Monday, September 27, 2010


I bought yarn this weekend, not much because I cannot afford to drop one to two hundred dollars a pop in a yarn shop. I buy little bits at a time as I can afford it. Like any knitter, I
love the feel of yarn. I love to go into a shop and pick up a skein of yarn and feel it. Hold it. Think what could be made from it. Even figure out if I can afford this skein along with the skein I came in to buy.
My problem of late has been that I sometimes feel that I am really not welcome in certain shops.
There are five shops within a 25 mile radius of me. Shop #1 is in the city of Burlington. The woman who owns this shop is friendly enough but she usually remains behind her counter and does not interact with the shopper beyond what she can answer from behind her counter.

Shop number #2 is in Mt Vernon. I quit going to her shop years ago. You know, I generally have one or two very well behaved grandchildren with me when I go out. H. at shop #2 follows me around and watches me so closely, not offering help, but making me feel like she is sure either I am going to steal something or one of the kids are. She does not need my money at all.
Shop #3 is also in Mt Vernon. When I walk into this shop, I am generally greeted. She will show me where whatever it is that I am looking for and then more likely than not, go into her office and work on other things. Now, do not get me wrong, I understand having to multi task, but if I need something more, should I have to go looking for her? Could she possibly say to me something like, "I have some things I need to do, I will be right back here." She has left the door open for me to approach her if I do need more.
Shop #4 I rarely go to, it is the furtherest away and I will only stop in if I am at my mothers and need a little something. The mood is helpful, but never friendly.
Shop #5 is in Stanwood. S is an amazing knitter and a very hands on person. I walk into her shop and is always greeted with a smile. She puts down what she is working on, or excuses herself from whom she may be talking to and comes to see what I need. If she is not busy with another person in the shop, she will converse with me for a moment or two about what I am making and what type of yarn I like. One of the last times I went to her shop, she showed me yarn she had ordered special for me. Others will be buying it too, it is out on the shelves for everyone, but she ordered it because of what my latest knitting projects have been. She always have a happy hello for Olivia and or Darius if they are with me. I really feel welcome in this shop. I feel like she appreciates the money I spend in there.
I am wondering with the economy as it is, why are shop owners not more like shop owner #5? It is obvious that given the choice, I will drive the four or five miles off of the freeway to Stanwood to purchase my yarn. Not because S's yarn is any better than what any of the four other shops offer, but because when I walk into her shop, I feel like I am important to her, not an imposition.


Frizzy and Bird said...

I am just like you. I will drive out of my way to shop where I feel appreciated. I love my grocery store because of how helpful they are and always with a smile. I have returned to cafes and restaurants for the same reason. We prefer to give small shops our support over the bigger stores. However if they don't care to be helpful or appreciative we move on. I don't need a tickertape parade but common courtesy and genuine help are a bonus.

Tatersmama said...

It's ALL about customer service, in my opinion! If a shop owner wants your repeat business, they will (or should) go out of their way to make a customer - whether you're a repeat customer or not - feel welcome and valued.
I think I would be half tempted to tell the other owners exactly why you don't shop in their places consistantly, and see what happens.
In todays economy, anyone wishing to stay in business is going to have to raise their game - and it sounds like quite a few of those owners need to rethink their strategies and raise the bar.
Just my 2 cents worth. ;)

Henya said...

I think it is just an issue of compatibility. And personality of the shop owners.
I have only one LYC that I will go into. Do not like the other stores near me and my two faivorite Yarn Shops nesessitate a longer walk from the subway than I can manage. That is OK. Internet is a big place.

Pautlitz Blog said...

You know, I am big on customer service and if I don't get it at one place I will go out of my way to go to the place I can find it. I really think that business owners need to train their employees better. Afterall, if you don't have happy customers, you don't have a business.

Anonymous said...

You fixed your spelling error ;-)

Is there anything I can do to stop the dye in Cooper's mittens from bleeding? Every time he wears them his hands turn bright pink.

Too lazy to sign in,



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