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Meet Our Spinzilla Sponsor: The Woolery

Posted By TNNA HQ, Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Meet Our Spinzilla Sponsor: The Woolery

TNNA: What’s The Woolery all about?

The Woolery: Our main focus is to provide quality products and first class customer service to the fiber arts community. In customer service, we focus on making sure we are up to date on new trends so we can provide support to our customers when they need it. Purchasing and receiving keeps our product line up to date. Shipping makes sure that packages go out the door quickly and that everything is packed well to survive the rigors of shipping. That is a challenge sometimes! 

TNNA: How did The Woolery get its start and how has it progressed to where it is today?

The Woolery: The Woolery started as a small store and mail order business in upstate New York in 1981. It has had several owners since that modest start. Each owner has brought their own vision to the store and grown the business while staying in touch with the fiber arts community to make sure that we are serving their needs. That is our biggest strength; we always welcome feedback from our customers. We make sure that we stay flexible so we can make the changes needed for us to grow and serve our customers to the best of our ability. 

TNNA: What’s a typical day look like at The Woolery?

The Woolery: Busy! People start coming into the shop to work on online orders at 8AM during the week. The phones don’t open up until 10AM, so we have time to get ready for the day. The ringing of the phone is a constant sound in the customer service area while a very eclectic array of background music comes from shipping. You might hear the sounds of a class being held in the class room or the thump of a loom being used in the front of the shop. Inventory comes in through the back door on the left hand side of the shop and orders go out later that day on the back door on the right hand side of the shop. It’s very efficient thanks to the new space we moved into last summer. It was a lot of work to move, but it was very much worth it. 

TNNA: How many years has The Woolery participated in Spinzilla?

The Woolery: The Woolery has been part of Spinzilla since the very first year! It’s been wonderful to see the event grow over time. It is one of the highlights of my year. 

TNNA: How do you grow as a team each year?

The Woolery: Team Woolery focuses on enjoying the week and striving to reach personal bests instead of reaching for a high position in the yards spun between all the Spinzilla teams. We normally do well and more importantly for us, enjoy the camaraderie that a focused week of spinning brings the team. We have several team members that have been part of the team since the first year, so it’s great to catch up with those members and learn more about the new team members at the same time! 

In the shop, we are a bit more competitive, but again it’s on a personal level. We always try to beat our yardage from the year before and it’s always fun to see who spun the most over the week!

TNNA: What is The Woolery doing to stand out in the industry?

The Woolery: We actively seek out our customer’s feedback so we can improve in all areas of the business. It’s very important because we wouldn’t be where we are without our customers! Because of that feedback, we do our best to serve our customers in a variety of ways that suit them best. We take mail orders for the customers who prefer to pay by check or money order. On the other end of the spectrum, we are always working on upgrading our website and online presence for our customers that prefer that. On top of that, customers can always call the shop for a more personal touch when they want or need it. Add our lovely show room to that mix and you have a shop that can help customers the way that they prefer to be helped. 

TNNA: Is The Woolery doing anything to appeal to younger generations and to get others involved in Spinning?

The Woolery: Yes we are! Social media is very important in the lives of younger generations, but it’s also a great way to introduce people to new things. A picture speaks a thousand words and places like Facebook, Instagram and Ravelry give us a way to get information about spinning out to the world in a way we never were able to before. We also support our local guild and guilds all over the world with our Guild Rewards Program and our Woolery Fiber Arts Outreach Grant. 

TNNA: Are there any other initiatives The Woolery has started or will be starting soon?

The Woolery: The biggest thing we are working on right now, and are always working on, is bringing in new products and finding good sources for quality fiber and yarns. We recently brought in lovely hand dyed fiber from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks. We’ve also started selling a new merino silk blend in solids and stripes and solid colors in sari silk for the spinners. There are several new portable weaving products, new kits for rug hookers and new yarn for everyone! 

About The Woolery

In 1981, the Horchler family decided to offer retail wool, basic supplies, and spinning lessons at their family farm in Genoa, NY. Originally called Woolery Farm, the named changed to Finger Lakes Woolen Mill before becoming The Woolery, then changing locations (and hands) in 2001 to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Chris & Nancy Miller bought the buisness in 2009, moved it to historic Downtown Frankfort, Kentucky where they expanded twice, incorporated a weaving center for classes, and established an online presence.

In 2015, current owners Wave & Perri McFarland purchased The Woolery, upgraded and expanded retail space yet again, improved the online experience, inventory, shipping efficiency, floor demo model accessibility, and classroom accommodations! We are proud to be a family owned small business for over 35 years, and look forward to serving the fiber arts community all over the world for years to come! 

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