Saturday, December 31, 2011

News From Erin

Woman and mannequin
A Note from Erin

Dear Bobbin's Nest Studio Friends,

This is a difficult email to write because throughout this holiday season, I have labored over how and when to tell you. You mean more to me than you will ever know. I am so incredibly proud of how my beautiful shop developed over the past 4 ½ years. To my amazing staff I am profoundly grateful. I am so thankful for all of you, our dear customers, who I have watched blossom into incredible crafters. I am a better entrepreneur, business owner, and person because of you.

I have decided to close the brick and mortar store and immerse myself in the online business. We will start the closing process as soon as we finish our physical inventory. From January 10th-31st we will be selling off all of the products that we won't be carrying in the online store, at a discount. As of February 1, 2012 the brick and mortar store will no longer be open to the public and the current space will only operate as a pick-up location for for our local customers.

Before you start speculating, let me explain the decision. With this said, I hope you understand and respect that I will not go into all of the gory details of my decision any further than this. 2011 was a very difficult business year for Bobbin’s Nest...incredible increases in our wholesale prices, long waiting times for products due to fiber shortages, increases in our monthly overhead, and a downturn in the Bobbin’s Nest customer base economy were all contributing factors. We tried a lot of new things (Selling bicycle bags as knitting bags? I still stick by that one, even though my staff thought I had lost my mind) and launched the online store. I know a lot of you are struggling too, so I am sure you can sympathize with how stressful it has been. Times are tough for all of us, and especially independently-owned businesses. We saw less customers overall, many of our regulars disappeared, a lot of class cancellations due to low enrollment or customers canceling, and we can’t afford to always have a sale. In order to stay in business the only logical thing to do is broaden our horizons with the online store. It will cut down on our overhead and the Bobbin’s Nest Studio you have come to know and love will continue to exist.

Know that my decision to close the shop was not made in haste. I have had to evaluate, reevaluate, and then reevaluate my reevaluations. It’s been a year of inner dialogue and heavy decisions, all while trying to keep a smile on my face, a positive attitude, and my typical upbeat stance.

Think of it this way...now you’ll know a face behind an online business. And to put it in perspective...she’ll know you too. I appreciate that you support small businesses like Bobbin’s Nest Studio and hope you continue to do so in the future. According to the 3/50 Project (which we joined over 2 years ago) “For every $100 you spend at a locally owned independent store, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend at a national chain, only $43 stays here.” They go on to say that “if you spend online nothing comes home,” but in our case that is incorrect. If you buy online from Bobbin’s Nest Studio, you will keep some of the Bobbin’s Nest staffers you have grown to love, employed. We will continue to invest in uniquely independent businesses (such as Hazel Knits and Jordana Paige, just to name a couple). You will also grant me the opportunity to seek out those diamonds-in-the-rough niche businesses, and I will bring them to your attention. Most importantly, you will help us grow Bobbin’s Nest Studio beyond a little store in Santa Clara, CA.

If you have valued us through these 4 ½ years whether it’s been through: our excellent customer service; our unique products; our promotions (like the Honorary Bobbin membership program, Wine and Cheese Nights, the Stashbusting Sale, or our “Stash and Dash” Deals, etc.); our Blog; the Facebook and Twitter feeds; or our incredible knowledge, I hope you will continue to support us. The online store will grow. The Blog will become even more informative. And we will continue to evolve with the help of technology, just as we have throughout the years.

Thank you for your anticipated support, love, and encouragement,

~Erin

The Pertinent Details:

Gift Cards: Store gift cards (the white ones with the Bobbin’s Nest logo on them) will be good through January 31, 2012. After January 31, 2012, they will no longer be valid and cannot be used online. We are unable to convert them into online gift cards. Spend them in the store and get great deals through the end of January!

Honorary Bobbin Memberships: As of December 31, 2011 we have closed our Honorary Bobbin program to new members. Those of you who enrolled in the program in 2011 will still receive your 10% discount on online purchases until your membership is up for renewal, but you need to let us know you are an Honorary Bobbin when you register on the website (we need to flip a switch on that end). You can still look forward to receiving your FREE Bobbin’s Nest Studio pattern once a month. We will uphold our end of the bargain in every way possible...because you’re awesome and we thank you for supporting us!

Classes: We will not be putting out another class schedule and we will not be offering classes in January.

Private Lessons: We will be offering adult private lessons in January at our normal rate of $40/hour/per student. Call soon to schedule because we anticipate these booking up fast!

Sewing Machines: We will be selling a few of our sewing machines. They will not be available for pick up until the last week of January, so that we may accommodate those taking private lessons. Please come contact for details and prices. These are not eligible for shipping, so local customers only.

Fixtures: We will be selling some of the fixtures and accoutrements. Again, these will not be available for pickup until the last week of January. Please contact us for details and prices. These are not eligible for shipping, so local customers only. Pin It

3 comments:

Unknown said...

I am deeply saddened, and appreciate the difficulty of your decision. I'll miss popping in to browse and chat!

Kerry Adkins said...

This is very sad news Erin, but I'm happy you are able to keep the online store. Best of luck to you, I will miss dropping in and the kitty chats! -Kerry

Joanne Bianchi said...

Erin- you have such a great shop and I am sorry that I haven't been able to come in as much as I would have liked. That shop is you and you are that shop. So as much as I am sad to see it go...I am here to support you in your next venture of an online shop. You will make online shopping just as amazing as you did the brick and mortar shop.
You and I started our businesses around the same time and I completely understand what you are saying and what you are going through and have gone through. I am glad that you have made a decision and me and the rest of your loyal fans, members, friends and customers will all be here to support you. Ohhh by the way, I love my bike bag...it's beautiful and makes me smile every time I ride my bike :)