LYS Tour 2018: Freshman Year
Thank you so much to everyone who came to visit the shop as part of the 2018 Puget Sound LYS Tour last week. We welcomed over 750 visitors during the 5 days of the Tour, and after crunching the stats, an astonishing 83% of those folks were first-time visitors to the shop. WOW! We appreciate your feedback and suggestions - we've been debriefing with our volunteers and are already planning for next year's Tour in various ways.
During the Tour, we hosted Lydia Christiansen of Abundant Earth Fibers, Mary Roth of Elemental Fiberworks, and Karen Whooley of Occhi Blu Press/Karen Whooley Designs for trunk shows and demonstrations. We're always excited to support local businesses and other entrepreneurial women, and the Tour gave us an excellent opportunity to do so; it also gave you a chance to meet these women in person, handle their products and projects, and hear their stories. "Celebrating Community," the theme of this year's Tour, definitely came to life with their visits!
Speaking of celebrating community... I'd be remiss to not highlight the contributions of everyone who played a role in our success this tour. We had help on the floor and behind the scenes from - in no particular order - Debbie, June, Caryn, Meredith, Kirsten, Sammi, Dave, Cheryl, Vicky, Marla, Sandi, Rose, and Eric. These volunteers were the folks who interacted most with customers while I ran the register, and they kept us supplied with food and coffee, made sure our guests were comfortable, and did the million tiny tasks that kept the shop clean and organized during the Tour. Thank you, too, to my family, who put up with me being frantically busy for the month before Tour and working insanely long hours to get everything ready. Our local UPS Store folks made sure we had patterns that looked great. The shop's neighbors were incredibly gracious about the crazy traffic and parking during Tour. And our suppliers made sure that we had exactly what we needed for Tour, helped us figure out how to pay for all of the extra yarn without melting the shop credit card, and were nothing but supportive as we built up to the Tour. (We sold completely out of items from several suppliers, and they were thrilled to hear how much you loved their products!) The Tour's commercial sponsors were also phenomenal - whether they gave the Tour direct financial support or donated items for the daily drawing bags, they are one reason why we were able to offer such great prizes, free passports, and pins. If you get a moment, we encourage you to drop them a line to thank them for their sponsorship and support! There's a complete list on the back of the passport, and you'll find a list of shops, companies, and people who donated items to the daily drawing bags inside the passport; most of the companies have a form for folks to contact them through their websites, and you can use those to send a quick note.
Finally... thank YOU for your support of Stilly River Yarns. The shop's business plan has hinged on the outcome of our first LYS Tour from the very first draft, and we are proud to say that your financial support during the Tour will allow us to make investments in both inventory and equipment so that we can better serve you. We're going to be able to add in some new yarns and spinning/felting fiber options sooner than anticipated; we're also going to be able to buy some photography equipment that will make updates to the online store much easier and more consistent. Additionally, meeting so many of you during Tour, we learned that we have a large audience waiting for a small-loom weaving group; we're working to figure out how to make that work, but it looks like we'll be open late two nights a week in pretty short order! We are incredibly grateful for your business, and we hope that we'll see you again outside of the craziness and long hours of the Tour. If you're not local, you can stay in touch with us through our newsletter (signup forms are on the bottom of every page on our website) or our online communities - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Ravelry.
So here's to community in all of its forms - we hope you'll join us on a regular basis, whether in person or online. Thank you!
Lindsey Spoor is the owner of Stilly River Yarns in Stanwood, WA.