Odin had a blast spending time with his Grandparents in the forest. But, to be very honest, I’m not sure who had the most fun. Brenda and I enjoyed 2 weeks with him. This is the first time that he was able to complete pottery projects from making through glazing during a single visit. It was a cool experience for him to work on the pieces through an entire cycle. The pictures are compliments f Odin.
The rest of the two weeks? Well, let's just say, what happens at Grammies...stays at Grammies.
Everybody’s going virtual…or so it seems. XRX (Stitches) has two new products out…VOGUE is throwing their hat in the ring with several virtual dates…several indie groups have popped up and a couple of festivals have tried virtual also. I’m sure there will be winners and losers in the virtual show/festival game. Some of the experiences have not been all that satisfying…just a waste of energy…some have been a whole lot of fun. Customers, by and large, are becoming used to virtual fiber experiences, apparently, Amazon has trained us well in the online shopping experience. A degree of trust has to be developed when you can’t reach through the screen and touch the product. I’m sure you can probably understand the oddity of not being able to squish yarn, but even the potter is having a bit of a challenge. The glaze that we spent a year developing, and has become a significant feature of our work, can’t be felt on a computer. The glaze was designed to be gorgeous, but we made it so it feels silky and not waxy. When we’re doing face-to-face shows, customers routinely slide the pots back and forth in their hands as they enjoy the glaze. Can’t do that very well in a virtual setting…you’ll just have to trust us…the yarns still squish and out pots still feel great.
We’ve been finding it difficult to let customers know when we’ll be live at events...the playing field is moving so quickly and is just so fluid…on top of that, it is common to get just 30 minutes to show the products so timing is everything. A few events are allowing an hour per vendor, but a 30 minute window is common. Promoter’s planning cycles are running closer to event dates compared to planning for a face-to-face event. The face to face events are usually on the calendar a year out. But indie producers are especially quick on the planning cycle. But even with the latest Stitches event…cuttin’ it close for sure. One reasons that quick planning can happen is that there is a tendency to use existing infrastructure (read software services) and on small indie events there is a minimum amount of class travel involved. When face to face event do come back, I suspect that a virtual component will be associated with major events and virtual events may just be a new channel. I also suspect that there will be some pushback on the pricing of the face to face events, but just remember that travel and accommodation and hall rental fees…but the experience of face to face is different than that of virtual events (no? really?...duh!) so I think comparison is sort of silly…two different products.
We’re going to start sending our newsletter every Tuesday to help customers be in the know. If you’re not on the mailing list you can sign up on our CONTACT page. FaceBook and Instagram are crowded…but there is the newsletter with the latest (as of the Tuesday).