Thursday, 18 February 2016

A Very Catchy Uppy Catch Up

Because I am still lacking in the blog department, but I tried this as a vlog and it just doesn't work... Too much to talk about.


Let's start with Yarndale - it's happening! I've even got as far as booking the coach (a big 83 seater!) but I'm not putting it on sale just yet. I'd like to use the new till to keep a closer eye on who's booked on. This is one of the biggest sources of stress for me when I do this coach thing - people cancelling and rebooking and swapping and eventually I'm absolutely confused about who's coming and who's not. So I'm going to use the full £2500 worth of the till and get my money's worth! Therefore, it wont go on sale until I'm happy that I've sorted all of the features. It doesn't necessarily have to be up and running in the shop (that'll not be until we're in the new shop) but I have to be sure I'm not going to bollocks everything up AND at the minute I'm checking that my barcodes work a lot so it's running in test conditions all the time. Last year Yarndale went on sale at the end of February so it will probably be a bit later but not majorly so don't worry. Also, because there are so many more seats everybody that wants to come should be fine. Boom.

The new shop! Is coming on a pace! I'm clearer with the dates now. I think the last day of trading here will be on Thursday the 24th of March which should allow us to open on the Wednesday or Thursday after Easter (30th/31st). Whatever happens, the VIP evening will be going ahead before the shop opens. The people that gave the most to the crowdfunder should get something special i.e. a first look. I'm also inviting the press there but we'll see if anything comes of that. And the business on the street will be there too. Hopefully. And there *will* be a chance to get more tickets at a more affordable price - I suspect I'll do a raffle-y type thing i.e. pay a pound to get a chance to win. I know a lot of people want to come on the evening and it will be good but I don't want to be overwhelmed so there'll be a guest list and if your name's not on the list, you're not coming in. ;) It's going to be a bit of a practice evening for the new till and the way that the shop works. There'll also be chance to have a nosey downstairs. And goodie bags.

After that, the shop will be open as usual for a couple of days before we have a big old shop party like we usually do on the Saturday. Really looking forward to that, it'll be nice and relaxed and with you lot there it's always good fun. Anybody's welcome on that day and I want you all there! :)

In terms of the till, I'm getting the products on there right now. It's not maybe as simple as I wanted it to be. When adding products you can do it either by scanning the bar codes or by typing them. But I don't necessarily have every thing in stock at all times so I don't necessarily have the barcodes to scan. Also, the setup is really too big for this little shop especially with our beast of a till which still needs to be set up because that's how we're doing the book keeping until the new till is going. So, the options are, take a ball of every yarn in every colour home bit by bit, scan, bring back. Or use the document that King Cole and Cygnet have sent me which doesn't have barcodes to scan but does have the actual codes to type in. It seems to be working so far, the numbers on there mean something so actually there is a pattern to it and you can get into rhythm. Once they're onto the till, you can set them out in a way that means that they're easy to find if the scanner doesn't work for some reason. The blokes at the shop warned me away from making that colourful but actually I think it's going to be useful so bugger it. The Pricewise looks like this now:


The colours are a bit difficult - especially beiges and browns but roughly the correlate and that should make life easier.

I've been through and done the majority of King Cole's DK yarns I think but I got tired of doing that. So tired. By like 8 o'clock on my day off. So I stopped and did something else, I forget what.

Last night I took three folders of patterns home to start getting them up on there because King Cole don't have those barcodes on a document, but when I started scanning the patterns in, all of the older ones were under the same bloody barcode! Once I realised I started putting all of the names of the patterns in but there's no enough space so I guess that will have to be called 'general pattern' and I'll have to keep an eye on it like I do at the minute but that's a bit annoying because patterns are my Achilles heel really, there's just too many to keep up with. Anyway, the newer patterns have different barcodes so as the old ones get discontinued/reprinted this should sort itself out. I feel like that's about £100 of till that I'm not making the most of though. Very frustrating. Haha.
The loyalty cards are a bit of a nightmare. So we can do that by giving out cards with barcodes on, scan that before we put the yarn through and then the computer works out your points. I could get plastic cards with barcodes printed. This is expensive but doable. I could get laminated card cards with barcodes printed. I'm waiting on a quote for these. Or I could get either plastic or laminated cards printed with space for me to print my own barcodes. I'm waiting on quotes for those too. I looked into getting a barcode printer but they're ridiculoulsy expensive, although the may be worth it in the end if I do have to print off lots. Either way, there's going to be a different way of doing loyalty cards in the new shop.

