Monday, January 14, 2008

The Battle of the Bins - or - Rubbermaid is my Friend

First of all, let me start by saying that I should never blog when I think I'm getting sleepy.

I have learned not to knit when I'm beginning to feel sleepy. That's when I make all the really stupid mistakes - mistakes that can't be fixed by any method other than frogging the entire project - in other words, starting all over. I have learned not to sit on the pot doing a crossword puzzle - that's when I find myself falling off the pot face-first and landing on my hands and knees. But blogging? I have now added that activity to the list of things I can't do when I'm feeling sleepy.

Hubster and I got up around 6:00 p.m last night - we had gone to bed late, so we decided to take a little nap around 1:00 p.m. today. That turned out to shoot the whole afternoon right in the ass, which will be explained in a minute. I've been waiting up for the mailman because I'm getting a lot of shipments for the shop, and if something needs to be signed for, I want to make sure I'm right there to do it. Yes, I could just go to bed and retrieve the package from the post office the next day, but I have this thing where I think that my yarn will get cold and lonely in the post office overnight. So today, we did the same thing. A package arrived filled with about 20 skeins of yarn (go ahead, you may drool - I'll wait) (waiting) (waiting) (waiting) (enough), but I didn't have to sign for it. Hubster announced that he was going to bed, but I wasn't sleepy yet. So I knitted a little more and then tackled all the correspondence which has been piling up. After that, I decided to blog - I didn't want to play a game, I had already looked at everything on Etsy, and I didn't feel like knitting again. So I wrote this really good blog and had about a sentence or two left when I suddenly realized the text box was filled with x's and u's and all manner of strange characters. So I deleted them and began to write again. Repeat the aforementioned scene. Repeat it one more time, except this time, extend the amount of stuff I deleted. That's right - I deleted the whole damn post and didn't discover it until 6:30 p.m., when I finally woke up with a horrible welt in my side from the arm of the chair (it hurts like a mofo), stumbled down the hall to wake up Hubster, and sat back at the computer to finish blogging. I looked at the empty dialogue box, stared at it some more, hit a few keys, and discovered that it was indeed empty. Shit. So here I sit, still sleepy because I only got about two hours of sleep, writing another blog that's quite different from the original (but more entertaining, I hope).

On to the title.

As you all know, I have a bunch of bins which hold my stash. For the most part, they're made by Rubbermaid. I like Rubbermaid because the lids snap down nice and tight and they're well-made. So when I went to buy bins for the shop, I tried to find Rubbermaid. Unfortunately, what I wound up wasn't Rubbermaid because the type of bin I wanted wasn't available in anything other than the store brand. So I bought them, thinking that they would do just fine.


Fast-forward two weeks. Now that I'm actually using the bins, most of the locks on the tops (there are these little snap-down things next to the handles which snap the top down securely) have broken or just plain fallen off. Now the lids are neither tightly fitting nor secure. So Hubster and I decided to go find something much better because, after all, these skeins (and notions) are to be sold to you, my dear readers, and I wanted everything protected. We thought about where we could find bins, and Hubster thought Ace Hardware would be just the ticket. They had bins. I had seen them. That was the problem - I had seen them. I knew they didn't have what I wanted, so he got all snippy and told me to pick an effin' place to get the effin' bins (he was hungry; hence, he was in a bad mood). So I decided to go to that other great knitters' store, Home Depot. Surely they would have bins, especially Rubbermaid. Down the freeway we went, since my little village doesn't have shit in the way of shopping.

I love Home Depot and Lowe's. I love the smell of lumber, all the power tools I have no idea of how to use, the toilets and sinks and kitchens and washing machines and barbecues and... and... well, you get my drift. We headed to the container aisle and found an entire aisle filled with bins. Big bins, little bins, multi-compartment bins, laundry bins, green waste bins, garbage bins, bins, bins, bins, and more bins. My heart soared. This was container heaven. They would have what I wanted. I knew it. I KNEW IT. So we began looking for that most elusive of labels.

They didn't have one stinking bin made by Rubbermaid.

My heart fell into my sandals. Shit. Now what? Hubster suggested that I just buy bins that suited my purpose. I told him, rather testily (I was sleepy; hence, I was in a bad mood) that we had already done that and look what happened and I would never buy a bin from anybody but Rubbermaid again and...

He wisely suggested that we leave and go elsewhere.

But where? I couldn't think of a single place to buy bins. Then I thought of Target. So off to Target we went. $250 later, we emerged, squabbling about something or other. We bought movies, office supplies, and a bunch of other stuff I can't even remember. But not a single bin was to be found.

Now what?

