On the blog and on Ravelry, I’ve been announcing some events that are coming up.
And I often get asked, “Is it okay if I come up and talk to you?”
My answer is: oh, my goodness, you’d better! Don’t you realize the reason I do what I do is so that I can interact with awesome-sauce crocheters? And that I WANT to meet you?
Since this ‘fear of semi-famous yarnies’ seems to be reaching epidemic levels, I knew we had to straighten things out.
So… I reached out to my buddy Stephanie of Space Cadet Creations. Her booth is always mobbed, so I knew she’d be the perfect person to talk to about how to be the ultimate fangirl!
Take it away, Stephanie! (note: all those weird spellings aren’t because Stephanie skipped school… she’s British. That’s how they roll.)
Getting ready for a yarn festival is always a hectic time – there’s a million things going on, a million things to do, and then a million more that I keep reminding myself I mustn’t forget. And yet, for all that craziness, I get so excited as the day draws close. Doing a show is about much more than just the buying and selling of yarn. It’s an opportunity for designers and dyers like me to finally get to meet their customers in person, to finally connect with people we’ve often “known” for ages over the internet. Doing a yarn festival is always intense and exhausting but it’s the customers who really make it for us – and when that goes well, it can be exhilarating!!
So you’re going to a show and you know it’s going to be crazy, crowded, and overwhelming, but you really want to connect with your favourite designer or dyer? I’ve got a few tips that will help you do that, and make you the best kind of fangirl – the one that we remember long after the show is over.
First, do realise that we’d really love to talk to you
- that’s why we’re there! I’ve had long-time customers email me after a show to say they were right there in front of my booth, but they never came up and said hello because they didn’t want to “get in the way” or “bother” me. That always makes me so sad! Come into the booth and say hello! We won’t bite and we won’t mind. You’re the reason we’re there!
Then, pick your time.
Regardless of how much we enjoy meeting and talking to customers, there are some times of day when it’s almost impossible for us to do that. Late morning to mid-afternoon is particularly busy, as is any time the festival’s classes let out. Instead, try approaching us first thing in the morning when we’re fresh and full of enthusiasm, or later in the afternoon when things are starting to quiet down.
And if you’re chatting with us and you see that other customers are ready to buy or have questions about the yarn, give us a few minutes to take care of them before we finish our conversation.
Wear something that will help me to identify you or remember you.
We meet hundreds of people over a festival weekend and, as much as I try to remember them all afterward, my brain is like mush at the end and I just can’t hold onto those names. If you’re on Ravelry, wear a pin with your Rav name – even better, an image of your avatar – and I’ll probably recognize you right away.
Or show us your projects made with our yarn – I love love love to see them! And then the next time you email us or we talk in a Ravelry forum, I’ll feel like I’m talking with a friend.
Give us a little feedback.
Tell us where you first learned about SpaceCadet. Or what you like best about our yarn (or patterns, or kits…), and what you’d like to see more of. That kind of positive information is not just nice to hear, it’s really useful, and helps us to refine what we do so that we can serve you better and create yarn you’ll love.
Understand when we’re only human.
Doing a show is hard work so, if I’m looking grumpy around mid-afternoon, remind me to go get some lunch (chances are, I’ve forgotten!) and then be sure to come back to talk after I’ve had a chance to recharge. Or we’ve had customers surprise us with cups of tea and coffee – and we’ve treated them like heroes (they were!).
And last year at Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet, when I developed bronchitis and my newly-diagnosed asthma started to show me that not having an inhaler was a really bad idea, one customer actually left hers in the booth with me just in case, while she shopped the festival. I never used it, but that small kindness meant the world to me and, I’ll tell you what, she walked out of the show with an armful of yarn and permanent place in my heart.
Come see me!
So yeah, yarn festivals are crazy and overwhelming, but they are also an wonderful opportunity to make connections with the designers and dyers you admire. With a little planning and awareness, those connections can as amazing as all that fabulous yarn you’ll buy. And I hope, at your next yarn festival, they are!
Put it in action!
Both me and Stephanie will be at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival… so come see us and say hi!
If you love Stephanie as much as I do, you’ll want to pop over to her blog, where she’ll keep you up to date on what she’s up to!
Wondering why so many folks flock to Stephanie’s booth? Because she dyes amazing yarn. If you want to get in on it (and don’t live near Pittsburgh), you might want to check out her Interstellar Yarn Club… subscriptions are only open until March 24th!