For curiosity's sake

comments: 2
The results for my survey. Unfortunately, "freeonlinesurveys" was not free, and I had to pay a monthly subscription of US$9.99 in order to upkeep it since it exceeded 50 responses, and I was not allowed to see my results until I paid. So I decided to finish the survey with 124 responses over 2 weeks, otherwise if I leave the survey up it'll keep on deducting $9.99 per month, which I do not want to happen.

So the charts show the amount of responses to each question, such as 35 people clicked on a) for Question 1. It's not the percentage, as for some questions I allowed it to be more than one available answer.

Stupidly, though, I suspended the paid account without copy and pasting the answers to the "others" for the questions I allowed "others" for... I remember some responses, but unfortunately I won't be able to access them unless I pay again. Although, I did print out the answers to me that were the most important, which were the answers to questions 15 and 16, so that's okay... :D

If you can't see the numbers properly, just click on the image, and the image should enlarge.

*Drumroll* And here are the responses!!!

Question 1: What size yarn do you mostly use?

a) Lace weight
b) Sock Yarn
c) 8/10 Ply
d) Bulky 12/14 ply

Question 2: What would you prefer to see more of?

a) Australian indie dyers and/or spinners' products
b) Organic products
c) Overseas products, such as Rowan, Cascade, Malabrigo, Habu, Jitterbug, etc
d) Australian products such as Cleckheaton, Patons
e) Other

Question 3: Would you also like to see the following fibre crafts available in store?

a) Felting
b) Spinning
c) Dyeing
d) Crochet
e) Other

Question 4: Would you or anyone you know of attend any of the following workshops if they were made available?

a) Spinning
b) Dyeing
c) Finishing techniques
d) Crochet
e) Sock knitting
f) Lace knitting
g) Kids school holiday workshops
h) Other

Question 5: What aspects of a knitting store would you consider very important?

a) Very friendly and informative service and assistance
b) A well-presented store, with bright lights and easy access
c) Affordable prices - if it's too expensive I may go elsewhere
d) A great range in both colours and products
e) Other

Question 6: If there is a courtyard at the back, would you utilise it?

a) Yes! Depending on weather, of course.
b) No not really, I like knitting in private at home.
c) Maybe, depends on who's there - do I have to buy something?

Question 7: If there is a courtyard, I shall make it available for functions if you would like to host a tea party or a knitting/fibre party. Would you consider it for your next birthday/event?

a) Totally!
b) Maybe... Depends on how much it will cost.
c)No, not really.

Question 8: I'm hoping to include a cafe. Are you mostly:

a) A coffee drinker
b) A tea drinker
c) An ice chocolate/milkshake drinker
d) A soft drinker
e) Water's fine for me, thanks.

Question 9: I'm also hoping to have a cafe for people who don't knit (but maybe have loved ones that do!). What type of cafe would you prefer?

a) All day breakfast and a lunch menu
b) Baked goods and sweets - cakes, cupcakes, cookies, chocolates, pastries
c) One that just does good coffee and other beverages, no need for food
d) A combination of all of the above, but a selection of each
e) Other

Question 10: What time would you most likely come and visit the store?

a) Late morning - 10am-Midday
b) Lunchtime/early afternoon
c) Late afternoon - after 3pm
d) Evening - 5-7pm
e) Mostly weekends

Question 11: I would like to provide internet access so that knitters and other fibre enthusiasts can do their research. Which medium would you like?

a) Free wireless internet - bring in your own laptop, phone or reader
b) A computer or two on the premises
c) Both!

Question 12: What would you prefer to do in terms of pattern books and instructionals?
a) Have a library - where you can borrow and return like a video/DVD store with a membership and a nominal fee
b) Just have a huge range to choose from, I like to have my own books
c) Have a service where you can order books in when requested to be purchased
d) Don't really need it - I buy heaps online which tends to be cheaper anyhow

Question 13: Of course, location is very important. What would make you think twice before coming to visit the store?

a) If it requires more than 10 minutes of walking from a bus stop/train station
b) Paid parking or difficulty in finding parking
c) No parking

Question 14: I envision this place to be not only somewhere you can buy knitting goods and other fibre goodies, but also a space to be creative. Would you come just to knit/spin/crochet/dye if I make facilities available? Of course, no pressure to purchase anything.

a) Yes of course!
b) Yes, if the furniture is very comfy.
c) Yes, I'll use it as a meeting place to meet up with friends.
d) Yes, if it is kid and pet friendly.
e) No, I don't want to impose or have that pressure to purchase anything.
f) No.
g) Other.

