We printed 5,000 copies of our first consumer catalog. It was a 6 page black and white fold-out which included an order form. We had 16 types of yarn, 5 of which were different versions of Jamie, a popular baby yarn. We offered 9 different kits but no free patterns. There were two yarns that are still in our line today: Fishermen’s Wool, which sold for $8.99, and Wool-Ease, which sold for $2.99. (Today, 14 years later, Fishermen’s Wool is $9.99 and Wool-Ease is $3.49.) In 1996, our catalog had a staff of two: me and one person who packaged orders on a table near my desk. The owners of the company developed the yarns and worked with designers to create a handful of new designs each year.
We print over 1 million copies each year of a full-color 56 page catalog that includes over 100 free patterns (plus 3,000 more on our website.) We offer over 55 different types of yarns, including a wide range of natural and organic fibers, as well as the first celebrity licensed yarn, Vanna’s Choice. Today many people in the company work to bring you the catalog, including the beautiful photography and designs. We have a design department, a marketing department, as well as customer service and shipping departments.
It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come just in the last 15 years!
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking to the wonderful women of the Westchester Knitting Guild. It is always a delight to speak to this guild because they are so full of passion and excitement. During my presentation I showed them all of the new products Lion Brand has to offer, as well as the exclusive LB Collection. I even had the pleasure of dining with some of the members. People seemed to love seeing and the LB Collection in person. These yarns are only available on our site and in our store. As Evelyne, one of my new friends from the guild said, “These yarns continue to seduce.”
Just a few days ago my new friends surprised me with a lovely thank you card (below) and box of chocolates. It’s people like them that make my job so enjoyable and gratifying! I truly enjoy speaking to yarn lovers and if you have a group of 50+ in the Northeast and would like to request a presentation, please contact me at Jack@LionBrand.com.