LYS thoughts

Posted on April 29, 2002 by knittingpatterns4you | 0 Comments

The knitblogs list is talking about rude LYS people, and I just wanted to add my own thoughts. When I first went to the LYS where I now work, I thought Molly was pretty terrible. She wasn't really rude, but she had no sense of humor, didn't make me feel welcome, and it was kind of uncomfortable being in there. Which I thought was very strange considering no one else was there and it was pretty clear she doesn't do much business (at least not people coming into the store, she has plenty of wholesale), you'd think she'd be very happy to see me. Well I tried going back again, and that time it was someone else there (now I know it's Kathy), and she was much the same way, no sense of humor, not in the best mood. I said I'd never go back because it wasn't the experience I was looking for in a LYS, but I kept going back cuz I need yarn (duh).

I kept trying to warm them up to me and it started to work a bit when I introduced myself to Molly one day, when I had been in there three weeks straight and she was helping me pick out a color. Then I asked if she needed help, and now I'm friends with her! She really is kind of weird (so is Kathy), but they are very nice, happy people. I think the attitude we see in store employees is not intentional, I have a theory that they simply don't have the most customer service experience. For example, Molly is a scientist, weaver, spinner, knitter. None of these things are particularly people skills. Kathy works in an office during the day doing accounting work, and has a technical background (she did sound for Broadway before moving back to PA). Again, not people stuff.

Working at the LYS is having the effect I hoped for: I'm learning what to do and not do in my own LYS in the future. I've already realized that inventory organization, and a system for displaying yarn, are probably the most important things to get organized at once. Trying to find more of a certain color is impossible unless you know where it is (do you KNOW how many blues there are in Encore alone??), and it's even harder to know when you're out of something if you don't know where the rest of it is stashed. In my store I will organize everything by yarn weight, ala Patternworks. And within the weights they will be sorted by color, with partitions between colors. That way I can stuff the skeins in there without worrying about them jumping out. Oh, and in my store, if I have only one skein of a certain dye lot left, I am putting it in an oddballs bin. I hate looking at that non-matching skein. And I've realized that I need a LOT of space. Oh, and a lot of lighting. Oh, and I need a system for color cards (am thinking that hanging them off a wall somehow would be the best, so I can leaf through them without stacking/unstacking).

The other thing I've decided about my store is that I am going to introduce myself to every person who walks in the door. And my employees will all wear name tags, if not uniforms, so new customers can figure out who works there and who's just hanging out (don't you hate when people come up to you and ask "do you work here?" -- and don't you hate having to ASK?).

I've already decided not to label individual balls of yarn, but rather put up a label on the shelf (if the supermarket can do it. . . ). I am also planning on knitting a large swatch (maybe a whole skein's worth) of every yarn in the suggested gauge and putting it up with the yarn display, with all the pertinent info pinned on. And then I was thinking, as yarns get discontinued, I could somehow cover a wall with the old swatches! It'd be like a quilted wall of knitting.

I decided a long time ago that my goal store will have a huge selection of OOP and hard-to-find books. And I'll buy them from people as well.

Molly sold one of Kathy's shawls this week. I didn't think anyone actually bought all that stuff that's on display, so wasn't planning on putting my store samples for sale. I mean, it's mostly knitters who come in there, and they must look at the stuff and say "I could make this why would I buy it?" -- but I guess some do buy.

Ok that's enough out of me for now, I have NOTHING to do today (how is this possible??) so I plan on knitting. On the couch, because this computer chair is killing my back (I'm such an old woman).

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