Sometimes being the boss is hard

Now is the time on Sprockets where we talk about three decisions I need to make for my business, but I don’t know which road to take for any of them; or, rather, I probably do, but need to process by writing. Internal HaldeCraft neep ahead. Really long. Skip this, or pour your favorite beverage and stick your feet up. I’m not kidding. It’s a long one. Never mind; I broke it up into three parts, it was getting JUST THAT LONG.

Scenes from a work day: objects in motion #yarn #handdyedyarn

Three things about my yarn line are causing me consternation right now.

1. I feel the need to either change the name of or discontinue my best-selling base yarn.
2. I either need to put a cap on yarn club, or consider stop offering the swag version.
3. I’ve got too many regular colorways for too many base yarns. But I want more colors. And more base yarns.

I feel the need to either change the name of or discontinue my best-selling base yarn. You might or might not know (depending on whether your one of my yarnies or not) but I name my base yarns after my favorite science fiction authors. This isn’t terribly obvious because for the most part I use generic first names, names which many other yarn dyers have used for their yarns because most of my favorite authors are women, and women’s names are popular for base yarns.

However, the name of one of my most popular base yarns is the name of a writer who, although now deceased, is a name that is garnering some controversy around it. I’m not going to mention the name; it’s enough to say that the type of controversy is not one that I want to be associated with. It gives me a sick feeling in my stomach to even dye the yarn, which is stupid, because the author doesn’t have a thing to do with my yarn other than I used her name.

So… change the name of the yarn? OR…. as this is also proving a yarn hard to keep in stock because of distributor issues, do I … discontinue the yarn? I may have a line on a comparable base that actually has a higher yardage, higher weight, and higher luxury fiber content.

I would rather discontinue than rename; if I rename, I’m always going to have to answer “why did I rename it”, and the purpose of renaming would be to distance myself from the controversy (no, I don’t have to answer people, but I’ll get the question just the same). I have other reasons for wanting to discontinue, too, that involve times I have money to buy the base yarn vs. times when that base yarn is actually available for me to purchase (I’ll get more into this in Point 3). And like I said, I may have already found a replacement yarn; higher luxury fiber content, more yardage, tighter ply so not as pilly when worked up.

I’m leaning towards (SPOILER ALERT) using this new yarn as the luxury yarn in my next yarn club, and then bringing it in as a new base and phasing the current one out. BUT… change is scary. Discontinue my most popular base? Am I crazy?

Pros of renaming yarn: I won’t have that name associated with it any more. Cons of renaming yarn: getting, even if I don’t answer, the question of why the rename. Old customers may continue to call it the old name, reminding me. I will still think of it as the old name.

Pros of discontinuing yarn: Out of sight, out of mind. The new yarn may be even better. Cons of discontinuing yarn: It’s my most popular base. Change is scary.

Overall: If I didn’t have to answer to anyone and knew nobody would ask me questions or give me shit, I’d discontinue it and get a new base yarn.

Come back tomorrow for Point Two.

5 comments

  1. Based on your overall assessment, sounds like a discontinue is best. IMHO, if you’re not happy with your products (for whatever reason!), eventually it will show and customers won’t enjoy them either. You’ll get a few questions either way, so if cutting it will make you happier in the long run, do it. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me personally, even if it’s one of my beloveds, there are so many wonderful bases in your lineup that I would only pout for a little while before getting distracted by a new favorite, especially if you ended up bringing in something similar.

    • … if you’re not happy with your products (for whatever reason!), eventually it will show and customers won’t enjoy them either

      WORDY MCTRUTHYSPEAKS

      I have continued sometimes to make or sell something that I’m not 100% behind, and I think it… I don’t know, it shows in the photograph or something because if I’m not 100% on board with whatever it is, that shit just does NOT move. It’s almost creepy.

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