We had to go to Staples to get some file inserts, so down the freeway in the opposite direction we went. We got to Staples. We walked into Staples. I looked at their little signs that tell you what's in that particular aisle. I found the file folder aisle. I walked into it. I looked. I looked again and rubbed my tired eyes. It was true. There they were, in all their plastic glory.


And they had bins I didn't even knew they made.

This had to be a cruel joke. This had to be the cosmos taking a big old dump right on my head. Here we had been driving all over the East Bay, arguing through most of the trip, and where do we find the damn things? In an office supply store.

I wasn't going to squabble. I snatched up these really cool bins that are a solid color around the sides and back (black) with a clear drawer occupying the center. They came in small, medium, and large. The large was too big even for me, the Queen of Bigger is Better (which helps to explain why I've been married to Hubster all these years, but that's another story with another title - I will say, however, that if he were a foot shorter, he'd need a hose reel attached to his thigh - 'nuff said). The medium was perfect - it fits 24 skeins comfortably without having to squish them together to make them fit. These bins (or drawers, whatever you want to call them) also stack on top of each other and have a small footprint, so they occupy very little space. I also found these ultra-cool boxes with three clear drawers - these aren't as deep, but they're perfect for the notions I'm carrying. So I snatched up every medium bin they had (about 20 - I'll buy more as I need- and can find - them), and two of the three-drawer boxes. I also got some neon labels to label each drawer with the vendor's name so I know what's in them (those labels peel off plastic with no residue or problem should I need to replace a vendor) and a bunch of other sundry office supplies (some I needed, some I wanted). When we got the bins home, I filled one of the drawers with my largest shipment to date, tossed in a lavender sachet (I bought every single one Jen of Woolgirl had), and closed the drawer. No problem - it slid shut and latched itself with no effort whatsoever. So now I have a tower of bin drawers with the smaller ones (which also stack) sitting on top of them. It's my store shelving, and everything is at my fingertips.

I'm happy to report that I've added three new vendors to the list and am in negotiations with another. At present, I have 30 different vendors selling mostly yarn, but also a bunch of notions. I can't tell you who or what, but all will become clear very soon. Frankly, I'm shocked that I've had so many people willing to put their faith in me and the shop. I'm very grateful and will work my ass off to make sure that I don't disappoint any of them.

As far as the business is going, I'm just about done with everything I can do until I get the rest of my stock in. I'm waiting for a nice sunny day to do my photography because I don't want shadows falling across the items (which is what happens when I use artificial lighting). I have to make labels for the drawers, finish up the files and my books, and that's it. As soon as Hubster finishes up the website, I'm ready to stock it. I'll have my preview of the empty site for all of you, stock it up, have my preview for the vendors, and fling open the doors. Since it's the middle of the month, I still have hope of opening on time. It all depends on the vendors and how fast they get their shipments out. I think most of them are going to be on time - if I have enough stock on hand, I'm opening without them. I'll add the new additions as they arrive.

And now, I think I'm going to take a nap in the Monster. Two hours of sleep isn't enough, and I have a lot of work to do tonight.

Besides, I'm feeling sleepy.


Laura Neal said...

Woman...LMAO over the water hose reel and the hubster! Does he read your blog and does he turn red the way my hubby does when I mention anything tacky or about sex? I am not shy and tend to put it out on the table and he turns a brilliant shade of red.
I have Rubbermaid bins and I love them. I keep my Etsy yarn in mine. :D
Glad to hear you are trying to get it all together, I can't wait to see the shop...I am so excited for you!

SwissKnits! said...

not sure if this will go thru...
but these light tents are supposed to be wonderful. Of course you may need to purchase a light to go with it.


SwissKnits! said...

here try this...
e-mail me if it doesn't go thru..


Yarnbeans said...

Yes, sometimes name brand is way better! My husband and I have experimented for years with different products to decide which things are better as name brands and which don't matter. Rubbermaid is definitely superior! I can't wait until you open your store! I do have a question...are you going to accept credit cards other than through Paypal? I don't use Paypal ever since someone broke into my Paypal account and had a heyday! When I shop through Woolgirl or Loopy, I either use a credit card or send them a money order.

Martina said...

Hi Pam

I have not purchased any yarn since you announced you would be opening your shop so I can support you, I know the yarn you sell will be lovely, getting very excited now. Sheryl x

Pam the Yarn Goddess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

Hi Everyone -

I'll be posting this information as well, but I wanted to tell those of you who read the comments that I won't be accepting credit cards because of the high fees involved. Should I start doing shows, I'll look into getting the credit card equipment then, but it's going to be a while. If I know a customer or have worked with them in the past, I'm happy to accept a money order.

I want thank all of you for your excitement at the shop opening. I'm blown away to have so many customers already! I think I have something for everybody - I have 31 vendors right now and am in negotiations with two more. I hope you're all happy with what I've put together.

Thank you again. :)