Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend

We sure did. Mom and Dad were here, the family was all together at my sister's house and it was a housefull.

I made broccolli rice casserole, candied yams and my daughter made a green bean casserole (her father-in-laws recipe) We had enough food to feed 20 more people. My sister made 5 or 6 pies, I'm really not sure how many we had but they were good. Actually, I did pretty good, I only had 1 slice of chocolate cream pie and then a bite of cherry pie. After we ate and ate, we decided to go out for our traditional after the food movie. That tradition started many many years ago, when the men would sit around the TV with their pants unbuttoned watching football, Mom would take us to a movie and the tradition continued. This year we didn't have all the kids with us because the babies are too little to sit through a movie. The attendees were Mom, Leigh, Chelsea, Alyssa and me. We decided to go see A Christmas Carol at the IMax in 3D, but unfortunatly it was sold out, tried to see Blindside, also sold out. We settled for New Moon. Chelsea and Alyssa had already seen it and wanted to see it again. It was okay, but I just haven't been able to get into the whole Twilight scene.

We got home, fixed everyone a plate full of leftovers and headed to the house. All in all it as a great day.

Friday, Chelsea and I decided to brave the stores. We weren't as crazy as my sister. She got up and left her house a 3:30am. There just wasn't anything that I thought I needed that badly. We hit Wal-Mart at 7am and got the few things we were interested in. But we missed the $88.00 battery powered jeeps.

Today, I got the shop ready for opening day on Tuesday, passed out fliers and met the neighbors in the shopping center. Everyone I've talked to is really excited about the shop and the classes.

I got the class schedule worked out, December will only have 2 classes because I'm sure lots of people will be busy getting ready for Christmas. The Friday knit nights will start in January. I made up my business cards and some gift cards. Set an appointment with Berroco for tomorrow at 2:30. I told her I had cheated a little bit and ordered some Berroco yarns from a friend. I thought she would be upset with me, but she told me since I'd already placed an order and Berroco shipped it directly to me, I wouldn't have to meet the $1500 minimum now. I can order whatever I need to order now. It makes me wonder if thats a company rule or a rule for the sales reps? hmmm.

I'm tired, going to bed now. I'll keep everyone posted and let you know how opening day goes. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

2 more days

We are closing in on opening day. I've got 2 whole days to finish up the little details to get the shop ready to open on Tuesday. I hope I get another shipment on Monday to fill the shelves.

Mom and I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and bought a bunch of stuff to decorate the shop for the Holiday season. I went with silver and turquoise decorations. Mom made the bows and we hung silver ribbon and turquoise beads above the windows with a little greenery in the middle. It turned out really pretty. I've also got a little Christmas tree in front of the window.

The guys doing the signs haven't finished yet. My sign on the roof isn't hooked up to the electricy yet and doesn't turn on at dusk like all the other business in the center and I don't have my decals for the windows, but Chelsea used window paints and wrote on the windows for me.

I'm going to have some cookies and other goodies for opening day, hopefully people won't get chocolate on the yarn.

Did I tell you my brother-in-law and Mom went in halvsies and bought me a new computer!!! I was shocked. It should be in next week.

Tomorrow, I'm going to get some fliers ready and go out and hang them up everywhere I can so everyone will know I'm opening on Tuesday. I've got to get my class schedule made up and I'm going to make up some gift certificates in case someone wants to buy one for a Christmas present.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The shelves are filling up

One week from today and the doors will be officially open for business. I received 13 boxes of stuff today. 12 were full of yarn and 1 had some notions.

Chelsea and I saw the UPS man in the parking lot today and we stood at the door waiting to see if he was coming to our door. He got in the truck and drove over to our side of the parking lot. Then it looked like he was going to leave, but he stopped and backed in. When he did that we knew we had alot of stuff coming. We must have looked like little kids waiting for a big suprise because he saw us and smiled. He brought one box out and sat it down, then went for another and another and another. Then I noticed the numbers written on the side of the boxes 1/10, 5/10, 8/10. I held the door open for him and he said "I've got 13 boxes for you today!" YIPPEE!!!!

