Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Our Catalog, Then and Now

April 14th, 2010

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catalogs

Then (1996)
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.

Now (2010)
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!

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  • http://pugnotes.blogspot.com Melissa Langer

    how fabulous!
    i love all of your yarns and the wonderful company you have all worked so hard to create.

    what a wonderful post!

    :) melissa

  • Joann

    Boy do I miss the Jamie Brand yarn! I loved the light texture and all the colors — all babies born in 96 and beyond were gifted witheir very own blankie. How I wish you would bring it back!

  • Judy

    I remember the Jamie yarn and made several baby blankets for friends with it. I still have some in my odds and ends! I enjoy the new catalog and the new yarns.

  • http://peacefullyknitting.com Tina

    How fun to see the before and the after ~ I must confess I like the after much better. It’s quite amazing how far Lion Brand has come.

  • Robin

    I agree with the others. The yarns available today are very nice but I do miss the Jamie yarn too. I also prefer a lot of the older patterns. I guess I’m just stuck in a time gone by – LOL!
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  • http://www.restlessgrace.blogspot.com Grace

    Wow! It’s amazing how much Lion Brand and the yarn community has progressed in the last 14 years. Back in 1996, I wished I knew someone who would teach me to knit and today I knit and crochet all the time. How wonderful for you have been there to witness the evolution at Lion Brand.

  • http://www.mrsdof.com Diane Wiman

    Oh – do I have fond memories of JAMIE yarn. It was quite popular for awhile, but all good things come to an end sooner than we like.
    I crocheted at least 3 baby blankies with it, and still have a half skein, loosely wrapped, in a box.

    This year, I clipped my address labels from several catalogs, mailed them back each to their company, and said to quit sending the paper version.
    These days, I order online almost all my hobby fun.

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