I wrote this post earlier this year but forgot to post it. It's pretty much true still, though I am just getting around to selling my house now and there are a few updates noted below. More news to come soon.
Nice Threads has been my business for 20 years or so now, and I can’t imagine not being busy with the fiber business 24/7, but as I mentioned in my last blog post, many things have changed for me. I no longer have a large studio suitable for making felted clothing, and in fact, I’ll have to sell my house/studio this summer and move permanently out of the Asheville area. I hate to leave the crafts and fiber community behind that I’ve loved, but I just can’t afford a house in the mountains anymore.
I am out of area for the SHCG, and therefore will no longer be a member of the guild. This was not by choice. But, I am still a member of Piedmont Craftsmen, a great group of artists based in Winston-Salem, and hope to be making other connections in this area soon.
I’ve been taking time to look through my inventories and come up with a way to get them out there without doing craft shows and festivals, and I’ve got the beginnings of a plan.
I’ve actually got 5 different lines of products, each with a different market, and not all will translate well to an online web store. Here they are with my tentative plan to market them:
Felt Garments & Accessories - This has been my high end line of Art to Wear, and my main business for the last 14 years. Unfortunately, I can no longer make large pieces so these 30 items will be the last in this collection. These pieces need to be seen in person and individually fitted, since felted garments have a completely different drape and wearability compared to woven or knitted items. They also don’t do well in shops, without a sales staff familiar with felt like I am. Unfortunately, I can’t physically do craft shows anymore - too much stress to set up and break down, and stand constantly for 3-4 days. But I could do trunk shows, in a shop, or other venue and give everyone a chance to touch and try on. I’m also open to some travel. Let me know if this sounds interesting.
Felted Bags and Baskets - I have been developing this lineup as a way to continue felting items that would sell in shops and online - no sizes or fitting required! I have a few bags on my webstore for sale and will be adding more as I get all my other ducks in a row [Update: I have 3 bags in the Piedmont Craftsmen's shop in Winston-Salem, and I'm making more right now for the shop site.]
River Daughters Festival Clothing - I recently revived this line of my designs, sewn in linens and silks and dyed in bright colors, perfect for music festivals and parties. Even though these are more easily sized, they will still be harder to sell online, so a plan to do nearby events is percolating. More news on this to come. [Update: maybe in the fall].
Crocheted and Knitted items - Normally I would just knit or crochet for myself, but when I closed the shop, I had so many dyed and spun yarns that I started working my way through them. Scarves, mitts and hats, in hand-spun and commercial yarns, will be up on the webstore as they get finished. There’s a few items up there from this winter, but keep checking back.
Yarns and things - I’ve begun to post my hand-dyed commercial and hands-on yarns, hand-dyed fleece for spinning and Twin Birch drop spindles on the webstore and will add more as I go along.
See my webstore at http://nicethreadsstudio.square.site
OMG, can I just stop working? NO, really, I can’t. So I ease into truly being retired and worry, what will I do with myself? I’m pretty sure I will continue to dye and spin and knit and crochet and maybe some small felting and weaving - but not too much!