The Soxy Lady

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Time Flies

Gosh - three weeks since I posted last! Where has the time gone? I hope you think I'm terribly busy with my shop and not that I've dropped out of sight.

These weeks have been busy and I couldn't get my laptop and the internet connection working properly until about a week ago, so I had trouble getting to post anything or read any email.

On the good side, one of the things that ate up my time was a trip to Philadelphia, planned as a birthday surprise by my hubby. We stayed in Rittenhouse Square and browsed the shops, restaurants and cafes there. We spend half a day at the art museum, confiming that I really LOVE the Impressionists and am turned off by "modern art." As I looked over some of the modern stuff (who said it WAS art, anyway?), I realized something - I feel about modern art the same way I feel about rap music (who says that's music?) - it's depressing, unsettling, and irritating. I want my art - and my music - to be pleasing to the eye or ear.

Enough of the soap box.

We also went to the Italian Market and ate cheesesteaks at Geno's, trying to determine if we thought they were better than Pat's that hubby tried a few months ago on a trip to a Phillies game. He thought they had more meat than Pat's, but neither measured up to the ones we get around home.
I went into a bakery for something gooey for dessert and asked the young lady at the counter which the locals thought were better.

"Neither," she said. "That's just a tourist trap." She recommended the ones at the Venice Pizza a few blocks down which (she said) were not only better, but less expensive! I guess we'll try those next trip.

Back at the yarn shop, I got in my order of needles and accessories and spent most of one day unpacking them and re-arranging the peg boards where they hang. Also, a brand new yarn from Plymouth has arrived. It's called Boku and it rivals Noro's Silk Garden. Not as much silk in it (it's 95% wool, 5% silk) but it retails for $6 instead of the $11 I saw Noro selling for and everyone who has seen it in the shop is drawn to it. I started a quick scarf with it and like the way it feels in my hands. I can't wait to see some of it felted.

Here's a picture of some of the colorways.

Arranged in front of the yarn are a trio of adorable sheep sent to me by Judy B, a friend I met through the Six SocksKAL on Yahoo. The girls are so cute - knitting and spinning the wool right off their backs!

I've named them Baabaara, Fleecea, and Plambela. (My DD rolled her eyes at me - poor girl is humor challenged.)

This week I've got to tackle some very non-fiber, non-creative work - bookkeeping. Ho-hum. Quickbooks isn't my favorite program and Excel is enough to make me tear my hair out. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ready (as I’ll be, anyway)

Everything is ready for the Grand Opening of the Soxy Lady - everything that has arrived, anyway. There are some things back ordered (like Plymouth Yarn’s Noro look-alike that I was anxious for) and some things I just didn't have time to order.

My shelves are mostly filled, so the shop looks nice, and not having everything yet gives people a reason to come back soon, right?

Here’s a picture of Joanna, the previous yarn shop owner, helping me get read. She has been tremendous!!!
She ran the business for over 30 years from her home before deciding to retire, and she has shared so much of her knowledge to help me be successful.

I had a private opening for her previous customers last Saturday and it went very well! I got a lot of comments about how nice my shop was, how they were glad I took over from Joanna and the yarn shop didn’t just disappear, and (best of all!) "I'll be back!"

Joanna took a picture of me putting my “OPEN” flag out for the first time. It was an exciting day.

The orangeish building you see in the background is the Village Coffee Shop, operated by my friend Carol. [Here comes a shameless plug!] She makes great coffee, fresh roasted weekly to her specifications, and you can get it online, too.

Better yet, come to Stoudtburg Village and visit all the shops!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Time Is Running Out!!

That's the way I feel. I have so much to do and the date for my opening is creeping - no, RACING - closer and closer!

I need to inventory the needles and accessories I have to determine what else I should order to fill out my selection. I also need a place to display them all, so I need to have "someone" put up my peg boards...maybe tomorrow....maybe if I smile and bat my eyelashes at "someone"...

I need to find a supplier for the kind of project bags that I want. I know what I want, but have only found them on ebay at retail prices. The one I have and like was purchased on a trip to Las Vegas and I don't have the tags anymore to try to identify the manufacturer. I could always run back there and see if I can buy another one (yeah, right - Pennsylvania to Las Vegas in my spare time!)

I have my cash register, but no counter to put it on. I also need to get a merchant credit card account set up. Got to be able to take people's money!!!

