View Full Version : Who uses wool shops

09-09-2008, 06:35 PM
Wendy and I are seriously thinking of buying a wool shop, the present owners are wanting to retire and it is up for sale. We would want to keep it as a wool shop as it is the only one for miles around. As with all crafts various things tend to be in and out of fashion from time to time but hand knitted garments have been around for ever. the question is do you buy your wool from a dedicated wool shop or do you buy elsewhere? We also plan to bring it up to date and put it on the internet as well
Your comments would be appreciated

09-09-2008, 06:58 PM
I do as there is no substitute to be able to see the wool for real, if you get me. We have an excellent one in Farnham Surrey about 7 miles from us she stocks all of the rowan yarns and others that are hand dyed etc. An Alladins cave of wool. I also buy on the internet but generally once I have bought from a shop, would it not be an idea to sell on the internet as well that way you can capture both audiences.

09-09-2008, 07:03 PM
i would love my own wool shop :o and a small coffee and problem fixing area and a teaching corner for the young ones and a good internet sales desk and a little bit of sewing and ribbons and .......oh sorry i was starting to dream there :mf:

09-09-2008, 07:11 PM
I have to buy on the internet because our nearest wool shop is over 25 miles away. When I had a car, I loved it there and as the others said nothing beats touching the wool and seeing the all the colours. If it's done well up to now, then you'll have a good start!


09-09-2008, 07:39 PM
I'm lucky enough to have a wool/sewing shop a few doors down from work. I love going in and having a look of a lunch hour, don't buy much wool, but they are handy for all sorts of things.


09-09-2008, 07:45 PM
I would be asking them what sales are like. Do they have any figures of sales?

09-09-2008, 09:21 PM
If I can get what I want in a local yarn shop then I buy from there, otherwise I go online.

I like to see a mix of yarns - I love seeing skeins of hand dyed stuff and other 'luxury' yarns but also like the shop to have bargain stuff too! I also crochet for charity so I like to see a good range of baby stuff.

It's really useful to have somewhere to put pattern books as you browse through - so either some tables with seating or some shelving at the right height. It's great to be able to get a tea or coffee and also get advice. Also maybe a knitting group in an evening once a month/fortnight/week.

I also like to see a range of good quality needles - metal & wood - and accessories.

Hope that helps!

10-09-2008, 01:10 PM
I tend to buy online as my local wool shop only stocks Acrylic, cheap furry yarn and 99p balls.

I too would love to have a wool shop...with material and patchwork thrown in ...with a big table for customers to knit and chat and ...classes and coffee and home made cake and ........off for a lie down now before I cry all over my dull dull keyboard;)

Roseberry Crafts
10-09-2008, 01:27 PM
I am still trying to teach myself to knit so have never had much cause to buy more than a couple of odd balls from a bargain bin but I do know that once I have mastered a yarn craft of some description (bought myself a peg loom in Wales the other week) I will become a compulsive wool shopper!
My friend Jane, who I was staying with in Wales, took me to an amazing Wool shop called Collinette yarns where I saw such beautiful colours and textures that I'm determined to master the art of knitting in the near future!
I think a wool shop sounds like a great idea. Just be sure to stock something for everyone!

10-09-2008, 04:08 PM
I get a lot of ladies coming into my shop asking if I sell wool and tapestry/embroidery threads. I briefly looked into the possibility of adding a small range but it's impossible - you need the full range of a number of brands/styles etc so a shop dedicated to wool would do well here I know that.

Not wishing to generalise (and going from my own experience of ladies popping in here) I'd expect a lot of elderly ladies as your customer base as they can't be bothered with that internet thing and still knit for grandchildren etc regularly. Does the town have a large elderly population and is it on a regular bus-route? And is the shop near the bus stop and parking places? If the answer is yes then you're half way there to capturing that market.

As for younger knitters I think it's a must to have your wool online too - as many have said on here they buy the wool initially in person so they can see and feel it but I guess busy lives result in re-ordering online, if you don't offer them the option to order online from you you'll loose them to another online shop.

Oh and as someone else said check the books carefully although if they are retiring they may have been 'winding down' for a year or two.

PS. My auntie knits and she lives in Somerset - if you do go through with this make sure you let us know and I'll tell her about you, that'll be one customer through your door.....as long as it's in the Froome area :)

11-09-2008, 11:52 AM
Im lucky that there is a shop selling wool at the end of my road and another just 10 minutes drive away. One is a mixture of wool/fabric/craft bits etc and the other sells ballet/tap stuff with a wool section at the back of the shop. I must say though most of my wool has been given to me - I regularly stick an ad on freecycle asking if anyone has any they done want any more and sometimes get lucky!

19-09-2008, 01:37 PM
Thank you all for your feed back. We have decided to go for it. We have put in an offer and it has been accepted we now have an appointment with the bank to see if we can have some money (initial chat sounds promising, At the moment it is a basic wool shop selling yarns and patterns we are planning to slowly expand into all aspects of wool and yarn crafts, tapestry, weaving, rugmaking and any other wool and thread related crafts. I have already made a Marudai to put in the window.

19-09-2008, 01:42 PM
What's one of them?

Hope things go well for you.

19-09-2008, 01:42 PM
OOHHH how weird I was looking at those last night. I have a foam one bought from a chinese shop. Fun but flustrating if you forget where your upto. Good luck with the shop.

19-09-2008, 04:05 PM
I feel a bit of a heel writing this after all those lovely comments but our wool shop closed and disappeared very quickly a few weeks ago. I don't think you can stick to wool solely these days and make a living. You have to diversify a fair bit to keep the pennies rolling in. But, like everyone else, I love to browse through a haberdashery - nothing better.

19-09-2008, 07:34 PM
What's one of them?

Hope things go well for you.

A Marudai is a circular stand for Kumihimu braiding. it traditionally stands 40cm high the working top, called a mirror where all the action takes place by moving bobbins of cords or threads in different combinations you get different designs

the foam ones are ok for what they do but without the balance of weighing the weight bag and the bobbins, you cant increase or decrease the weights so you cant get the correct tension

18-11-2008, 03:24 PM
Hope it goes well. I never buy wool from the internet - I always get it from a shop, even if I have to travel. I need to see it and touch it, and the postage costs are so high for internet shopping!

18-11-2008, 08:07 PM
Sadly all the wool shops in Rugby have closed. The only place one can buy it is Dunelms and their stock is very limited.
Good luck to you.

22-11-2008, 10:36 AM
I love our wool shop, it sell all sorts inc beads - the only bad side is its too near so I pop in a couple of times a week! I hope you do well x

26-11-2008, 12:00 PM
I hope you do well.
I tried to start up shop and two disasters happened!!
I think it's the same for everyone...it is so much nicer being able to touch...like any other craft medium and there seems to be a growing community of knitters. I did a lot of research for my business plan!
As others have said the way to go is to make a community affair in your shop, tell everyone your there and people will come.
All the best of luck
Wish it was me!!!!!

09-12-2008, 10:57 AM
I love going into our local wool shop! Online I only buy what I need. Going into a wool shop I buy many things I never even knew I wanted. Nothing beats touching the wool and seeing the colours - for real.

The other week I was having a lovely chat with the lady working in the shop, who gave me lots of tips. She also printed me out a pattern for the wool I was buying. Just lovely.