We need your help – an open letter from Dee & Tony

UPDATED

I’m floored (but not really, because I’ve never yet been disappointed in the warmth and generosity of the Posh community, in particular, and the knitting community as a whole) by the volume of kind responses, here and elsewhere, and the really helpful and sensible advice. We’ve been carefully considering every comment. Sometimes you really need someone from the outside to look at things and point out changes that need to be made, especially when you are really stressed and probably not thinking straight yourself. You’ve done that, thank you. Obviously I can’t adopt every suggestion, because they aren’t all along the same lines, but a clear pattern emerged, and this feels right to us.

  • No more 20% discount. Apart from the rare, random sale (such as the end of year sale).
  • The yarn will stay full price on Sunday & Monday, and the 10% discount will only kick in on Tuesday evening. Giving everyone roughly 48 hours to buy at full price.
  • The prices will remain the same for the time being, but we may need, at some point in the near future, to raise them. If we do, they will only go up a very small amount (just £1 a skein, I think, like last time, which to my surprise was 3 years ago).

I am feeling much more hopeful, and that’s partly having a plan, but it’s much more because of your immense support and friendship. Cannot thank you enough. Truly.

_________________________________________________________________

(Earlier…..)

This is the hardest post I’ve ever had to write, and I am frankly terrified about how it’s going to go down. Doing this runs absolutely contrary to good business practise, which favours PR over honesty. But I don’t see you as just customers, I see you as friends, and since Posh Yarn has always been a heart-led business, I am taking this leap of faith, and opening up to you, trusting that you will respond with the loyal, generous, kind, understanding that you have so generously showed us over the years.

In the 16 years that we’ve been trading, there’s been many challenges, many storms that we have weathered, both personally and in the business. We never stop being grateful that we are able to do what we love, and make a living from it. Not many creative people have that privilege, and you have made that possible for us.

But the last couple of years have been hard, really, really hard. We’ve been hit, as have so many businesses, by Brexit, by the pandemic, by the economic downturns. You’re not supposed to be honest about this, you’re supposed to be bright and chirpy and always, ALWAYS, portray a successful business face. And I have. But the truth is, we haven’t been making a living wage from Posh Yarn for many months now. Worst still, we’re currently struggling to even cover our costs. Our future is looking extremely doubtful right now, to be absolutely blunt. We need your help if we are going to be able to continue to bring you the beautiful yarn that Tony works so hard to create each week.

I know that pretty much everyone has been financially impacted by the last year, and it is absolutely understandable that we’re all looking to cut corners where we can. I don’t want to shut anyone out from being able to buy our yarn. I’m not raising the prices, even though we sell our yarn much cheaper than other indie dyers offering the same bases (have a look, you’ll be surprised how much cheaper we are). What I will ask though is, if you can manage to pay full price for the yarn, please will you consider doing so? When we sell it at 10%, or 20% off, we are barely covering our costs. Please, please don’t feel bad if you regularly wait for the reductions, I don’t want anyone to feel guilty. Unless I’m honest with you, you wouldn’t have known what an impact it is having. This is why I am risking being open like this. If we continue to portray a false face of success and prosperity, then naturally our customers will happily wait for bargains – I would myself. But we simply can’t sustain it at the rate it’s been going in the last few months. We will be forced to close down, and that would be quite heartbreaking (as well as personally devastating, because this is our source of livelihood).

So, if you can pay full price, please would you consider doing that? It would start to tip us back in the right direction if even just some of you were able to do that. If you can’t manage full price every week, would you be able to buy with the 10% discount, instead of waiting for the 20% discount? That would also have a positive impact, and help us to continue trading.

Also, if you have knitter friends, online or offline, who you think might like our yarn, and may not know about, it would be very much appreciated if you would spread the word about us. A fairly small core of loyal customers is pretty much keeping us afloat (and we couldn’t be more grateful), but if more knitters know about us, then that would also start to move things in a more hopeful direction.

We have loved every bit of the last 16 years, serving you, we don’t want that to end. A world without Posh Yarn would be a drabber place. Tony is a true artist, and it is a joy to watch him continue to improve in his creative skills. If you can find a way to help us continue, that would be a wonderful, generous thing, because this is not just a business, this is our life.

If you’ve stuck with me this far, thank you. I send you all so much love, and so, so much gratitude. Not many business people can have such a warm trusting relationship with their customers that they can risk this level of honesty. Thank you all, we treasure every single one of you.

All our love,

Dee & Tony

 

6 thoughts on “We need your help – an open letter from Dee & Tony

  1. Hi love!
    I’m so sorry to learn about your troubles- and instantly thinking of myself as guilty. I’ve bought a lot of your absolutely unique yarn through the years. Also I have spread the words to a lot of my friends and family telling about this charming small family business in the uk.
    Brexit did it for me , and I hate to say so.
    The last wool I received was in August, I believe. I had to pay nearly double the actual price, because you sadly turned into a non eu country and the danish taxes are horrible.
    I tried to warn you in a mail, but you have the best customer service, so my order was already on its way. ?
    Not your fault, I know.

    I’ve been purchasing wool from another lovely lady in Switzerland- she writes a “GIFT” note on the parcel- would that sound like a solution?
    I hope you’re finding a safe road through this crisis?
    All my love to you – Nina

    • Hello sweetheart
      Thats awful! How are they able to charge you so much? Most EU countries charge roughly equivalent to the 20% tax, so that customers shouldn’t end up paying more (some are in fact paying less). I wouldn’t be able to write gift on the label, I’m afraid, we operate under a 100% honesty policy, always have, always will. Hugs to you, lovely Nina. XOXO

  2. You are one of the very few dyers to offer enough skeins at a time for me (a great big fat person) to knit a sweater. I don’t order but maybe 2 or 3 times per year, however I’m happy to pay full price even though I usually order on Mondays. Can you offer an option when checking out to pay full price?

    I appreciate the beautiful work you do and I want to compensate you fairly.

    • Ahh, thanks Kelly. You are very lovely to suggest that. I don’t think I would, but I think we have a solution that will work for you, and a lot of others, which I will post in a bit. Mwah!

  3. Hi Dee
    I have only just read this post, after reading the suggested solutions.
    I think the suggestions are great. I used to buy one or two skeins a week but when my husband became ill, this stopped as my knitting habits changed. I came back to you a few weeks ago and was surprised at how much yarn was still in the shop on Monday and thought that discounting it so quickly might be the reason.

    Yes it’s great to get discounted yarn, but I can see that ‘sale’ prices every week is not viable.

    I now usually buy in garment amounts unless its a contrast I’m looking for. You are much cheaper than others and your colours and yarn bases are second to none. If you raise your prices a little you will still be cheaper, so still attractive, and I sure if you get rid of the quick discounts, more yarn will sell on a Sunday and even if it sells layer in the week you will be getting the full price.

    Human nature, especially in these current times, will always push people to buying cheaper if they know that option will be there tomorrow or the day after and they will chance gambling on the yarn they want being cheaper. However that does not mean that is fair to you because it is not.

    I love your weekly updates and they make sure I look at what is on offer and plan if I will try to buy some. Hence I think this is a great policy. However discounting so soon is not. You really should keep the yarn available at full price and then maybe at a later date, use a discount to clear leftovers which hopefully will just be odd skeins.

    I would be very upset to see you stop trading so you must try these solutions because I am sure they will work out better for you.

    Fingers crossed everything goes well for you. Long may you stay in business!
    Barbara