I have spent the last two nights trying to decide what yarns and books to order, filling out new account applications and placing orders online. And my husband wonders why I haven't washed the bathroom towels recently (just put it in the hamper, dear, and get out a clean one. There ARE clean ones.)

After I figure out an order, I start to think, "Where am I going to put everything when the shipments arrive?" I can just picture my husband's face when the boxes start showing up at our door.

I figure this weekend and next week will be absolutely hectic, chaotic and panic-filled. I expect to think "what the heck do I think I'm doing?" at least once a day. I expect we'll eat a lot of pizza and hot dogs (if I take time to eat. No problem - I'd be happy to lose a few pounds, anyway!). I expect that hubby and son-still-at-home will get totally fed up with me and knitting and yarn somewhere around next Tuesday and threaten mutiny.

But everything will get done and we'll live through it all and I'll be smiling, excited!, ecstatic!!! on the 23rd & 24th for my private customer opening. I can't wait!

Monday, September 04, 2006

A Short Essay on Paint Colors

Why is it that paint colors never look the same from the store to your wall?

I have been studiously considering (obsessing about) the color to paint the walls in my yarn shop. They were stark white, which looked too cold and sterile and I wanted something more.....inviting.

I finally settled on a kind of cafe-au-lait color - neutral, but not boring. I took this color (in my head) to the paint store and, within seconds, found exactly the right color. It was called "Golden Pond." That should have given me a tip, but I was believing what I was seeing under the (supposedly) color-accurate lighting of the paint display. Just to be sure, I looked at a couple of other cards of colors, but I was sure that was the one. I got a gallon mixed and happily drove back to start painting.

I had painted only a few brush strokes around the edges when I starting having doubts. A few swipes with the roller confirmed - this IS NOT the perfect color, it's too gold (hmm - "Golden Pond?"). I tried to tell myself that it was the time of day/contrast with all that white/no too bad, anyway, but by the time I finished the first coat, I wasn't happy anymore. Since it was obvious that I would need to paint a second coat, I consoled myself with the option of a different color.

Back to the paint store. This time I carried the strips of paint colors outside to see what the colors looked like. I decided that "Brown Bag" was more like the coffee-with-milk color that I wanted. I got another gallon mixed and drove back to the shop, but my confidence was weakened. Was it a little too dark? Was it really that different from the first color? It was the next card over in the rack, just one tone/tint away from "Golden Pond." What if I didn't like this color, either?

Well, in this case, the second time was a charm. It wasn't that much different from the first color, but it was just what I wanted. You wouldn't think neighboring cards in the paint chip rack would be very different,
(can on the left shows "Brown Bag," can on the right is "Golden Pond")
but it was just different enough to make me happy again!

In fact, I'm thrilled! Every time I look at the color, I smile and think, "just right!"

So, after the painting was finished, I was able to start moving things into my store. I spent Saturday unpacking and arranging and rearranging and I'm really pleased. What do you think?

The wall color makes me think warm and cozy thoughts of curling up with a hot beverage (coffee with milk, chai tea, hot chocolate with whipped cream - select your favorite) and my latest work in progress or knitting book to browse through. I hope that's what my customers will think, too.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Here it is - the future home of The Soxy Lady yarn shop.
1 N. Market St. in Stoudtburg Village
Adamstown, PA 19501

I'll be in the blue & green building facing the plaza and fountain, just one door away from ample parking (just past the vine-covered trellis you see on the left).

I've set a target date of October 1st as my Grand Opening. I have so much to do until then! Most of the legalities are out of the way, but now comes the pressure/fun of deciding what to products to order...yarn, tools, books, magazines, patterns, totes, gift items for knitters...It's exciting!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

In the beginning...

...there was an idea for a yarn shop. After much dreaming, intensive research, exciting brain-storming sessions and a little arm twisting (hubby wasn't thrilled at first) the idea took off.

Yesterday, I got the green light from the bank (final authority!) and today I’m off and running...
_X_ make appt. with the accountant
_X_ start a blog
___ file for sales tax number
___ file for Fictitious Name
_X_ confirm rental agreement for shop
_X_ surf net for ideas for merchandise (been doing this for months, actually)

I will be:
The Soxy Lady
1 N. Market St.
Stoudtburg Village
Adamstown, PA 19501

Stay tuned for further developments. Once I figure out how this blog thing works, I'll post a picture of the shop (and talk a lot more, too.)