Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's like Mean Girls, but with pretty yarn.

I don't know. Me, if I owned a yarn shop and wanted lots of people to buy my yarn, I'd do something radical, like make sure my staff says hello to each customer when they walk in the door. And if the customer did something really bizarre like say hello first, I'd do something equally bizarre, like say hello back. And if I were having a trunk show where knitters had to pay for the yarn first then wait for it--no instant gratification--I'd do something really wild like ask the sales rep to HELP the customers and talk about the yarn. Maybe let them touch a skein, even if it meant the rep had to pry it out of a Mean Girl's hand.

Yes, I know. The cliquey Mean Girls who are regulars at your shop love you so much they'd spend their mortgage money to keep you afloat, and you don't really need MY money, but you should know I'm willing to buy generic wine if it means more money for yarn. Yep, even the boxed stuff.

I'm not a regular at your shop, mainly because it's a hour's round trip for me, but I have crawled 'through five hundred yards of sh*t smelling foulness you can't even imagine' for yarn. (The person who wrote The Shawshank Redemption totally stole that line from me.**) In all seriousness, or as close as a smart-ass like me can get, don't LYSO read Ravelry or knitting blogs? I'm not the first, and I won't be the last to comment on this issue.

A little friendliness goes a long way and asking for it isn't quite the same as asking for one of your kidneys, or a loan, or a date with your spouse. So if you're tempted to leave a snarky comment about me putting on my big girl panties and just getting over it, Jelli, just effing get over it, sorry. Ain't going to happen. I want you to succeed. I want my local yarn shops to thrive and prosper and be there when I want, NEED, yarn. This post isn't meant to be spiteful. O.K. fine. Spiteful to the Mean Girls, but not the yarn shop owners. O.K. FINE. (Snarkiness removed. Aren't you just dying to know what it was?!) As I've told you before, I can be a tad bit bitchy at times. No, really. It's true.

Let me end with a shout-out to the Local Yarn Shop Owners who embrace ALL their customers and are friendly even if they've never laid eyes on the person before. You've figured out that making people feel comfortable and appreciated sells yarn. You rock.

** I lied. I didn't write that line.


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  2. Hi, Rav friend! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    This is something I've definitely experienced. And oh, it's so frustrating. There's a LYS near me where I get snubbed time and time again, and I'm pretty sure it's because I'm a younger knitter. I thought that maybe I was being paranoid about the whole thing, but I brought my mom along with me on my last visit for moral support, and she confirmed my feelings. I also found the store rather unorganized (the owner wouldn't realize that she was out of a certain needle size, for instance, until I wanted to buy it.), so I've basically stopped shopping there altogether. However, I have another LYS that I feel totally welcomed in, and I hope you find that too!

  3. Rachel--I HATE when yarn shops don't treat younger knitters with respect. How dumb is that? You guys are the future knitters. They should be showering you with attention instead of making you feel uncomfortable. Yep, go where the yarny love is!

  4. With all the different yarn resources we knitters have such easy access to, you'd think those Mean Girls would stop to consider just how simple and rather preferable it can be for us knitters to click-it and ship-it if we find less-than-adequate customer relations at the LYS!
    I love my LYS. I do understand and appreciate the fact that it takes a lot of courage (and capital) in the current climate to invest in and maintain a brick and mortar--- but that doesn't mean I'd be willing to endure rude treatment ;)
    Awesome post!

  5. The Big Burbs--my feelings exactly! Thanks.

  6. Ugh. I keep hearing about terrible LYSs. I'm so glad that I've been lucky enough to only find nice ones!

  7. diannadesigns--Don't get me wrong. There are some really great LYS where I live and I really do want them to do well. But...The Big Burbs said it really well.

  8. Oh yeah. So been there. It sucks. Thanks for speaking out about it! I didn't, I just went home and tried to erase the experience from my memory.

  9. At my LYS the staff does their best to greet everyone who walks through the door.
    We get flogged with beaded yarn during staff meetings if we don't.

    On balance, and I haven't been following long, remember to wax poetic about the next time you DO have a good experience in a LYS.
    Always easier to share the horror stories.
    Problem is just having things go smoothly could count as a good experience, but no one thinks about it that way.

  10. Ann, you are absolutely right about balance, and I looked at old posts to make sure I have done just that. (I have.) But it really is easier to post about good experiences. I don't like posting about the bad because I had to experience the bad first. It is lovely to go into my LYS, and find what I need in a relaxed, friendly environment. Being surrounded by yarn is Nirvana for me. In the very near future, I will dedicate a post just to a "good" LYS experience, because when I said I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED, I honestly meant it. Thanks so much for reading my blog and for taking the time to comment.

  11. I've been in shops like that too. It's unfortunate. I have pretty much resorted to all the great buys online now. Too bad for them!


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