Been a Busy Little Bee!
January and February have been full of firsts. It is the first time people that I don’t know personally started following Fire Poppies Stitchery on Facebook. It is the first time an order was placed in the online Fire Poppies shop by someone outside of South Carolina. It is the first time I had to submit sales tax to the state. It is the first time that I have really gotten excited about potential locations. It is the first time I’ve ever finished 2 stitching projects in one month. Granted, I started them late last year, but given the lack of stitching time I’ve had lately as I’ve worked to get Fire Poppies up and running, I am relatively proud of myself!
So, what are your firsts for 2019?
On another note, the Nashville Needlework Market is coming up in a couple of weeks! I’m super excited about this trip. I’ve signed up for several classes as well, so it will be as much a learning experience as it is a shopping experience. I think the biggest benefit will be the networking and getting some face-time with all the designers and vendors. At this point it looks like there will be over 131 of them to visit!
Here are a few updates on how the online and physical shop efforts are progressing:
I’ve gotten some input from fellow stitchers on the Facebook page regarding what the toll-free number should be for the shop, and it looks like 888-FIREPOP is the winner. I’ll be calling one of the companies that sells toll-free numbers to make sure I can still get it. The only other “exchange” option was 833, but I do like 888 more. Keep your fingers crossed!
I’ve been buying up store fixtures as they come around. I snagged a great set of metal nesting display tables from a store that was going out of business in our local mall. I was also able to purchase a large rotating greeting card display that holds the smaller patterns and kits quite nicely from the same going-out-of-business sale. A friend of mine runs an estate sale business, so he lets me know when there might be something useful, such as a pretty table or hutch. In the end, I might not find a use for everything, but the prices have been so good that even if I don’t end up using a piece or two, I will still have come way out ahead. If you are in the Charleston area and hear of a business closing and selling their fixtures, please give me a shout email or Facebook! And yes, I’m starting to run out of room to store this stuff, so it makes finding a good location all the more important.
I’ve focused on adding fabrics more than patterns this month. I was really quite stressed about what fabrics to order, since there are sooo many choices out there, and from a cost perspective it was a much larger investment. Then realized I could start by getting fabrics that were called for in the majority of patterns that I was carrying. It was at least a starting point. Once I had that down I decided, after some encouragement from my business coach, to order colors I was drawn to. And let me tell you, it is generally the colors in a project that end up being the deciding factor for me. I have had a ball choosing colors from several specialty fabric dyers. Kimberley from To Dye for Fabrics, Leslie from Under the Sea, Marilyn from Picture this Plus, and Stephanie from Fabrics by Stephanie have all received orders from me. Of course, I have R&R Reproductions, Weeks Dye Works, Wichelt, and a number of others in stock as well. I’m going to hold off on any more major fabric orders until I get a chance to see what these and other fabric vendors will have available at the Nashville Market.
I’ve also been working on adding more “accessories” to the shop. Needleminders are on my radar at the moment. Beverly with Flamingo Toes received my first order for minders. I’ve also found some really pretty inlaid mother-of-pearl ones that I’ll be ordering from a new distributor. Zappy Dots also had fun ones based on many of our favorite designers’ patterns. Since needleminders are basically becoming fun jewelry for the patterns we are currently working on, how fun would it be to have a needleminder that matched your latest Hands on Design project for instance??
I’d like to find and add some unusual scissors. I stumbled across Kelmscott designs and hope to add several of her creations to the shop, but I would still rather wait until after Nashville before I spend any significant amount of money on those type of items. If you know of some unusual scissor designs, please share them with me.
Well, I think that is all for this post. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for sneak peeks from the designers as they share them with us and be sure to let me know if you there is a particular item you would like me to pick up for you. I will be keeping a notebook of requests so that I don’t forget anything when I am down there. Until next time!