Another problem with it is this... and bear with, this is long and boring. So, at the moment you you get a stamp for every £10 spent and then when you have 20 stamps, you get £15 to spend in the shop. Easy right? On the till, I can get it to give you a stamp per £10 spent. No problem. But when you have 20 stamps, the till will only allow you to have £20. I can't make it give you £15. And what's more, neither can Chris... I'm looking at my profit margins, and how much more this shop is going to cost and I'm thinking I can't allow that to happen. £15 is the limit. So, if I can't make 20 stamps mean £15 then maybe I can make £200 mean 15 stamps. Mathmeticians, forgive me, this is based around 1.33333 but I can't remember how now. If I put 1.33333333 in somewhere, £200 turns into 15 points. Only, the till doesn't like anything past two digits past the decimal point which makes 1.33 and that doesn't make £15 but rather £15.38. Which is a weird amount. I guess, I could deal with that in terms of profit margins but how the bloody hell do I explain that to customers?!?!? Don't get me wrong, at any point we could go in and change the amount of points you have on there, i.e. we could take the 38p off or we could take the extra 5 off. But, the points will be written on your receipts to make it open for all to see, and how would you feel if I took five points off you or even .38 points? Rude! And then I'd spend my entire life explaining how that worked. Much better to used the full £2500 of till and get it right in the first place.
Another way to do all of this is to use the 'slice of the pie' option. Which means I can set it so that when you spend £200 you get £15 off. Brill right?! Only, you have to spend it all in one go. And I reckon I can count on my fingers and toes when people have spent £200 in one go in this shop. haha. Not going to happen. 
When we were first looking at this on Monday and realised we weren't able to sort it ourselves, I sent an e-mail to the till bloke, he seems to know what I mean and is thinking on the same lines that we are but he also has a job to do so it's taking a bit of time...

In terms of the other stuff with the shop, I now have two options for carpeting which is more than I thought I had last week! Part of the problem is that we're basically moving over Easter weekend which makes sense because we'd already be closed on the Friday, Sunday and Monday so we're only missing one trading day. But because of the date that we chose originally (the 25th) for swapping keys etc I wouldn't have been able to get anybody in to carpet until the Tuesday unless they could do the Saturday. We're now, as I said before, working towards the 24th which is the Thursday and leaves me a little freer because I have the potential to get a carpet in on Thursday. It's cutting it fine though but I've found a place that will fit on the Saturday and now, thanks to a customer, one that will fit on the Good Friday. So I'm just waiting for a quote from them and then we're good to go!

The signage is being designed as we speak - I've yet to decide whether I go for window decals - I deffo want some with the opening times, I'm hoping that might appease some people that tell me off when they come at 9 o'clock... I'm thinking of changing the opening times anyway. Sticking to a 10.30 opening - it works because I miss the traffic and I still get to do stuff like going to the bank and post office. But I think if I shut at 6pm I have a fighting chance of getting home for 7pm which gives me an evening. For example, yesterday I left at 6.50 and didn't then get home until 7.50. I still had to make and eat dinner, do some work and then try and spend some time with lovely Chris. That extra time I think will be worth a lot to me and very little to you guys, especially now that we're so much closer to town and you won't have to walk out of town for ten minutes to get to us. It also means that evening lessons are a bit more doable - with two and a half hour slots rather than two hours. We could also potentially have a late opening night or late opening by appointment. Still, I'm thinking through this all.

Hmmmm. What else have I got to say?

We've got more Gill Page bags! Including this beaut:

Yes, they are typewriters and yes, Gill has matched the insides beautifully:
Isn't she good!? Not only is that print on the inside of the typewriter bags, but it's also it's own little miniature zippy bag. Ahhhhhhh. She's good isn't she?! 

I think that's it!? Maybe? I'm sure there's more to say but I did tell you that I would keep you up to date with the shop to try and stop so many of the questions (I love you all but there's only so many times I can answer the same questions without wanting to murder you...). You're genuinely up to date with everything. LOVE.

Oooooh. I'm going with Jem Weston and Steph from Nettynot to the Stitches show on Monday - it's a bit like the Knit and Stitch show but it's for trade only. I'm feeling a bit apprehensive - I am genuinely not a people person despite what everybody thinks and spending all day with lots of people really takes it out of me. But I've got to go and see what's on the market. We have much more room now and I want to expand our range sensibly, not just based on who's been in contact or I've heard of. Any suggestions? Just to let you know where I'm going first - West Yorkshire Spinners, Stylecraft and Viridian who are a wholesalers who specialise in sock yarn, particularly Opal. I'm open to other suggestions though if you've got stuff you want to see (but do remember it's not as simple as just liking a yarn, I've got to like it, it's got to fit in with the range that we have i.e. not be replicating something we have, it's got to be something that we're allowed to sell i.e. we're not within a certain radius of other shops, and I've got to have the money on hand to make the minimum order with that stockists amongst other things but I am still curious to know what you'd like!).

That's got to be it, I'm going to the Lush evening with Vezza and she's due any minute, the shop's a mess and I haven't answered my e-mails and I made a mistake on the till earlier when I had like 20 customers in that I still haven't put right. Gah!

Love Eleanor. xxx

P.s. I haven't even got time to re-read this. Muchos apologies for typs and spelling mistakes.


  1. Amazed that at the moment you have time to do a blog with everything else that's going on - much appreciated!!
    Suggestion: other Knit/crochet bits from local folks like the bags e.g. stitch markers, blocking boards, 'designer' hooks.
    Sending so much good luck to you

  2. Amazed that at the moment you have time to do a blog with everything else that's going on - much appreciated!!
    Suggestion: other Knit/crochet bits from local folks like the bags e.g. stitch markers, blocking boards, 'designer' hooks.
    Sending so much good luck to you