In recent years, several savvy entrepreneurs have opened up yarn shop cafés. (I counted nine in TNNA’s online shop directory.)
With the intent of creating a home-away-from home space for their
customers, they conceived a business model combining a yarn shop with a
This marriage really makes perfect sense. In addition to the comfort
it provides customers, the coffee shop offers a new revenue stream, and
also makes the shop a destination point . . . drawing in those who
already stitch, as well as those just looking for a good cup of coffee
in a welcoming environment. And . . . since we know stitchers do drink
coffee, it goes to reason coffee drinkers may also like to stitch.
Recently, I was sent a great link to a story about another great
marketing strategy that takes the café concept one step farther . . .
but rather than coffee, they’re serving wine.
The article "Sipping wine while slipping yarn” in the Wine Enthusiast online magazine refers to needlearts shops holding "Sip & Stitch” nights either in the shop or at local wine bars.
For example, a TNNA member La Knitterie Parisienne in Studio City CA
has a weekly "Sip ‘n Knit” night that attracts a mix of men and women
who come together for appetizers and stitching. On the other side of
the fence, wine bars are attracting stitchers by offering special
stitching nights and free appetizers.
And we know, stitchers do enjoy a nice glass of wine. And again, it
goes to reason, some wine drinkers might also enjoy stitching.
For years, I have been talking about the importance of marketing
partnerships with other dissimilar but similarly targeted businesses.
I’ve also been talking about getting "out” . . . out of your self, your
comfort zone and also out of your shop, in order to reach new customers.
Even with the electronic age, marketing gurus are preaching the need
to get to know your potential customers in a social sense. Even with
all those twitters, facebook groups, blog postings and such . . . person
to person is still the most important connection. Your community, both
social and business, is built through personal relationships.
I don’t recall the article mentioning, or even suggesting, an actual
combination needlearts shop and wine bar. Except for the issue of
getting a liquor license, it sounds like an easy and natural progression
from the knitting café to the fiber bar. (Hmmm . . . an idea to ponder
for my next life.)
I’m not suggesting you empty out some of your yarn bins and replace
them with wine coolers. . . but what better way to be social, and bring
more people into your "community” than to partner with a local
establishment that already draws in a crowd of people in need of
"Sip ‘n Stitch” . . . It seems like the perfect way to relax with a
nice chardonnay and crochet, or a pinot noir and a bit of needlepoint,
or a little "l’chaim” and lace . . . and the perfect way to entice new