2013 has been a spectacularly crazy, fun, trying and exhilarating year. Our community of Plucky people has grown this year and we have met so many new and interesting people. With the addition of every new member to our community we have been enriched by the knowledge and excitement they have brought to us. You have all been so willing to jump in and help others, answer questions, offer comfort and words of encouragement when one of us has been dealt an unforeseen obstacle in their life. And those who have been long time members have all been incredibly encouraging and welcoming to the newbie’s. Thank you for that! The willingness of members to help each other has been such a gift to us. I am so grateful for the work of everyone in explaining and directing others to find the information they are seeking. And, in a huge way, that includes the generous offers by so many of you to send partial skeins to those who have asked for help to complete projects and your willingness to share things from your stash. You are awesome.
There certainly was some travel in 2013. We were on the west coast, the east coast and we even got to France for our first ever European trunk show. And, although we didn’t travel too far for the annual retreat, you all did! We were so thrilled at the distances you were willing to travel in order to attend or to just shop and say hello. It is always so much fun to put the actual face to those we only know as a Ravatar.
Behind the scenes, this has been a year of negotiating with landlords, realtors, banks (who also have been the seller in some cases) and sellers. We had several false starts and disappointments while trying to find/secure a new building. But, the old saying of all good things come to those who wait has paid off. In spades! We were able to find the perfect building (a big crusty barn… which is music to my ears!) in the perfect location, with more than the perfect amount of square footage. There are no words to convey how excited we all are. It makes the rough weather we’ve encountered so far this winter almost bearable knowing we will soon be mostly indoors.
This room will insure that we will be able to continue to do our jobs with a smidge more breathing room. Rebecca will not have to step back from her desk (and Hayley’s desk – they share!) if we need to wind a ball of yarn. We will still be three people dyeing every single skein of yarn, but the occasional gymnastics we need to perform as we move between pots of dye will be much easier to choreograph! I know I have stepped on Tiffany’s toes more than a few times as she and Hayley and I perform the Dye-Pot Dance (trust me, it’s a thing).
Our work on the web site is so close to going live. The designer, me, code monkey, photographs…. all working to put the puzzle pieces together. This has not been a simple task because it has so many layers. But, it has been a joy to work on and I think our caution and attention to detail will pay off when we do launch the new site in its full capacity.
Now, back to looking ahead to 2014…..
There will be travel! I have already added the dates for Stitches West and we are well underway in preparing inventory to stock our booth. And, then there’s the Plucky Shindig (thank you Lorilee & Franklin!) that promises to be truly spectacular. We are moving the retreat location to a larger venue and look forward to meeting many, many more of our Plucky friends this year. We are exploring the possibility of another European trunk show as well as something closer to home (Texas anyone?). Of course, these are just in the idea stage at the moment, but we are working on some possibilities.
We aren’t quite ready to pack up and head to the new studio yet, but we will be moving into our new studio as soon as we get the go ahead from Ed (the Eldon of contractors). This means that 2014 will be another year of change in how we serve you. What will not change is our firm commitment to consistency and warm personal service. The new building will allow us to spread out a bit. Up until now we have had to stop the presses (I mean pots) when it was time to ship, converting precious floor space (internal & external) from dyeing to shipping. That translated into one-function-at-a-time! But, with our added floor space, Hayley, Tiffany and I will be able to dedicate more time to dyeing AND we will be able to ramp up the shipping! Simply put, this means that we will be able to continue the same level of commitment to customer satisfaction in a more efficient manor. Three cheers for that one!
It is no secret that I love working with designers. One of the things I am most looking forward to in 2014 is being able to carve out even more time to work with this talented pool of innovative artists. I want to encourage and enable their process, form new partnerships with them and continue to be surprised by their vision. You can look for fresh offerings from those designers we already have a working relationship with, debut offerings from those we hope to work with and an expanding line of simple with a twist Plucky designs!
Lastly, but most importantly, as 2013 continues to tick to a close, I want to send each of you our heartfelt thank you for helping to make Plucky what it is today. You, our valued friends and customers, keep us reaching for new and better ways to bring color and texture into your lives. You bring a spark to my creative side, encouraging me to continue to surprise you with new colors, new bases and fresh designs. I give you my promise that 2014 will be an exciting year for you and for us!
The studio will be dark until January 3rd. Our entire team will be taking some time to enjoy our families and friends and, well, recharge our batteries and get ready for a busy late winter and early spring. We look forward to launching 2014 and filling all the pages in our date book with exciting and fun ways to inspire you and serve all our Plucky friends.
With warmth and unending gratitude,