Making Escape A Viable Venture

Escape to Evermore is finally trying to establish itself as a business – which might even one day support itself.  😀  Like any new venture, start-up costs WAAAAAAAAY outweigh any possible profit so you do it for love – not money.  Our first joint show certainly established that!!.

Chip and I did a joint booth at the New York Faerie Festival at the end of June.

We did a joint booth because he has been so successful on Etsy that his show stock was low and we were not sure it would fill his booth space.  Plus Chip likes to set up outside of the booth, and we had to have something inside, so we set up the Escape to Evermore sale racks along one side of the booth to fill it out.

Arguably my yarns fit in well at a Faerie Fest as I feel confident that fairies would dye their yarns with plants and flowers and woods and bugs.  However, in 90+ degree heat, not many folks were thinking woolen anything!!  So I sold one skein all weekend.  Sigh.

However, I was able to meet two wonderful women who were also dyers for Sanguine Gryphon – which is my very favorite commercial yarn company – and we had some wonderful chats about natural dyeing.  They both recognized my bases as being the same ones that Sanguine Gryphon used (as I was buying up all that I could afford when Sanguine closed shop last year) and our connection was made!!  Trinket (one of the dyers who was working as one of the fairies in the wooded grove) was also an animal rescuer who had just paid $4,000 for emergency surgery for a rescue kitty – Luna.  She was thinking of doing a yarn raffle on Ravelry to try to raise the money to cover this surgery.  Escape donated a skein of yarn to the cause.

Watch for this on Ravelry and donate to the raffle – or to Luna – if you find it.  I think that notice of the raffle will appear in the Cephalopod Yarns group.

Having realized that yarn may not be a big seller at hot summer outdoor festivals, I returned from Faerie Fest ready to get the Etsy shop up and running.  I had finally found a banner shot from pictures I took while dyeing yarn in the back yard.

Yeah, I know.  You are all so impressed with how professionally done my dyeing is.  😀  But on a typical dye day, yarn is just moving from pot to pot and soaking up colors until I get what I want.

I put up one skein of yarn before I went to Faerie Fest, just to get the process started. I did not add more because I did not know what would sell at Faerie Fest.  (Notably, the one skein that sold was the same as the one I posted on Etsy).  Here it is.

I was amazed to find out that it was picked up almost immediately for inclusion in a Treasury on Etsy titled “Mood Indigo”.  Wow!!  It immediately brought my shop to the attention of other Etsy folks so I am really grateful to naturametalum for including me in her treasury.

I have been adding 4-5 yarns a day to the Etsy shop and it now has 34 skeins listed – with about 50 more to come.  You can see them at www.etsy.com/shop/escapetoevermore

I was surprised to see what gets the most views and the most favorites.

Alot of people seem to like the greys.

The Indigo Ombre is also popular. . . .

as is the purple logwood ombre.

What surprised me the most was that the yarn with the second most views and the third most favorites probably has the worst overall main picture.

I just did not take a great picture of this yarn to show the color so I went with this – and it is drawing a lot of views.

So the positive is that 17 folks have listed my shop as one of their favorite shops and 61 of my listings have been favorited by folks.  That is all good.  There have been more than 300 views of my shop and listings.  No sales yet but I am hopeful.

If you get a chance, stop by the shop.  Take a look and let me know how you think I am doing.  I need feedback on what you think works and what doesn’t work.  My mom hated that picture of the loose stringy madder root yarn above – but it drew the most views after the indigo that was in the treasury – so as a sales picture, it must be effective.  Who knew?

Onward and Upward!

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15 thoughts on “Making Escape A Viable Venture

  1. You’re yarn is beautiful, I love the colours! All the best with your store, I’m thinking of opening one in the near future!

    • Shelly R. says:

      Wonderful!! What will you be selling? If I can help in anyway let me know. I was really grateful to have the help of my hubby and sister when I was trying to work out how to start the Etsy shop so I am happy to pay it forward.

      • Thank you so much for the offer of help, I might just have to take you up on that! Initially, I’ll be selling some vintage teacups and serving wear – it’s all super cute! But, I’d also like to sell some of the clutches that I’ve made too.
        Thanks again!

        • Shelly R. says:

          It looks like you can start two shops – one vintage resale and one handmade. You could probably find some vintage Thai stuff that would be crazy cool. I would think that the first thing you want to do is find out what your shipping fees will be from Thailand to, well, anywhere since most of your orders will be to other countries. You may already know this. I just know that was the first kinda tricky thing I had to figure out – how much it would cost to ship yarn outside of the US.