We got right to work, opening boxes, checking off the product from the packing slip and labeling each skein by hand. Yes, I said by hand. Apparently, the pricing gun I bought wasn't the right one to buy. I can only get orange and yellow labels for it and everyone who I've told has said that orange and yellow are for discounted product. I need white labels. Guess what, the manufacturer is out of inventory and there is no eta of when the white labels will be in. So, we went to Wal-Mart and bought 2500 little white labels and wrote the prices on each one and stuck them on ourselves. Chels did most of the labeling while I put the yarn on the shelves. Yes, I've got pictures. Here they are:

I received a partial order from Kertzer, part of the back ordered order from Alpaca with a Twist. Tomorrow I'm hoping I'll get my Aslan Trends and Berroco. I don't think I'll get the Regia and Nashua until Monday.
I made my first unofficial sale today and got my first dollar bill which is signed and on the wall. My sister Leigh and friend Pam couldn't wait until opening day to start buying. Thank God for family. It was probably good to have some sales before opening day just to be able to practice with the cash register and the credit card terminal.
The phone is now turned on and if anyone wants to call me the number is (918) 342-YARN (9276). The fire marshall came by today and did his inspection. I've got to get the EXIT sign fixed, probably just a battery; my number 917 on the door and the fire extinguisher checked or charged and hung up. I've got to remember to call the fire extinguisher people tomorrow.
Now I need to get the computer (my mom brought me one of her computers and my brother-in-law is going to had memory, a bigger hard drive and Microsoft Office and Quickbooks to it for me. Mom is also buying a 20" flat screen monitor for my Christmas present. I need to get all the inventory into the computer so I can keep track of what I've got and what I need to reorder.
I think I've got the Plymouth lady coming next week and Knitting Fever has been calling to make an appointment. I would love to get some Noro for the shop, but I've heard really bad things about Knitting Fever and their pressure sales and customer service. If anyone has any good info to give me about them I'd love to hear it. I'm not real good with pressure sales. Guess I'm going to have to become a hardass when it comes to dealing with sales reps.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekly Update - 11 days till we open!

Here are a couple of pictures of the front room of the shop. Got the furniture moved in, now I'm just waiting on all the inventory to show up. This week I received more needles and notions, books and some patterns, one Amy Butler bag and half my order from Alpaca with a Twist. Let me just say Baby Twist is my new fav, it is soooo scrumptous. I can't wait to start knitting something with it. Hopefully, the rest of the yarn shows up early next week because Thanksgiving is on Thursday and I doubt UPS delivers on Friday because of the holiday. I only have the following Monday left and then opening day is Tuesday, the 1st.

This is a picture of what will be my office, and that's just one of the baskets of my own stash that I'm going to sell for 1/2 off.

This is a picture of my coffee/tea bar.

David got the other peg board hung today and installed several new outlets and a light switch for me, killed a GIANT fiddle back spider that was hiding inside the wall when he was cutting the holes for the outlets. It was 1/2 the size of a 2x4 board. He's now dead and hopefully he wasn't a she with little fiddle backs hiding somewhere.

What else, one of the most important things that happened today was Hayden turned 2 years old. We are having a birthday party for him tomorrow at Pizza Hut. He had his first "real" haircut yesterday. Really it was just a trim because he wasn't too sure about the lady holding the scissors. Mom and Dad are arriving from Colorado tonight and will be here until the 30th, unless I can talk them into staying one more day for the opening. They are bringing me a computer for the shop.

I can't fit my dining room table in the back next to the coffee bar, it's too wide and will block the exit door. Which reminds me, I've got to call the fire marshall and get my inspection taken care of before I open. My channel letter sign for the roof should be installed Monday or Tuesday and the decals for my windows are being created. I'm sure there are many more things that I need to take care of but I can't think of them right now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's been a busy week

Let's see. Monday night I went to the auction with my sister and our friend Pam. It was alot of fun, I ended up getting a couple of orange retro looking chairs for the shop for only $20.00, a little tikes desk for Hayden and a Sony digital camera and tripod for $35.00. They failed to mention that the camera was the kind that take the little CD's, I don't even know if they make them anymore.

