Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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July 19th, 2007 at 00:01 am

Crochet in the Merchant Mall

Is Crochet The New Knitting? –

Part II : Crochet
In The Merchant Mall

Okay so the CGOA annual conference Chainlink was last week. Health issues kept me home, and that may be part of why I am cranky

However, I am also cranky because of the usual post-Chainlink complaints about the Merchant Mall not having enough Crochet.

Some of us did a fair amount of post show consumer research last year. What we found out when we asked enough questions “Not Enough Crochet Stuff” was really code for
No Chain Store Type yarns at Cheap prices.

Well since Michael’s Wal-Mart & Hobby Lobby did not take a booth and these products cannot easily be offered profitably by Independent shops, you are unlikely to find them at a show like Stitches or the Knit & Crochet Show. The Products offered are and should be what the Merchant believes will be profitable.

The influence of the hobby guild is & should be primarily in class choices. And No Crocheter should be complaining about the quality of the education that is routinely offered at CGOA and TKGA’s respective annual conferences.

I can also tell you with complete certainty that Knit and Crochet show management encourages the Merchants to bring Crochet products to BOTH shows (even though the Fall show is technically the TKGA/Knitting event) and each offers classes of interest to the other.

But you cannot pay booth fees by selling products that are not profitable.

I can also tell you why as someone who has run “The Almost No Knitting Booth” at several events I will no longer able to give such total support to the Needle Art I personally enjoy so very much.

Why? If I had a $1 for every time I over heard, “Oh I am so glad she brought that so I could see it… now I know I want it, I can order it Online “cheaper”. – the shows would have been profitable instead of marginal.

I know at least one merchant who will not return to the Knit & Crochet event. Why? Well she went to the trouble to bring *many* Crochet Models, The Patterns and the yarn. She sold lots of patterns, a few tools (although most told her they will get those on line since it would be cheaper) and then bought the yarn from the discounters ) that’s right to her face, said they would *not* be supporting her for bringing Crochet items, they would spend the bulk of their money elsewhere.

This Retailer had invested in models, patterns and tools, she is knowledgeable and offered classes in her shop – until now. It is sad for the Crochet community that we are going to lose her as a resource.

If Crochet shoppers at a Crochet Conference don’t support the Retailers, it no longer makes sense to beat our heads against that wall.

If Crocheters continue to demonstrate they are not profitable customer, Retailers will be forced to discontinue offering Crochet related products.

If you cannot afford these products, there is no need to be rude or abrasive about it. Just accept your own reality and buy and use what you can afford.

Just as a designers cannot afford to continue to invest in developing well written patterns, properly sized, tech edited and attractively presented if they are not purchased. But we already had that discussion last week.

If you just want to window shop, please have the courtesy to be polite. Not berate me or others because we have to price our goods to make a living. This is not our hobby it is how we put food on the table.

If you want Crochet products to be at the shows, then you are going to support the people who provide the supplies – if not, then you need to find service elsewhere cause we are going to be looking for an easier way to make a living.

There is a new show on the horizon coming in November to Orlando. We will devote a portion of our booth to Crochet, but there will be quite a wide selection of other “String Stuff” as well. Why? well if you want me or any other retailer to sell it, we have to make a profit.

Looking forward to your Comments and Suggestions on how we can “Make It So”


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Coming Tomorrow:
Part III: I can Knit, But I prefer to Crochet

  • 1

    Thanks for all your input on this – both here and at CP. I was at CGOA in Manchester. I’m sorry you weren’t able to be there. While I believe there are many crocheters that want “Mart” prices, there are many others like myself, that wanted patterns & pattern books & hooks. Where I found them, I bought them, even though I could have bought the books online cheaper. The only shop I know that had a lot of crochet was the LYS from Concord. I hope they return. I’m planning a special 1.5 hr trip to her store just to thank her for her crochet presence at the show.

    flyinghooks on July 21st, 2007


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