August 4, 2008
I’m really not a “limelight” sort of a person. But enough of you have asked when I’d be in the Limelight (and a few of you have asked more than once!), that I’m giving up and doing it. Under duress. And since Loopy already knows all about me, we’re using the questions that you have sent in for the format today. Thanks to those of you who sent them! Next week, I’m bribing Web Guy to be in the Limelight. (Hey – it’s our anniversary month – probably appropriate to let you know more about the people here. I’ll do the Elves, too.) If you have any questions you want Web Guy to ponder, just email them to me. (Like this picture of our family? It’s a couple of years old. Apparently we need to have some more family photo shots taken, if this was the newest one I had…)
Loopies #1: What did you do before you started The Loopy Ewe?
Sheri: I went to college to be an elementary teacher (with a remedial reading minor) and planned to teach my whole life. I taught for three years at the Middle School Level (reading) and then WH and I had our two kids and I stayed home to be with them. During that time, I started a home-based business as a Creative Memories scrapbooking consultant and did that for almost 15 years. It was more fun than going back to teaching! I was sure I’d be doing that my whole life, but then Loopy came along. I retired from the scrapbooking business about a year ago, to be able to put 100% of my time into The Loopy Ewe.
Loopies #2: Do you have a background in business?
Sheri: Not any official business courses. But I got into the leadership program with my Creative Memories business and have always been one who reads and researches a lot. I learned a lot from that process.
Loopies #3: How did you decide to do something like The Loopy Ewe?
Sheri: I thought it would be nice to have “a little something” going on as a second business, and started researching what that might be. Knitting Daughter and I were having fun knitting and since I had already worked with people who had a passion for scrapbooking, I thought that knitters would probably be just as nice. In my research into starting with an online shop, it talked about the need to have a “niche” of some kind. Since KD and I were into knitting socks, sock yarns seemed like a good idea. We put about 4 months of research into it, then took 3 months to fully set it up, then opened it on August 1st, 2006.
Loopies #4: Where did the name come from?
Sheri: It actually wasn’t our first choice! (And now I can’t imagine it being anything BUT The Loopy Ewe.) We just started playing around with different words that had to do with knitting/yarn/etc and settled on this one. It has gone through some interesting pronunciations when talking to non-knitting-companies by phone. (“Ee-we?” “Ewww?” “You?”) We’ve learned to just spell it out for them.
Loopies #5: Did you ever think that it would outgrow your basement?
Sheri: Clearly I underestimated that a little, given that I thought the corner of our basement where we first set up was going to be just “perfect” for this business. (Clearly, I had no idea what would happen to my brain whenever I came across a new yarn or accessory that I just had to bring into the shop.) I enjoyed having it at home, but by the time it had outgrown our basement, it was nice to have it OUT of our house and turn that back into just a place for our family!
Loopies #6: What’s your favorite part of the job, and your least favorite part of the job?
Sheri: Favorite part – there are lots of them! I love coming in to Loopy Central to work. It’s a bright, happy, colorful place that feels warm and welcoming and happy. I love being here. I’ve met such wonderful people (that’s all of you!) and that’s a huge benefit. It has also been so fun that our whole family is extremely involved in the business. I’m glad to have them to bounce ideas off of, and they always have great advice and insight because they know so much about everything going on here. Challenging parts: the amount of time it all takes. I was used to working hard from my experience in growing my scrapbooking business, but the amount of hours it takes to run Loopy is sometimes daunting, even with great help! And I’d say “never enough knitting and spinning time” but I know that goes for ALL of us!
Loopies #7: Where do you get all of your ideas?
Sheri: Lots of prayer, lots of keeping my eyes open in other areas and fields to see what I might tweak and do here at Loopy, and lots of good old-fashioned brainstorming.
Loopies #8: How do you pick your indie dyers?
Sheri: Oh, there are so many things that go into those decisions. Of course great quality yarn and dyeing are at the top of the list. I buy a lot of samples. Plus, I read a lot of blogs and feedback to see if it sounds like someone who is serious about their business and seems like they’d be fun to work with. I look for dyers who aren’t in a lot of other places and who can keep up with the quantities that we need here. And a few other things as well. We’re so happy with the amazing indie dyers and artisans who have allowed us to have their products here.
Loopies #9: Where do you see The Loopy Ewe five years from now
Sheri: Still going strong! I have had to re-adjust my long-term plan quite a few times now, so I won’t even begin to speculate. But I have learned a lot and I expect we’ll continue to make changes and grow. Keeping a personal touch to the business is one of our main missions, so that does temper all of our “growth” decisions. We won’t lose that aspect of it. (Or maybe Loopy and WH and I will be in a cabin in the mountains by then. Who knows?)
Loopies #10: Where did “FPS” come from? (For Pete’s Sake)
Sheri: Well one time during the beginning days of Loopy, I left a note for Susan-the-wonder-assistant about something we needed to do and it was one of those things that you never enjoy doing (I can’t even remember what it was. Probably filing or bookkeeping or some other such blah thing). And at the end of the note, I wrote FPS on it. She came to me later and said, “Ok, I’ve been thinking about this for 20 minutes and I have no idea what this means. What is FPS?” Now we all say FPS quite a bit around here. Along with “for the love of Herb” (FTLOH) and “for the love of Henry” (also FTLOH).
Do you really read all of your blog comments? Yes – every single one. Most days it’s pretty easy to keep up with them. It’s just the monthly contest ones that take a bit longer. But we do read them all!
Do you have a favorite yarn? Yes
Do you ever drink anything but Starbucks coffee? Yes, I like Peet’s coffee an awful lot, too. And Caribou. And now I’m a bit stuck on Starbucks Vivannos. Yum.
Do you have any other hobbies? Well right now I’d rather be knitting or spinning, and that’s all I have time for! But I do love to read and needlepoint and scrapbook. I’ll get back to more of those things later.
How many skeins of sock yarn do you have in your stash? I have no idea. But I do keep adding to it.