Thursday, April 14, 2016

Behind the Dyepots

One of my goals for this year was to read more books and listen to more podcasts about small businesses and craft marketing. One frequent question that comes up for makers is "how is your business structured?".

I think about Dyeabolical as having 3 core parts:
New colors coming soon. See how I just sneaked that in here?
  • Dyed-to-Order/Special Order Yarn and Fiber:  This part of Dyeabolical is the dye on demand portion. Choose the colorway, choose the base yarn, choose your quantity, and I will dye it up for you. Barring any kind of stock shortage (rare), all orders ship within 3-4 weeks. 
  •  In-Stock: The products in this section are already dyed and ready to ship. What you see is what you get. This section is often stocked with fibers & yarns used to round out at dyed-to-order dye lot. For example, if a customer requests 1 skein of Flower Shop Inferno on the Tenacious base, and my typical dye lot for Tenacious is 3 skeins, and there are no other orders for Flower Shop Inferno that week, then I will dye one skein of FSI for the customer and two skeins for the stock bin. When the stock bin is full then I do a traditional shop update. This section also contains the stock that I take to shows with me. 
  • Self-Striping: This is my newest part of Dyeabolical. It's only about 3 months old. Whoa. You guys love self-striping yarn! It's kind of exciting and scary (in a good way!). The first 2 updates were traditional shop updates. The 3rd update was a pre-order for just one color. I liked that better and it fits my routine better.

    Winding a single skein of striped yarn for dyeing, and then putting it back in a usable form after dyeing takes about 20-30 minutes of manual winding per skein, compared to buying skeins from a mill (0 minutes) or using an electric winder to wind from a cone (about 5 minutes) for standard size. It's a bottleneck in the process for most self-striping dyers. I would love to have all my Stripes colors available at all times, but it's not realistic right now. It's much easier for me to say "Hey, I've got 30 blanks wound and I'm making these 2-3 colors. Who's in?"

And that's how I think about Dyeabolical. If I'm doing my job correctly then Dyeabolical should be a seamless to you, the customer. But to me it is 3 different "departments" or projects that each require their own attention each week.

[Do you have any questions about Dyeabolical, knitting, spinning, or dyeing? Just ask!]

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