the days leading up to it. I’ve also taken the time to put together a list of EVERYTHING I need, up to and including my inventory and pieces for the spinning wheel I’m taking with me.
This may seem like a LOT of prep for a small craft fair, but it’s not just for this show. I have opportunities all the time to sell my stuff, but I’m usually not ready for it. Last year I turned down two additional shows because I just wasn’t prepared. That is a terrible way to run a business! This way, I will have pre-packaged, ready-for-the-road stock. It’ll be dry, clearly marked, and priced in advance. I’ll have 3 bins of yarn and fiber, and one half-size bin with my notecards, stitch markers, jewelry, and the cash box. How cool would it be to just say “sure, I can make that show!” and just toss the bins in the car and go??
I usually dread shows (I love them once I’m there, but it’s always SO MUCH WORK leading up to them) but this year, I am excited about them again. I have a new pricing method, a new look to my packaging, and the destash will bring in customers that might not have been interested in my other things (i.e., the bargain hunters, lol). So this 9 hours today and the time I spent the other day and the time I will spend again will ALL BE WORTH IT.
Until my next update, I am declaring this part of the business…