My brother gave me this magical little book for my birthday a few years ago, called The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. He knew I had been exploring a new career path that would let me spend more time in the fiber crafting world. At the time, I was a software sales rep for the largest privately held software company in the world, and while a good career, my soul was not fed.
Over the last 4-5 years, I explored multiple options such as dying, becoming a yarn rep and I even entered discussions to buy a local yarn store. For one reason or the other, I ruled each option out. Then I started reading the book. I usually read every night before bed but this book made my mind race and I quickly carved out time earlier in the day to read it. My key takeaway from the book was to figure out what you are good at, figure out your passions and merge the two together. As I tossed these ideas about, I kept coming back to the idea of representing small indie businesses. I knew the margins were small and bandwidth would limit how many businesses I could realistically represent. It didn’t seem like a viable path.
Since there are already marketplace options available online, if an indie business wanted a virtual storefront, they could establish one. But then I wondered if there was room for improvement in the existing systems? As a consumer, I realized there was. After I further investigated with the perspective of a small business owner, I recognized there was. After months of research, talking to existing indie business owners, and investigating what it would take to build a marketplace, my husband and I decided to move forward.
The idea of FiberCrafty began to feel like a virtual fiber festival. Think about it, as a shop owner, would you prefer to set up a booth at a regional arts festival? In that scenario, maybe 1 in every 100 people is a potential customer (I totally made up that number but it kind of seems reasonable, maybe even low). Alternatively, if you set up a booth at a fiber festival, almost everyone present is a potential customer. On the flip side, as a crafter or artist specifically looking for new stash or tools, a fiber festival would also offer the largest possible selection and variety.
I began to write out all my thoughts, ideas and visions. In April 2016 I formed FiberCrafty, LLC. I partnered with a local firm to help me do all the things I don’t know how to do (like coding!). We began figuring out a look, a logo, a tagline and the best way to incorporate my capabilities wishlist. Eventually, we find ourselves here, ready to share FiberCrafty with all of you and I can’t wait.
FiberCrafty is not a large organization. On paper, it’s just me. But in reality, it is so much more. It’s me with the support of my family. With the support of my friends. It’s also the web team helping me execute this dream. And most importantly, it’s the fiber crafting community and my hope to make a contribution to that community that has been so significant to me. I am a firm believer in community and that collectively, we can do more together. I look forward to hearing ideas and suggestions from you, the fiber crafting community about what will make FiberCrafty even better!
This has been a huge project, full of emotions ranging from feeling overwhelmed to fear and to excitement. I left my corporate job to work on FiberCrafty full time and now, every time I “have to” work, I feel a small burst of joy because I realize I “get to” work on something that I love.
Thank you for your time and for joining me on this journey. I look forward to our future together!