Tuesday, my buddy Michelle and I went to the Oklahoma Tax Commission's workshop on business taxes. Thank God, I went. I didn't realize that once you had your company name and had formed an LLC that you had to trademark your name and logo. The guy teaching the workshop said that people will go online and search company names and if they haven't been trademarked, they will steal your name and then call you and say that they have the name trademarked and you can buy it from them for $10,000. I freaked and ran home as fast as I could to work on my logo and get it finalized. I've filed the name Unwind, A Yarn Shop LLC and the trademark is now mine. Whoo, that was stressful. I could only image someone calling me and wanting a butt load of money to buy back my company name.

I got the carpets cleaned on Wednesday and you would never believe a motorcycle shop had been in there before. All the stain came out and it looks pretty good for old carpet.

Yesterday, I met with the guy who represents Crystal Palace, Classic Elite, Nashua, Jitterbug and a couple more that I can't even remember right now. It was a very stressful day. Have I mentioned that I don't like salesman very much, so pushy. Telling me that I need to have this or that and if I don't I shouldn't even go into business. I'm trying to do this on a shoestring budget, but still make it really nice. I want a good variety of stuff, but I can't afford to pay a $1500 opening order to all the different companies. So, I doing it the sneaky way. I've got a good friend who owns a yarn shop and she is letting me buy the yarn through her for right now. Hopefully, the shop will be a success and I'll slowly be able to get my own account with these companies.

Today, I cleaned up the dining room furniture that I'm taking to the shop. My Lantern Moon needles came in today. I've got them hung on the peg board and they look so pretty. The credit card machine also arrived today. I've been playing with the cash register so I don't look like a fool when I'm trying to ring up someone's purchase. My sister came by and brought some baskets and a vase with some of her old needles in it, I also have a big vase with needles, so I should have plenty for people to use or practice with. My daughter brought Hayden up for a little while and he liked his new desk. Then my niece showed up with her son Asher. The kids played for awhile, pushing around the baskets and the little coke crate wagon. Then Pam came in with her daughter and two of her grandkids. I realized quickly that 600 sq feet can get full really fast.

Tomorrow's plan, well, I don't really have a plan right now for tomorrow. I need to set down and figure out what my hours of operation will be, work up a class schedule, and do some paperwork. Sunday, we are borrowing my son-in-law's father's truck to move the furniture in. I can't wait to see what it looks like with stuff in there. I hope the yarn starts arriving soon.

Only 18 more days till I open.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday morning

It's 7:00am, and I'm sitting here thinking about everything that I have to do today.

1. Grocery Store
2. Come home unload groceries
3. Go to Unwind
4. Touch up paint in bathroom
5. Help David build the checkout counter
6. Call the carpet cleaner and reschedule
7. Call the OK Tax Commission and make sure I'm registered for the class tomorrow.
8. Get all the building supplies out of the shop

I'm sure there are a ton more things to do today, but those are the ones I've got to get taken care of.

I've been playing with logos for my shop window, but I don't really have any software for graphics except paint. Here's one, let me know what you think. Can you tell it is the word Unwind written with the yarn? I hope so, because that's what I was going for.

I met with Stephanie, the yarn rep yesterday. She was great, I ordered Alpaca with a Twist and way too much from the Kertzer line. We never even made it to the AslanTrends because it took over 4 hours to just go through those two lines. She is planning on coming back through on 11/18 so I'll probably go ahead and get AslanTrends taken care of on that day.
Oh, I just remember something else to add to my to do list... #9. Take the Notions application and fax it this morning.
I've got to head out to the grocery store now and get my day started.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

23 days before opening

Did I say I was tired? I don't think I've worked this hard in a long time.