          • You are so kind, thanks for the tips. This might be a silly question, but is it possible to sell both in the same store?
            I have some really cool Thai vintage stuff that I’m really excited to start selling. My husband has done a lot of shipping to other places for work, so we have a rough idea of prices, but will need to look into it in more detail.

            • Shelly R. says:

              From what I know about Etsy, they break the shops down into separate categories. It makes it easier for shoppers who are looking for different things to find what they want. However, you can list all of your different shops on your “about” page where you are talking about who you are. And it doesn’t cost anything to have more than one shop. Both my husband and I plan on opening a vintage shop down the road too because we love to go to auctions and pick up different stuff. I like old china – he likes rusty old tools. I got my wool winder for $30 at one of those auctions. I think your shop will take off just because you will have stuff that no one else really has. There are also “teams” that you can join that promote different types of merchandise so having them separate will be easier in identifying who you are as a shop in your teams.

            • Oh ok, that makes sense. Thanks so much for being so helpful, I really appreciate it. I’m hoping to open it soon, so I’ll let you know how it goes : )
              All the best with your store, and maybe I’ll be purchasing some of that beautiful yarn of yours further down the line.

  2. vidrotecido says:

    Best of luck at your new Etsy shop! I had a show on Saturday (I make jewelry) and the weather definitely affected sales. There just wasn’t the normal traffic.

    Your yarn is lovely!

    • Shelly R. says:

      I know – that is always the problem with booking summer festivals – rain outs or excessive heat. We were thinking of doing an 8 week Renaissance Faire this year but the hurricanes last summer pretty much killed attendance. We decided to wait to see if it was just a fluke or if it is going to be a part of a regular weather pattern. The idea of not having to keep setting up and taking down a booth each weekend is really appealing though. Thank you for the compliment on the yarn. I am really enjoying seeing what the dye pots give me – since it is rarely what I thought I would have when I begin.

  3. Super excited for you! That’s a brave leap to be officially a dyer in business. Good for you! Your yarn is gorgeous, and I’m sure it will sell well. Have you put an add up on Ravelry yet? They are inexpensive and doing so should get more traffic on your Etsy site for sure.

    • Shelly R. says:

      I have to sell it. It is such an addiction that I have way too much yarn dyed to ever knit it up myself. 😀 I have not advertised it yet because I still don’t have it all listed. I have about 50 more skeins to list and probably another 30 skeins to dye. Knowing I was going to be selling it is why I have stayed with plant dyes that are pretty reliable over the long-term. I see some sellers that are selling yarns dyed with what are lovely dyes, but not very lightfast and I think buyers may be disappointed in the long run. It is also why I am listing them by their dye source. Some of the “naturally dyed” yarns on Etsy don’t say the source of their dyes and I sometimes wonder if they are all “plant” dyed or if they are using a reliable dye plant. But we are stretching out here. I am going to see if I can use the plant dyes to create dyed fabrics for the fairy costumes and try some overdyeing of other fabrics. (Blue denim in black walnut? or brazilwood?) I am actually hoping to get dual colors. Oh, I have alot running through my head. Now to find some time . . . . .

  4. Danielle H. says:

    Isn’t it funny…people really like grey yarn. I do too. All those colors I have and yet the best seller is the grey and white Winterfell colorway. I love that blue and white one of yours, I must go favorite that one is I haven’t already. I have to admit, that peachy one with the weird picture is my least favorite…but that’s a personal preference. I simply dislike the coral color…always have. But it just goes to show you have to make colors you like and colors you don’t to appeal to everyone, cuz some people have bad taste!

    • Shelly R. says:

      Do you know, I had a dream that I was dyeing yarn and I only had a big pot of logwood grey and was telling whoever was in the room with me (it was a dream so I don’t remember who it was) that I could at least make a yarn like Danielle’s Winterfell with it. Hah! If I had not had to reskein the blue and white ombre it would have looked like the winterfell when twisted into a cone. But I have to reskein them all on the niddy noddy to get my yardages as they all are different in yardages. Sigh.

      • Danielle H. says:

        Ha! It’s pretty funny when a dyer starts dreaming of only being able to dye in grey. I forgot you have to measure out all the yarns on the niddy noddy. I’m so glad I don’t have to reskein all of them, because it hurts my back more than anything.

        • Shelly R. says:

          I am thinking of adding a photo of the yarn after dyeing when it is still in blocks to the list of photos I post on Etsy so they can see the color blocking. I like it reskeined, though, to show what it will look like when knit. I put the ball of yarn in a box and then hold the niddy noddy up so it doesn’t hurt my back. Now making the ball itself. . . . . . .

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