Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A word about slatwall

Forty more minutes until it is light enough outside to go ride, so a word about "slatwall."

Slatwall is a retail industry term for the display wall that has channels cut in it that hold a variety of hooks and shelves. We had it at the old location and it really fits our way of selling yarn, so we knew we needed it for the new location.

I researched all the online options, "get it cheaper, no skid fees, blah, blah, blah" and decided to stick with a company that I use for a lot of our fixture needs. Short conversation with said company and I have 20 pieces of 2 foot by 8 foot slatwall on order. We pick a date for "freight" delivery at the new location and Amex to the rescue, the deal is set.

On the designated delivery date, Britt and I decide I'll go paint at 400 S. Croatan and wait for the delivery truck and she'll keep things running at the old location. I get a call about 11:00 from Britt. The freight company has called and they will be in KDH in 30 minutes, oh and by the way the delivery weighs 800 pounds. Yep- gonna say that again, EIGHT HUNDRED POUNDS. Ok, no worries, we'll figure it out.

Moments later an 18 wheeler backs into the front parking lot and the little man hops out. I trot out in my typical painting garb, shorts and a ratty tee shirt (because I am officially the sloppiest painter ever according to many). A quick note that my painting ensemble, though well suited for much of the day's task, is not exactly appropriate clothing for the weather outside. This particular Wednesday was in the middle of the nasty Nor'easter we had in February. 40 degrees and blowing at 30 knots, ok, grab the ratty sweatshirt too.

The delivery guy eyes me and says, "Well, what are you going to do with it, it's 800 pounds." I optimistically offer, "Let's take a look." He opens the back of the truck and there it is, a 2.5 x 3 x 8.5 foot "package". Slatwall wrapped in cardboard, crated to wooden pallets, wrapped in plastic, and marked "FRAGILE". Short conversation about how fragile it really is, like if he drops the crate off the back of the semi will it really hurt the contents? I veto the drop it off the back option, further vetoed since when he tries to move the pallet with the pallet mover it won't even budge. Oh, and no lift gate option on this particular vehicle.

In the back of my head I hear Tim Gunn from Project Runway, "Make it work!" So my next idea is to cut open the packaging and move each piece of slatwall individually. Delivery guy eyes me again, cuts open the cardboard and looks at the contents. Yep, 2 x 8 sheets of slatwall, 40 pounds each, think plywood on steriods. Put on the work gloves, and ask the nice delivery guy to slid a piece of slatwall out of back of the truck (which is at chest height to me) and onto my shoulder. I then half walk, half sail the monster (did I mention the wind...) in to the shop and start a stack on the floor. One down, 19 more to go- and so it went, delivery guy slides huge slab of wood onto my shoulder, I wrestle it into the shop... and on and on and on. Midway through the stack I'm questioning my sanity and quietly praising myself for hours at the gym and on the road. 20 sheets and 40 minutes later and we are done, he offers me the cardboard and plastic from the shipment, gee, thanks. Oh and offers to help move it into the monster dumpster at the side of the building.

A few new bruises to show for the effort and quiet thanks that I didn't order the 4 x 8 size.

Daylight, and a date with my bike.- cheers

Monday, March 29, 2010

So what goes into moving a yarn store?????

Folks have asked what went into the move- here is a slightly abridged list:

* 58 "man hours" from my fabulous contractor and his crews
* another 15 hours from the painter we hired to deal with the ceilings (yikes!!)
* a 20 cubic foot dumpster filled to the brim, even after the dumpster divers helped themselves
* 13 gallons of white paint
* 8 gallons of purple paint - in three different colors
* 3 packages of plastic tarps
* 6 paint rollers, half a dozen paint brushes and the same number of trays
* 21 cases of laminate flooring
* 54 new lightbulbs
* 800 pounds of display wall (that's 20 sheets of 2 x8- unloaded piece by piece in the rain... my what a day!)
* a very well negotiated trade of sofas and chairs
* one new fab rug
* 2 gigantic rolls of movers plastic wrap
* countless hours painting by Britt, Karen, Kathryn, and me
* more trips to Home Depot than I've ever made in the rest of my life combined
* a 32 foot U-Haul truck for 2 days
* countless hours volunteered by really wonderful friends who just pitched in to move or pack or paint or clean
* 19 pizzas
* a lot of beer (the only real bonus of helping out....)
* many, many sleepless nights
* 2 giant bottles of ibuprofen
* a host of other little bits and pieces to many to list here
* 1 incredibly wonderful friend and employee who was willing to work untold hours to make this all happen
* 1 incredibly understanding spouse and best friend who encouraged me to make this big move and stood by my side with everything I needed from lifting labor to negotiating contracts, Dave was right there believing in the whole dream.