Let's see, the plumber came and fixed the Tidy Cat Liter mess. He couldn't believe that they had it hooked up like that. So that's taken care of and we don't have to worry about the little hot water tank anymore. The only thing is that the tank was still too big to fit under the vanity. That was really a bummer because I didn't want it just out there. Dave build a little shelf to go around it, but it doesn't have a front cover because you have to have access to the valve or screw thing, but it looks better and it gives me a little counter top to put the Kleenex box and maybe a candle or something.

He is so handy to have around, the last tenants had the phone line running down one wall about midway and then looped around the corner and up another wall to their phone jacks. Dave cut the wire and ran them through the walls. No more ugly phone lines stapled to the wall.

He built a couple more shelves for me and hung the over the john cabinet in front of the breaker box to hide it's ugliness. Today we are going to hang the peg boards for the needles and notions. I hope I have enough materials. We had gone over to Lowes to pick up the peg board stuff the other day. The board comes in a 4' x 8' sheet, so we had them cut it down into 4' x 4' so it would fit in the back of Dave's BMW. Well, we should have had them cut in 4' x 2' pieces because they wouldn't fit in the back seat so we put them in the truck, but they were hanging out a little bit. I said "Will they break if you don't have the trunk lid tied down?" (because we didn't have any straps, rope, yarn or anything in the car to tied down the lid.) His response, "No, it will be okay." So we head down the road, it's probably only 2 miles if that. Get to the shop and guess what? The boards are broken. So now I'll have a peg board wall covering about a 4' x 6' area. I'm figuring thats probably okay for now.

I also bought a couple of 1" x 4" boards to have him cut into 2' sections. I want him to drill holes and glue wooden shaker pegs into the holes and I'm going to hang hanks from them. I though it would be cute.

I received my color card book from Plymouth last night. It's huge. Worked on my order with Lantern Moon, now I know why the minimum order is only $200. They don't want to intimidate newbies with a huge opening order, because they know you'll place a big order anyways. Has anyone every used any yarn from AslanTrends? I'm going with them also, I haven't felt their stuff, but it is really pretty online. I need to get a fax machine so I can get all these orders turned in.

Well, it's about time to head back to the shop, talk to you later.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

27 days left before opening day

I've been a busy bee! First let me thank my wonderful ex-husband David, he's been a real trooper, building, installing, and doing everything I ask to get this shop ready in time. Everything is painted, the toilet and vanity/sink is installed. The 3 wall units are built and secured to the walls.

I've got several appointments scheduled. Sunday, I'm meeting with the rep from Rowan, Regia, Alpaca with a Twist, there are several more that she represents, but I can't remember them right now. Monday, the carpets are being cleaned. I hope and pray that the oil and grease comes up. Did I mention that someone who would repair motorcycles on carpet must have a screw loose? Tuesday, I have a class at the Oklahoma Tax Commission for Businesses, then I'm meeting with Plymouth Yarns at 2:30, Wednesday is a free day (so far), Thursday, I meet with Crystal Palace. I've got the order forms for Lantern Moon, Malabrigo and Berroco. I really want to get in with Blue Sky Alpacas and get some Spud and Chloe' but theres a waiting list and a $3000 opening order. YUCK!!!
I went shopping last night at my friend Pam's barn. She's got tons of shabby chic stuff. I got an old red desk that I'm going to use as my checkout counter, a coffee table, and drop leaf table, and little hutch and a cool lamp. I'm using my grandmother's dining room table and hutch that have been in my garage for a couple of years, my kids have a couch and chair that looks like it's from the 70's with rust, beige and brown vertical stripes. I'm hoping to give the place the look and feel that you can come in relax, kick off your shoes, shop, knit and Unwind...
I got my big sign for the roof...I got so lucky! The first bid I got was for the word YARN in big red letters. It was a bid for $2200 which didn't include installation, tax or permit. The total cost was $3395. I felt sick, until yesterday when the other company called and said they had just taken down a sign that was left by the previous owners and being a channel letter sign (that means the letters are all seperate and screwed onto a raceway) he could take it apart and it just happened to have the letters Y A R N in turquoise with a deep red trim. I went by today and looked at the letters. It's in great condition and he said he could build it, install it and everything permit, tax and all for $1472. I paid 1/2 down today and it should be installed the week of Thanksgiving.
I spoke with Edla (from Edla's Yarn in Walsenberg, CO) today and she has some yarn that she is willing to sell me at cost, so Mom is bringing it with her next week when she comes down for Hayden's 2nd birthday party. Edla gave me alot of tips on where to get this and that.
I've still got to get my credit card processing stuff and shopping bags (I may have to use all the Wal-Mart bags that are stuffed under my cabinet). I think I've got a cash register. I really want to get all the credit card and cash register stuff on the computer along with Quickbooks so I'll be able to keep track of inventory, but right now I don't have enough in the budget to get a new computer, so I'll do it the old fashioned way and handwrite tickets. Unless, I'm just super busy, which I hope is the case.
Well, I've got to get up early and get to the shop in the morning to meet the plumber to fix the little hot water tank/tidy cat litter box issue.
I'll update more soon!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I'm tired

