Happy Birthday To All Of Us
Yesterday was my birthday. It was also Kristin’s birthday. It was also OTR’s birthday. How did that happen you ask? Well, we can only surmise that it was fate. Kristin discovered pretty quickly after we met…and she stalked me on Facebook…that we had the same birthday. Pretty freaky, but we took it as a good sign and set to work. My original intention was to be open May 1, 2012. But then we hit reality in the form of Maine State Fire Code. On May 1, 2012, instead of opening our door, our store looked like this…
Meanwhile, while the sheetrock crew was getting us up to code and ready to open, we were choosing our first yarns and trying to keep our boxes organized…and dust free.
So many yarns, still no place to put them in May.
It became clear we were going to need help, so we started interviewing. Karla and Jennifer joined us first…and man alive were they troopers! With no better tools than an pencil and a note pad, we sent them into the basement to organize 42 giant boxes of yarn into some working system of organization.
Believe it or not, they had a rough system up and running in a day. They knew where everything was and what they were going to do with it once we actually had shelves. Oh, yeah…shelves! The workshop was behind on making our rolling shelf units. And we still had to get Jennifer and Karla’s system into some computerized form. So the beginning of May came and went, and we began to think about a May 15th opening.
In the middle of May, instead of opening our door, our store looked like this…
Painting and measuring for the built in shelf units. There was so much to do we started dragooning everyone we could think of into picking up a paint brush or entering some data.
Makeshift desks and dueling computers, Jesse and Mike blazed our inventory management system trail in the midst of chaos.
By Mother’s Day, it was clear we were not going to be open in May. So much still to organize. So much still to finish. But we were making friends with Jeff, the UPS man. More yarn arrived every day and we still had no place to put it. Shelves! We still needed those shelves! Probably June 1st, wouldn’t be so bad.
Nearing June 1, 2012, and instead of opening our door, our store looked like this…
Still painting. Still entering data. Still getting boxes every day. Still no place to put things! Finally, the first week in June, the shelves arrived and were installed.
Vaughn and Terry arrived with the largest moving van you can rent…in the rain, no less…packed to the rafters with shelving. Finally we had a place to put all that yarn! We started putting bags onto shelves and it actually started looking like a yarn store. Of course there were still things to organize…and still data to enter.
Thomas and Mike at least had a legitimate counter to work on. And we were getting a handle on the yarn…and buttons, hundred and hundreds of buttons. What were we thinking? (See Kids In The Candy Shop. Scroll down; it’s the second entry on the page.) Kaila and Jennifer and Karla, along with several other transient willing volunteers got a handle on the buttons…and the needles, and the books, and the notions, and…
So the first of June came and went. We were making progress. All the pieces seemed to be in the box. We just had to put them all together. We began to think we could have it all ready by the middle of June. But…wait…I mean…that would mean… June 14th is my birthday. June 14th is Kristin’s birthday. Freaky, but we considered it a good sign. Could it be that June 14th would be the day?
You bet. On June 14, we opened our door…
And our store looked like this…
Bright, cheerful and full of yarn. Every one who came in seemed to be charmed. They lingered with soft smiles on their faces and a sparkle in their eyes. They chatted with us and with each other. It seemed the cosmic forces had aligned , our fate was on us, and we hit it just right. June 14, 2012. Perfect.
In the year since then, we have become the gathering place for a thriving community. They gather Monday and Thursday evening and Wednesday morning for Stitch and Spin circles.
We’ve had book signings and yarn tastings.
We sponsored the first ever Maine’s Fastest Knitter Race.
And the first annual Community Blanket Knitting Marathon.
Not to mention the Click for Babies Campaign, the Scarves, Hats and Mittens For Kids Drive, blanket squares for Hurricane Sandy Relief, Mrs. Santa’s Kitchen and The Mid-Coast Mitten Tree Project (which is ongoing and you can still send green mittens to be given to kids December 1, 2013) We welcomed VogueLIVE Destination Experience retreaters to our area and partnered with the J&E Riggin to do a knitting cruise. We’re building an online store we hope to unveil before fall. We’ve made national press in our trade magaizine…multiple times. We were mentioned on the first page of the Knitty.come blog, and will be the featured as the “inspirational yarn shop” in Vogue Knitting’s fall issue. We’re putting together our first bus trip (to Rhinebeck! Tickets available on our Calendar page) and we’re planning our first shop retreat for April of 2014 (details to come).
We’ve come together as a team, created a community…and we know where our stuff is! It has been a wild ride, and amazing year. And the thing that makes it so joyful and satisfying is the deep sense of commitment we get from all of you. We’ve made some great friends,
…seen some wonderful fiber artists create some beautiful things and some knitters and crocheters make their first stitches.
We’ve been able to share our love of fiber, and our love in general with all you wonderful folks…and you keep getting more wonderful all the time. That’s why Kristin and I don’t mind sharing our birthday with you. Each and every one of you is a gift to us.
Yesterday, we opened our door again to welcome you all in and share our first birthday with you. You have made it an amazing year and we hope you’ll be with us for many years to come. We have so much still to do with you all. We have so many plans and hopes, wishes and dreams. And you will be right at the heart of them all. With gratitude from the bottom or our collective heart, we say, “Thank you all, and Happy Birthday.”