Welcome to this week's Fresh Fibers Finds - you'll notice I've taken a slightly different approach this week, but I think you'll really appreciate what I'm sharing.
I've been dreading writing this post, but it's time for me to get real honest with you. The current pandemic has been a challenge unlike any other most of us have ever experienced. Personally, I have suffered with severe anxiety and panic attacks, and I'm sure many of you have also been fighting your own battles, whether they be mental health issues, financial problems, or some other concern that COVID has intensified.
Small businesses have been especially hard hit, and my little yarn shop is no exception. The truth of the matter is, I don't know how much longer I will be able to keep going if things don't start improving. Don't panic yet though - I'm not willing to let go of my dream lightly, and I will work as hard as I can and try as many solutions as possible before I'll be ready to throw in the towel. Many of you are already aware or will have noticed that I haven't been able to restock the shop since February - my cash flow has been tight, and anything coming in I've had to put aside to cover the less glamorous costs of running a business (like rent and electricity). I have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to do everything in my power to keep the business afloat and help it to thrive, including cutting all unnecessary expenses, attending ALL THE WEBINARS (often as many as 5 or 6 in a week), enrolling in two business classes offered by the Family Business Association, and working with Symplicity Designs, an organizational design firm who specialize in helping businesses get out of crisis. I've also launched a new marketing campaign, which is why you've seen more of me in your inbox and your social media feeds. I'm committed to doing everything in my power to keep Fresh Fibers Studio open to serve the fiber artists in our community.
Since I know that my own business is not the only one suffering in this post-COVID era, this week's Fresh Fibers Finds will feature not only some ways that you can help keep the shop open, but also some other great local artisans whose products are available in the shop. Check out some of the AMAZING talent we have right here at home:
These local artisans, and many more, need our help so they can continue to make our world a more beautiful place. Please consider supporting these talented makers by following them on social media, checking out their work, and maybe making a purchase if you see something you like.
Fresh Fibers Studio also needs your support, because I want to be here to assist you with your creative endeavors long after this pandemic is over. Here are a few ways you can help ensure that the shop survives this challenging period:
Come see what's in the shop. I may not have been able to order anything new in a while, but that doesn't mean there isn't something wonderful sitting on the shelf just waiting to be discovered.
Start planning your Christmas projects or other cold-weather creations NOW. We all know the colder temperatures will sneak up on us before we know it, so we might as well be prepared. And if I don't have exactly what you're looking for in the shop, consider making a PREORDER. By preordering and paying for your materials in advance, you'll be helping me get the cash flow I need to finally place some orders and bring in new stock.
Attend a workshop or boot camp. Now that restrictions have been relaxed a bit, I am able to begin offering classes again, with safety precautions in place. Classes resume this week, so check in often to see if there’s a workshop that interests you.
Purchase a gift certificate. If you don’t need anything right now, buying a gift certificate helps to inject some cash into the shop and means you’ll have it when you’re ready to purchase for your next purchase. Gift certificates are also a great option if you can’t decide what to purchase for the knitter or crocheter in your life for Christmas.
So, now that I’ve told you how YOU can help ME, I want to know what I can do for YOU! What are you struggling with right now? What products would you like to be seeing in the shop? What workshops would like to see offered? Helping YOU is my favorite part of this business, so I’d love for you to respond and let me know the best way that I can support you through this difficult time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused chaos the world over, but it’s also brought all of us closer together. It’s been encouraging to see the support given to those in need and the increasing trend towards shopping local. Although things aren’t looking all rainbows and cupcakes right now, I truly believe that TOGETHER we CAN help each other to rebound from COVID and maybe save a local business or two along the way.
Hi! My name is Lindsay and I am the creator behind Fresh Fibers Studio. I am a creative and craft-loving wife and mother of three wonderful children.