It's been a busy weekened. My feet are killing me, I'm covered in turquoise and gold paint and it will start all over again tomorrow.

I had picked out a paint color that I thought would blend well with the brick. NOT!!! it looked like a school cafeteria or a mens bathroom. I couldn't stand it so I headed off to the paint store and instead of buying a gallon of something again, I bought a couple of samples. One was very light with a turquoise tint and the other was a very light sage. Got them back to the shop and tried them on the mason wall. They both looked like shiny white. I could barely even tell the difference. Thank goodness my buddy Pam came by. She just happened to have a couple of gallons of paint that she used and had leftovers. One was a blueish turquoisey color and the other she decribed as "gold". I love turquoise, but not a fan of gold. She ran and got the paint and we slapped it on the wall and the decision was made. I painted the back room the turquoisey blue color, the office gold (it's really a light mustardy color) the trim above the paneling in the front room is gold and I decided to go ahead and livin' up the bathroom and painted it gold also.

The pictures I have don't really do the colors justice, but here are a couple that I took yesterday with my cell phone.
Dave is working on the back room painting the walls with the blue color (even though the picture looks gray) and Chelsea is painting the office gold.

That was what we got finished yesterday. Today we went back, I got the bathroom painted and Dave build one of the wall shelving units. We've got 2 more 7 foot x 7 foot shelving units to build tomorrow. I've gone back and forth on trying to decide what to do in the bathroom. I'm trying to save as much money as possibly and was going to make a curtain to hang around the sink, but found a really cute vanity and marble sink at Lowes that would be perfect in there for $98.00. I think Dave can build be a pantry for the corner to cover up the old pipes from that hot water tank that used to stand there. I'll try and get the vanity tomorrow and see how my plumbing skills are. I think I can get it hooked up without too much excitement.

I still have to decide what kind of desk or counter I want for the cash register to sit on. I think I want an "L" shaped counter top so I can use part to check out customers and the other side to do my paperwork etc. I've got to call the carpet cleaners and hopefully they can get the greasy oil stains out of the carpet, if not I'll invest in some area rugs to cover it for the time being.

Trying to decide which vendor to use for credit card payments, need to order shopping bags, find a pricing gun, move the furniture in, get the yarn and I'll be ready to open.

Next Tuesday, November 10th, I have a business tax workshop to attend and then I've got a meeting with the distributor from Plymouth Yarns. Crystal Palace Yarns distributor is also coming into town the same week, but I don't have a confirmed date with him yet.

This month needs to go by slower than normal, so I have enough time to get everything finished before December 1st. I've also got a very important birthday party to attend this month. My grandson will be turning 2 on the 20th. I can't hardly believe it's already been two years. It seems like yesterday that I was holding that little newborn baby in my arms. I think that must been that November is going to fly by in a flash. I hope I can get everything ready in time!