Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Julia Hits the Road - The Yarn, that is - Not the Child

Last week, I went to the Westminster Sales Meeting to do what I always refer to as a "dog and pony" show but in this case it was "yarn and book" show. I was invited by the Marketing Department headed by Linda Pratt. The attendees were several staff members from Westminster and the entire sales rep force for the United States. There were yarn company representatives from Germany, Australia, and Great Britain all presenting their products. I only saw the Nashua Handknits presentation done by Susan Mills. The mohair sweater shown at the right as seen in the dark in the hotel setting is one I did for their new Mohair Collection.

I stayed up extremely late one night putting together a lifestyle presentation. I have been out of the "yarn loop" for so long that I didn't know half the sales reps and they didn't know me. This is rather frightening because I used to be well-known and an industry design leader when I was at Classic Elite. It's amazing how fast you can become an unknown. I've been watching a lot of old movies lately (not exactly Audrey Hepburn old but not current) and have been thinking about the actors that were featured then (back in the early 90's) and remarking to myself - "Gee, I wonder where they are now... they were so talented... and now they are gone.... kind of like my career now that I am freelance and choosing to do other things and living my life differently outside the corporate/tradeshow/marketing world...."

Back to the sales meeting. I put together about 50 photos from our life and farm here. Some were personal about my family and Julia - there was a tie-in there because my yarn is named after her. Some were about the sheep - it was a wool talk after all. Some were about my garden where I get color ideas. Some were just plain fluff. Last year when I went to the meeting, I didn't know you could project a computer screen onto the wall and so I was ill-prepared (I brought little snapshots and the room was a mini-ballroom). This year, because I don't have PowerPoint, I did the next best thing. I built pages in a book in Adobe InDesign and then turned it into a PDF file. It worked like a charm and I learned a little InDesign which I have been shying away from. I'm a whiz at Quark but don't have a current program on my computer. I bought Adobe CS2 and it has everything I need if I could just sit down and learn it all.

Next I did a slide show on my book Kristin Knits which the Westminster reps will be selling. It was nice to look at all the photos of the projects and hear the response from the reps. It was positive and I hope that they place the Julia Yarn and Kristin Knits into a lot of stores. My professional life is in their hands right now. To say I'm worried about the outcome is an understatement. These reps are now booking appointments at your local yarn store. They will sit down with a shopowner within the next 2 to 3 months and try to sell them lots of yarn. Julia is just one of the yarns they are presenting - in fact, the yarn presentation they make will probably include in excess of 150 yarns. They are representing not only the recented formed Nashua Handknits but also Rowan, Jaeger, Gedifra, Regia, Schachenmayr, Anchor, Glorafilia, and Susan Bates. That's a lot of yarn to look at for a shopowner and decide upon.

So dear blog readers, here's your job, if you will..... If you want Julia in your LYS, now is the time to talk it up to the owner. Ask them to carry it in a nice color range. And then buy it from them next fall when it comes in. You'll love the yarn - it knits beautifully and the color range is fabulous. The new book Kristin Knits has got 27 wonderful projects of varying skill levels, nice photography and clear illustrations. My family and I will thank you for this.

Please excuse the sales bit here. I try to keep it out of my blog but sometimes I just think all the back story in the yarn business is just too interesting to leave out and that someone will be interested.

11 comments:

kate said...

Will do, Kristin- going to my 2 LYS this week- will tell about you and Julia :>

Janet Szabo said...

Kristin, after doing two books and a newsletter in InDesign, I know my way around it pretty well. Please holler if you need help learning anything--I'd be happy to help.

Mama Urchin said...

I will definitely mention it next time I'm in.

Willow said...

I have already mentioned it in my lys. I'll do so again. Best of luck!

Peggy said...

Kinda off topic here. I am going through my various knitting mags looking for sock patterns and a men's sweater pattern. I came to one I've had for years. The premier issue of Knit It! March 25, 2002. There is the cutest little girl holding an apple with the most adorable little socks, skirt, sweater and hat. I had wanted to make it for my granddaughter,Emma Belle, but I have put it off too long I think since she is almost 5. Anyways, I was happily surprised to see that it was your precious Julia. When I first read the article, in 2002, I was so jealous of your beautiful farm, sheep and gorgeous knits. Your designs are heavenly. Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Audrey Hepburn old??????????

Thank you so much for coming to our meeting, Kristin,

You were a star, as always.

Linda

Francie said...

Kristin,

I would LOVE to have the Julia yarn in my LYS. I didn't know my "consumer rights" until your posting, so thank you for the information. I'll be sure to request it. Looking forward to your new book too.

Lynn R. said...

Kristin,

I've also found myself learning CS2 on the fly and am crazy about a web-based tutorial: www.Lynda.com. You can try it out, or just sign up for a few months. I'm not associated with them in any way, but find them to be a great resource. Oh, and I love your design work...

Anonymous said...

Gosh I already wanted your book and yarn...I'll glady request your wares :) laura

Lori Gayle said...

Hey, I'm editing your mohair sweater pattern for Nashua's fall collection right now! I did a double take when I looked at your blog because suddenly the same sweater was sitting next to my computer and appearing on the screen at the same time. What a strange experience!

Mary the Digital Knitter said...

I'm both glad and disappointed now that I followed the link to the Julia yarn and checked out your books. I had Knitting Beautiful Classics in my shopping cart at Amazon because I just love Knitting The New Classics and Knitting Today's Classics. I was so pleased that you had a third book in this classic series and I could hardly wait to get it. I'll just have to wait for Kristan Knits.

Then I read your book page and discovered it wasn't a new book, just a new title. On the one hand, I'm pleased to have saved money and not gotten a duplicate but I'm really sad that you don't have another book out.