Question 15 was Do you think knitting is just a current fad, or do you think it'll stick around for at least 3-5 years? and pretty much all of you said "No, it's going to stick around for sure". Some of you made the point that it'll wax and wane in popularity, but it'll definitely be around.

Question 16 was Do you have any requests, suggestions or ideas to keep in mind if this grand plan of a knitting store combined with cafe happens?. I had a lot of well wishes and good lucks, and a couple of good suggestions such as a really good website for online purchasing (which I thought would be a given), disabled access (which sometimes businesses seem to forget) and stocking Madelinetosh! I had funny ones, such as "No feathers ;) We will all lose respect", and even though I've knitted feathers ONLY ONCE (and it was for my mum - she chose the yarn), rest assured that I will vow not to stock feathers in my knitting store. :D

So I got a bit of insight as to what people would like, and whether Sydney (or even Australian) knitters were on the same wavelength as me in terms of what is wanted in a yarn store. But please note, this is research for an idea... Can't promise anything, and if anything does happen, it probably won't happen as soon as I hope (which is at least 1.5-2 years)...

So... Opening up a yarn store...

As you may have seen in my previous post, I put up a survey about opening a yarn store.

I have been given lots of advice, lots that I appreciate very much so, and some that are pretty much a given, such as "Do you realise it's really difficult maintain a business?" Uhhh, yes, I do. :D

It's interesting seeing all the results from the survey... Such as a lot of the knitters (and some of my friends) are more Coffee drinkers than Tea drinkers, majority of people will by 8/10ply yarn and Sock yarn, and the majority of you would like to see more Indie Australian products, followed by international yarns that are not readily available here in Sydney (in person that is, online is very very easy to obtain).

So my next step is to look into how I'm going to get all the products, figure out my calculations as to how much I need to sell and how much rent I can afford. The places I look at are getting a little wee expensive, which then requires me to go further away from the city. However there are so many people wanting it here, there, and everywhere around Sydney suburbia that it will be difficult to please everyone!

A friend of mine lives next to My Little Cupcake, and he told me that first it started up as an internet business back in 2002. Only a couple of years ago did it have a shop front, and it's not really near anywhere, it's smack bang in the middle of the lower North Shore suburbia. But apparently due to word of mouth, awesome publicity with SMH (has had write ups in their food/home section) and internet exposure that they're getting lots of business from mothers driving their kids after school having a cupcake for afternoon tea, and the many wedding/baptism/birthday/other major life event orders that happens over weekends. No matter where you are, as long as you have a well presented, friendly shop front (every time I'm there I always look into their store at their pretty pretty tea cups and home decor) and just awesome products, people will travel. Or order online. :D

I also read in the comments section in my survey someone suggesting (I don't know who, because you don't really leave your details behind) that I should start online and see how that goes, and slowly work on getting a shop front. Seeing as it worked for My Little Cupcake, maybe I should do the same.

I've been trying to get a job with Morris and Sons so I could get first (or second) hand experience in ordering and what people like buying and just how a yarn store is run. However, due to conflicting timetabling with my current job teaching piano, I believe it seems to be hindering my process in getting a job there (I've been knocked back 3 times already)... I'm with my current teaching job until at least the end of the year, and I don't know whether to continue next year (as it pays fairly well for the amount of hours I have with them) or to try again with Morris and Sons saying I can work full time and commit for at least a year or two (as I need to save money in order to start a business).

So it seems to me, seeing as a) I don't have enough money saved to start a business, and b) it seems hard for me to get a job in the yarn retail industry, I might try my hand at doing it at home. Last year I tried with the markets, but I think this time around I need to save a bit more money and find a product that no other online store in Australia has, and maybe make a presence in some of the markets such as Glebe (again).

For now though, folks, I shall be holding off any grand plans of opening a cafe/yarn store anytime soon. Thanks heaps for your help/contribution with the survey, as it's given me a bit more insight as to what the demands are like at the moment. Who knows, maybe I might be able to find an investor who's willing to fund my quirky plan and hopefully I'll be able to set this thing up as soon as next year. But for now, it still remains as a business plan...

One can only dream, right?