March 31, 2011
On the day that I am playing hooky from the store and abandoning my loyal Knit Night buddies, it is only fitting that I write a post about knitting.
The awesome thing about doing something you love is that even when you’re on a mini vacation, your goal is usually not to get as far away from it as possible. In fact, I always make a beeline to the closest knitting/sewing/crafting store wherever my travels take me.
Today, I’m hanging out in gorgeous Half Moon Bay on probably the most unseasonably warm day of this early spring. It is spectacular here.
For me, a visit to this beautiful coastal city starts out with a latte at the Moonside Bakery where I sit, killing time and people-watching, until 11:00am. And then I go to Fengari.
Fengari is a knitting store. A classic, cozy, stuffed to the rafters shop of which I just cannot get enough.
Funny thing is, if you were to put our two shops side by side, you might not immediately see the attraction.
In some ways, Fengari is typical of many knitting stores I’ve visited. Not entirely organized and somewhat challenging to navigate with its narrow meandering pathways through boxes and bins and tables overflowing with yarn.
By contrast, just the other day I was asked if my house is as organized as my store is. I was sort of embarrassed to admit that it is. There is not much I value more in my store and my home than aesthetically pleasing organization. It’s my mantra and a salve to a sometimes chaotic life.
And yet, for some reason, the free-form, treasure-hunt style of Fengari suits me p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y.
Maybe it’s the people.
The owner is wonderful. A smart, patient, lovely lady who hires equally accommodating staff (at least all the ones I’ve ever met). They always help me if I need it and they never bug me when I’m making a fool out of myself wandering around in circles, afraid I’ve missed something.
And maybe it’s all that the store has to offer.
Gorgeous yarns, quirky notions, a Library of Congress-like supply of books and magazines and sweet samples that never fail to inspire.
I have visited this store more than half a dozen times now and I can honestly say that I have ALWAYS found something wonderful that I didn’t know existed. And it’s hard to surprise me in knitting land. I’m a yarn/book/notion junkie and yet I uncover something new with every visit.
Today it was a fresh book of warm weather-appropriate knits and a skein of Swan Islands yarn (organic, from Maine, luscious). I managed to fill my bag to bursting with washable Malabrigo (thanks, L!), a silk-merino blend Mirasol and a good old Cascade Merino 5 as well.
Of course, it’s probably lots of both, enhanced by how utterly relaxed I feel in this seaside spot. It’s heaven.
So, while I spend the rest of the day staring at the ocean and ignoring the other two knitting projects I brought with me in favor of my new treats, I urge you to take a day out to do the same sometime.
Visit Fengari if you have the chance. It’s about an hour drive from our downtown Mill Valley and worth every minute.
March 29, 2011
Lately, we’ve been on a kick to streamline prices around the store.
As much for our benefit, it must be admitted, as for our customers’.
The latest area to get a price makeover: Our open stock paper.
These individual notecards and envelopes used to range from about .10¢ to .60¢.
Here’s the new formula.
Ahhhh. So much easier!
And it works out as a definite bargain for you, too, by the way.
March 28, 2011
We’re trying out a new brand of washable ink pads.
ColorBox is the company that makes the lusciously-colored, highly saturated pigment ink pads that we carry.
We recently discovered that they make a kids’ line as well.
And while the range of colors is not quite as varied as the grown-up version, they do offer a very respectable selection of bold, appealing colors in cute little pads.
Only $2.00 each.
Let us know what you think...
March 07, 2011
A new scent for the store...
March 04, 2011
6 big boxes of our custom shopping bags arrived yesterday.
I was so excited to open them, not only because we were desperately in need of our smaller-sized totes, but because I had revised our order a bit and was anxious to see what the new version looked like.
Instead of the standard rope-handled kraft bags, I decided to class it up a bit with a new Euro-tote design. It’s a studier, cleaner look, yet still printed on recycled paper. Win-win.
However, when I opened the boxes, I saw this:
Same logo design (although the green looks a little more neon than it did on the other bags for whatever reason), same kraft paper, same simple look...but the handles: UGH!
The BLACK handles! Horrible! Did I have the option to choose another color and I just neglected to? Is black the standard and I didn’t realize?! How could I have avoided this tragedy?!
For about 5 minutes I thought we could live with the mistake.
Then I came to my senses and understood that something would have to be done.
Being a craft store, it so happens that we have a lot of ribbon. A lot of similar-looking ribbon, but in more complementary colors.
So I asked all of our employees to take their turn at switching out the black twill for some pretty kraft-colored grosgrain. Is that mean? I mean how much more tedious of a task can you ask for?
However, perhaps it’s worth it when the results are so much easier on the eye...
March 03, 2011
Today, I spent some time restocking our art supplies.
We received a hand-delivered (thank you, Charlotte!) order yesterday from Savoir Faire.
The colors of these acrylics are intoxicating and it’s so satisfying seeing their rows all filled up.
While stocking, I decided to do a little re-pricing as well....rounding down to the nearest quarter.