Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Social Outing

The one constant - the Mill, it's machines all working to make magical yarn.
In the eight or so years I have been lurking around corners at The Yarn Kitchen much has changed.  When I started Skeinz didn't exist.  It was 'The Knitters Factory Shop', my favorite store, with scary 80's wallpaper (and not the cool retro variety), cardboard boxes with all sorts of weird and wonderful yarns and just four 'permanent' ranges - that if you didn't get in quick, once sold didn't come back into stock until the next season.
Brendan Jackson our GM in the old shop (see the wallpaper!)
Then came Ravelry.  Ravelry changed everything.  Ravelry meant that yarn lovers could keep track of their projects and their stash.  They could join groups and communicate with each other, not just in their home country, but all around the world.  Ravelry was the first cohesive site of it's type for lovers of yarn and yarn craft.  With over five and a half million users, it is still growing and has become a panacea of all things yarn, project and design.

Excitement when Skeinz Orb made the Ravely Yarn Top 10

I first learnt of Ravelry about a year after it founded in May 2007.  I was not an early adopter of social media.  I blogged, but the thought of spending  hours online checking on status updates didn't exactly set my world alight.  Not so the case anymore.  Ravelry was my first real 'toe-dipping' into social media, and I loved it.  It was invaluable in the early days of Skeinz.  Ravelry was the springboard from which skeinz.com lept.   Helping communicate with like minded people and actually being able to get opinion from our customer base, as a marketer, is golden.  So when a good friend and successful craft pod caster poked me about my aversion to other forms of social media, I capitulated and dived in.
My first project completed after I signed up to Ravelry, my son was just a few days old.
Four short years later I am just starting to get the hang of status updates, hashtags, tagging (the good kind) and social media etiquette.  I now use Instagram (my personal favourite), Twitter (cross posted from Instagram), Facebook (I manage three business pages as well as my own!) and of course Ravelry.  Without all these communication tools I would not have been able to help skeinz.com grow, Knit August Nights would not be thriving and I wouldn't be able to indulge myself in my love of lovely yarn, food and bulldog related images.

The Skeinz Shop as it is today - this used to be the staff change room!
All this social gathering has meant that Skeinz has grown & this month we added a new Skeinz team member, Claire.  The wallpaper has gone and I get great satisfaction in browsing hashtags to see what people have been up to with Skeinz yarns (View the Instagram hashtag here).  Those couple of original ranges are still there (Perendale, Merino Soft, Southlander & Whisper) but they now have eighteen friends with more in the pipeline.
New Terabyte colours that were featured on Facebook and Ravelry this week.
So, if you haven't done so already, join the Skeinz 'Social Gathering'.  We have a Group on Ravelry, the Facebook page and if you are on Instagram or twitter use the #skeinz so we can see what you are up to.  If all else fails, we'd always love to see you in the flesh, we still have that little shop, tucked in Napier's industrial area at 5 Husheer Place, Onekawa.

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