I will admit, I always feel a little sad when people come in to my shop and tell them they are not buying right now, but I'm not there for everyone to buy from (as lovely as that would be!). I'm there to provide inspiration, guidance and support. If you're not buying yarn right now, maybe I can help you find the right pattern/book to use up some of your stash. Maybe I have an item already knit up that would be the perfect pattern for that special skein of yarn. Maybe they don't know about Ravelry and I guide them there...
Yes I will get annoyed when people constantly come in for free advice with yarn bought elsewhere and never buy anything from me. But I won't make you feel guilty if you are cold sheeping.
I understand having a stash. I have one myself. I've barely bought any yarn over the past year because I am concious of my stash. My money situation is low (I've taken on a second job now though so thats getting better and I can keep my shop a little longer yay!), and time has been precious for making shop samples using shop yarn rather than my own stash.
So I get it. And I will chat to you about what types of yarn you have in your stash, and what types of items you like to make and whats currently on your needles rather than trying to guilt you and make you buy yarn.
I want my shop to be a safe place for people to come and talk to me about their stash! Sometimes they are hiding the full extent of it, but they can come to me and tell me what they have, as there is no-one else to talk to about it. I want people to enjoy their time in my shop so that when they are looking to buy more yarn, hopefully they will remember what fun they had chatting to me, and come back to see what might inspire them.
As my readers here will know, I'm not happy with my shop sales at the moment. But the shop is paying beautifully for itself, and in fact, sales are starting to pick up (its cold, people want to knit, its new year, new hobby time!). If a customers asks me, I'll say its ok. I had one customer ask me today if I'm covering costs and I told her I don't talk about things like that. She doesn't need to know the details! The only people that do are me and the tax man!!!
Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh yes. Don't be stupid and start making people mad because you are trying to make them guilty. I think what it all boils down to is this: Take responsibility for your own actions. If your sales are down in January/February, why? Did you run a promotion to try to keep your customers interested? Introduce new colours/yarn bases? Its one of the reasons big stores kick of January with a sale! Sure it gets rid of slow moving lines, but also it draws people in to your shop, they will look around (and this goes for bricks and mortar and online stores), and will more than likely buy something full price as well as some sale items.
I've got MillaMia on sale at 35% off. I've barely sold any! Most people are buying full price yarns. But its the sale thats bringing them in (consumer behaviour, did you know I have a degree in Retail Management?!).
And be nice to your customers. Thank them, tell them to have a nice day! I always tell them to enjoy their project, and ask them to bring it back and show me when they are done if they'd like too.
I think I'm starting to ramble here, but yeah. I'm trying to be more positive, and I do feel more positive right now!
Shall I tell you about the second job? I've gone back to my old job at the sustainable supermarket on Sundays, and its going to make things that much easier (even just a Sundays worth of pay!) that we can start saving for wedding (which still isn't official yet, but we've decided March 2017 hahaha!).
Smile everyone! Go and hug your stash! Go back through it, find that forgotten skein of yarn that made you feel all kinds of wonderful when you got it, and remember why you knit/crochet. Because you want to!
Have fun :)