I have been in business since 1994. I have been to a few (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) trade shows in my years in business. The first trade show I recall attending was an INRG show in Charlotte, NC. It was so big that a person could barely get through the entire show in a 3 day weekend. Those were the days!
I made a lot of friendships there and at the many shows to follow. I consider some of those friendships among my best. Those other shop owners are there when I need them. If I have a small thread or yarn emergency or a problem that I can’t work out on my own, someone is always there to help.
I have taken a lot of classes at trade shows over the years – some have even help shape my business! I have been able to take many of those classes back to my shop and teach the techniques to my customers. I have made friends with some of those teachers and have even had some of them visit my shop and teach classes for my customers. The class lineup for the show coming up in Washington, DC promises to offer more great learning.
I have made friends with cross stitch and needlepoint designers, as well as with other yarn vendors. It makes me look better to my customers that I can pick up the phone and contact a vendor and they know who I am! (Maybe my customers are just easily impressed!) These relationships make it easier for me to do business.
Are you a retailer or wholesaler who is ready to take your business to the next level? Make plans now to join us in Washington, DC this summer!
Penny Franz is the owner of Ewe Count in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Her shop is predominantly counted cross stitch and yarns for knitting and crocheting. As chair of the Counted Thread & Embroidery Group, she serves on the TNNA Board of Directors. She was the secretary/treasurer of the International Needleart Retailers Guild (INRG) and served on the transition team when INRG became part of TNNA. She has also served on the TNNA Retail Council, including 2 years as chair.