The magic magic of local
Some things just aren't meant to 'go virtual'
The pandemic of '20/'21 presented the world with a variety of new challenges. We were forced to find new ways to do old things. New ways to do school, groceries, office work, family gatherings, travel. And as we found our way through, we learned that some things just aren't meant to 'go virtual'.
Old world magic
Among those things which cannot be replaced by Amazon or a Zoom meeting are our local yarn shops. Truly, our local yarn shops are more than just shelf space for the yarn they provide. They are community centers, bringing so many people from all walks of life together to learn and share in the joy of knitting and crochet. And even in this 'new world' of ours, there is an old world magic that flourishes inside of every community yarn shop.
And we dig the magic...
So we're trying something new here to help sustain this old magic, from the bottom up.
When the pandemic first locked down the local shops, we rushed to create a system for our retailers to provide ready-made kits to their customers, even while their storefronts were shut down. Through this LYS Relief Kit Program, our shops could order kits for their customers through us and we'd pick, pack, and ship them directly from our warehouse. It was a success, providing some essential revenue to the store owners who were able to participate.
But for every kit that we drop shipped for our stores, we'd field dozens of other direct consumer inquiries. "How can I buy this kit?" And, "Where can I order?"
We soon discovered that if we wanted to expand the reach of our drop shipping program and increase revenue for the shops, we'd have to make the whole thing even easier for everyone involved. So the question became, "just how simple can we make it?"
After many months of brainstorming and technical development we have arrived at an answer:
As simple as it gets.
Our new program is so simple that our shops, big and small, will begin benefiting without lifting a finger.
It works like this:
We've created shoplocal.knittingfever.com, a new, consumer-facing online storefront in which we've listed some of our latest and most exciting kits for sale.
Anyone in the US can hop on to shoplocal.knittingfever.com to place an order. At checkout, choose a shop beneficiary from the many hundreds of US shops who carry our products.
After the order ships from our warehouse, we'll automatically credit the shop you selected with the retail portion of the sale. We'll also send the store a quick email as a notice of the credit they've received and to introduce them to the folks (you!) who just supported their business.
The point of it all
Now, we know there are lots of great places online to order just about any product you might want - yarn included! We get that, and we're not attempting to compete with them and what they do best. Our ShopLocal program is not about rock bottom prices, hip marketing, or vast catalog breadth. While all of those things can be neat, that's not what we're doing here.
Our interest, as it has always been, is in supporting independent yarn shops. Until now, we've done this simply by supplying some of the finest yarns, designs, and tools. But these past few years (and 2020 especially) have taught us that a little operational innovation is necessary to do our fair share to help preserve the magic of the LYS ecosystem and strengthen our relationship with our stores.
Thank you for your interest in this program and for your support of your local shops.