Where do I begin?! One word to describe VKLive - NYC...whirlwind!
So, I guess I'll start from the beginning. Alberto had heard about this big "knitting show" by a stranger when we were doing a local show. That night he looked it up and said that he thought the woman was referring to Vogue Knitting. The word Vogue just evokes sophistication, chicness, and trendy. I don't know if I fall into any of those categories. I filled out the application not ever expecting to be accepted, to later find out that I filled out last year's application! Oh well, maybe next year. But two days later, I received an email saying we were in! Holy cannoli! Suddenly, I went from "meh, whatever" to pure panic! My anxiety was reaching a dangerous level.
My head began spinning. "We don't have enough yarn!" "We're going to have to shear!" "Where are we going to find a shearer in such short notice?!" "Will the mill even be able to process everything in time?!" "How much does the booth cost?" "It costs that much!!!" "I don't have an knitted samples!" "Oh $%#*!!!!"
After having a small mental breakdown, we got to work! Alberto lined up the shearer that we used previously. I called the mill to see if they would be able to process in time. We paid the deposit. It was official, we were taking our simple, earthy farm yarn to New York City!
During that time, a woman contacted me on Ravelry. She said that she used to clean my husband's teeth, remembered my son, and would love to visit the farm. Totally random! But Jennie turned out to be a gift from God! She stopped by one day to meet all of our sheep and check out the yarn and we hit it off like old friends. We told her that we had completely lost our minds and were doing VK live. She thought it was great and immediately started listing off designers who I needed to contact in order to display their patterns. She even volunteered to knit some pieces for me! Hallelujah! This crazy idea was starting to fall into place. The stars were aligning and all was right in the world!
Fast forward to a couple of days before the show. As you can imagine, my anxiety was reaching a dangerous level, yet again! Only this time it was thoughts like, "Do we have enough product?" "Are we going to sell anything?" "Will we come home with our tails between our legs?" "Will people understand our natural, purebreed wool?" And every other self-doubting question in the book. But I had to get over that, because the city of Brotherly Love had to take a bite out of the Big Apple.
Over the next few days, we did a lot of educating about natural colors and purebreed wool, which was great! Anything to promote my Romney and Lincoln sheep, I'm all for. It was awesome to see customers break out of their comfort zones and buy a skein of our Lincoln, which is something that's not usually in one's knitting basket. I referred customers to Clara Parkes's Book of Wool to check out, as I'm hoping that the benefits of knitting with pure breed wool will soon catch on. I know, personally, I enjoyed helping customers pick out a rich color combination and then go to Ravelry and show them a pattern from one of the designers that we had featured that would go splendidly with their new yarn babies. Most of all, the connections that were made were beyond our imaginations. Meeting designers who would like to feature our yarn was wild! Meeting new customers who really understand what we are doing and who are now becoming friends, amazing! And to top the weekend off, meeting the ladies from Shetland Wool Week was the perfect ending (and they all bought yarn - - HUGE compliment)!
All of this being said, would we do it again? I definitely think so. Any way that we can get our little farm name out there and share our story is always a win!
P.S. Thank you, thank you to all of you who supported us, shared kind words and advice with us, wanted to know how it went for us, and helped us in any way that you could!!! We couldn't have done it without you!