I am well and truly blessed that I am surrounded by wonderful people who gave their time and talents to help make this dream a reality. If you painted a wall, hauled out sheetrock, mopped a floor, lifted and toted stuff, bundled needles, wrapped a display of yarn, hung up samples, fluffed yarn back into place, brought food or drink, picked and pulled weeds, or smiled and offered encouragement I am deeply thankful. You are the kind of friends that people dream about having and I am a very, very lucky person.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Purrl gives 400 S. Croatan 4 paws up

It's official that Purrl, the spoiled grey cat, is happy in her new home. Before the move she took a short "holiday" at my house. If you have not recently attempted to stuff a normally docile, 10 pound cat into a travel crate it is on par with sumo wrestling. She didn't mind the moving car, lucky for me... have you heard about any of the previous cat travel stories??? And was fine hanging out in the guest bedroom here for a couple days, despite the best efforts of the rotten cat at my house to tease her through the bedroom door. Good grief that cat!

Wednesday of last week we revisited the sumo wrestling event and Purrl arrived safely at the new shop. She spent half a day hanging out in the store room but soon got bored with those 4 walls. Off to adventure about in 2600 square feet of new yarn store. Loves the new office, thinks she looks fab in the guest bathroom- the color compliments her eyes. And the best part of it all is the abundance of windows. She has a lookout spot at several and is quite impressed with the coming and going of folks at the KDH Post Office. Also incredibly thankful for all who brought her flowers and plants to snack on in the middle of the night.

She's been at the new location a little more than a week and today was proof that she loves it. Out and about early, wrestling the legs of the coffee table and having a romp with a couple of bouncy balls. Snoring under the afghan on her favorite chair and lounging on the work table. Not sure how long her new chatty, meet and greet personality will hold, but we are enjoying it!

Knitting Addiction's Big Move

We made it! With the help of a host of really incredible people we managed to move the entire shop in 3 days with no extra days closed. A bunch of people have asked how we managed, so here's the short form.

Purrl came home with me to my house on Thursday night (no sense having her be in the middle of the chaos to follow). She settled into my guest room and aside from some minor teasing from the rotten cat that lives at my house, she was really pretty happy.

Saturday, March 13 was business as usual until about 3:30 when a host of really fab folks showed up and started requesting assignments. We pulled all the samples from the walls, bundled knitting needles with rubberbands, wrapped all the yarn displays with mover's wrap and hit the ground running. Dave and another wonderful helper showed up at 4:30 with the moving truck (the biggest you can rent at U-Haul) and we started loading. The guys, my Dave, Dave Evans and Trey - both great fire guys- did the majority of the heavy lifting and loading. The rest of us hustled and packed smaller stuff. The truck was completely full by 6:30 and we had it unloaded into the new location by 7:30 Saturday night.

Some of the crew returned to the Southern Shores location to pack the rest of the shop into the truck (another completely full truck) and some of us stayed to start settling things into place.

Sunday morning everyone joined up at the new shop, 400 S. Croatan Highway, and unloaded. We were done with the truck by noon. The rest of Sunday and all day Monday were a pretty focused effort to get displays on the walls, yarn fluffed and straightened, computers up and running, phone lines transferred. I can't say thanks enough to all the wonderful people who gave up a Sunday or Monday to come and help us move. I was amazed by the outpouring of friendship.

Tuesday, March 16 we opened the doors at the new beautiful space at 10 o'clock and it was a really wonderful day. Tons of customers came in to see the new space and wish us well with flowers, champagne, cupcakes and beautiful plants.

The rest of the week was a whirlwind of selling yarn and late nights getting some of the details taken care of. Knitting Addiction was a field trip for the Corolla Purls on Wednesday, we had the first S & B on Thursday and really had a great week.

Finally joining this century

OK- 7 in the morning on a rainy day, can't go run, or bike, too lazy to go to the gym and I have to survive the dentist in a couple hours. So I decided I'd drag Knitting Addiction into the 21 Century and start a blog at the suggestion of a number of great customers. I'm hoping it will be a way for folks to keep up with what is going on at Knitting Addiction. Let me know if I stink at it. In a different lifetime I was actually a published writer...