At the end of April, Andrea (one of our great Lion Brand Yarn Studio staffers) and I headed down to Atlanta, Georgia for Stitches South. It’s only Lion Brand’s second time to Stitches ever and our first time to Stitches South, so it was a exciting experience for us, as well as the hundreds of people who stopped by our booth to say hi!
As usual, we showed off the LB Collection and other new yarns like Amazing, we gave away free patterns, dozens of door prizes, raffle prizes, and more at the booth — we even a huge basket of yarn at the Ravelry party. We also featured 3 different gorgeous garments at the Knitter’s Magazine fashion show: the knit Modern Lodge Pullover in Amazing (pictured below left), the knit Dressmaker Detail Cardigan (pictured below right), and the beautiful crochet Lavish Lace Shawl, which got a big cheer from the crocheters in the audience.
Another highlight of the show is always seeing the what our customers have done with our yarn. Check out this beautiful beaded necklace that this lady knit in our LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel.
Finally, I also got a chance to meet some of the listeners of our podcast, YarnCraft, which I write and produce. It’s always very rewarding to meet listeners in person and to know that they’re enjoy what you do!
As always, it was wonderful to see and meet our customers, and we hope to see you at some of the upcoming events that we’re attending:
We go to events throughout the year, so keep an eye on the blog and our official newsletter, The Weekly Stitch, for updates!
Were you at the show? Tell us about your experiences!
This is a guest post from Mike D. in our New Jersey office:
At Lion Brand, we enjoy a company get-together that is casual and gives us a chance to talk, knit or crochet, and play at the same time. Sure it may seem odd to walk into a bowling alley, and see people knitting or crocheting in between frames, but luckily we have a couple of ringers (Debbie with the high score in the first two games) so when people walk by and take a look up at our scores, we are not too embarrassed.
It was a great time to mix and mingle with co-workers that you may not necessarily have time in the work day to chat with. I enjoyed watching Laura, who is awesome in Customer Service, brainstorm with Dean, one of the owners of the company, about what bowling shirts we should be wearing (for example, showing a lion bowling but with a ball of yarn in place of the bowling ball), and Ed (who runs one of our warehouses) told us all how he hasn’t bowled in 20 years but of course he bowled a strike with his first ball.
We had a great time, even though half of us had no idea what we were doing, but most of all, we enjoyed creating friendships with our co-workers. Part of what makes bowling night fun for our company is that people are there because they want to be there, and not because they are forced to participate. About a year ago, we had our first bowling night and we barely had enough bowlers to fill two lanes. A year later we take up four lanes. If you work for a company that is looking for an inexpensive, but wonderful evening out, I would recommend bowling night. When topped off with delicious nachos, it was the perfect event.
I snapped this photo of our marketing team (minus me behind the camera) last week. What are they doing? Why, assessing retail trends in the seasonal aisle of a craft store, of course!
I wanted you to meet the team and to show that we do love our work, we wear a lot of hats and, while we are serious about marketing, it does take a bit of whimsy to be creative.
This photo deserves a caption. Any ideas?
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.
A few weeks ago, Claire (of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio) and I attended Stitches West, a knitting/crochet/yarn expo out in Santa Clara, CA. We left just in time to miss the big blizzard in the Northeast, and it was nice to see flowers blooming and sunny (albeit chillier than this New Yorker expected) skies in California. At the show, we met a ton of knitters and crocheters, saw some of our good friends, and made new friends too!
Many of you Lion Brand fans dropped by the booth to see our new products and garments in person, enter our raffle, and pick up some free patterns.
Quite a few of you also stopped by just to chat, say hello, and share your love of Lion Brand.
We want to thank everyone who stopped by the booth!
We also wanted to share some photos of the amazing customer projects that people brought to show us:
|This is an octopus made out of Fishermen’s Wool — what a very cool creation! Doesn’t he look realistic?|
|A gorgeous Moonlight Mohair cardigan — pattern improvised by this lovely lady.|
|Look at Joi’s knit-along project! Her Inishturk Sweater is coming out beautifully!|
I’ve been to a couple of yarn conventions, and it’s always fun, BUT this was Lion Brand’s first time at Stitches, so we were very excited. Not only did we have a great time meeting and greeting our customers, but we also had a great time meeting the teachers, organizers, and other vendors on hand. One of our friends who stopped by was designer and author Lily Chin, who wore a dress she designed with Lemongrass Wool-Ease — that’s me with Lily below:
Once the show was over, Claire and I took an airplane back to New York, and as we came over the sunrise, I took this photo out the airplane window:
Doesn’t it make you think of the Tara Shawl below? I know that’s what it made me think of.
Were you at Stitches West? Are you going to be at Stitches South or Midwest? Let us know!
Recently, I had the pleasure of being invited back to my alma mater, New York University, to speak to the Stern School of Business’s Scholars, a group of the top students in their respective class years. I was asked to share my experiences as the president and CEO of Lion Brand Yarn Company for the last 7 years and a member of the company for the last 40 years. My talk was followed by a Q&A — and this group being of future business leaders, I was happy to be put through the paces by, and to share my experiences with, these students.
They asked me about our iPhone app, working with our many retail partners, the challenges of being a part of a family-owned and operated business, and surviving—and thriving—with the ups and downs of the knitting and crochet yarn industry as it has evolved over the last several decades.
As always, it brings me great satisfaction to give back to a community that has contributed to my success and to talk about this company, which I love.
Lion Brand unveiled a giant menagerie of exotic animals made of yarn at the Craft and Hobby Association convention in Anaheim, California last week.
These one-of-a-kind animals were created from a variety of our yarns available at Wal-Mart and retail craft chains including Jo-Ann and Michaels. The yarns, including Homespun, Fishermen’s Wool, Vanna’s Choice and Fun Fur, were combined in unique ways to create the extraordinary textures and designs of the animals. The animals were placed imaginative “habitat” settings including a rocky surface, a flowering bush and a tall grass—all created with yarn.
The giraffe is 8 feet tall, and the snake is 40 feet long, and each took HUNDREDS of balls of yarn to make. In the photos you can see the development of this project from concept to the creation and finished pieces.
We had a great time at the show, watching the amazed expressions on the faces of people who visited our booth. Many of them stopped to take pictures of themselves with their favorite creature.
If you want to make your own smaller animals click on the related links or go to LionBrand.com and search for “amigurumi” or “animals”. Similar small animal patterns:
While traveling in Israel recently, I came across a couple wonderful fiber displays. Working in Lion Brand’s NYC offices above the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, I get to see the creative use of yarn for the window display on a regular basis. I always love seeing other retailers use yarn in displays, and I was even more excited to see yarn used for a retail display in Jerusalem! The bright colors draped from branches and dropped into shopping bags lining the bottom of the window.
A week later while roaming the narrow sidewalks of Jaffa, I came across a fiber art gallery. As in the picture below, all the art was felted, from the initial felted “canvas” to the yarn details felted over it.
On a trip with lots of site-seeing and very little time to knit, the occasional fiber-arts spotting was especially comforting.
Our annual fashion show is one of the highlights of our year. Featuring avant-garde concept pieces, as well as wearable fashions, it’s a fun and fantastic show, featuring America’s favorite crocheter, Vanna White.
Check out this short video from The Orange County Register, with footage of our annual fashion show and an interview with Vanna — and keep your eye out for more from the fashion show, later this month on the blog!
Look out for some of these patterns in the upcoming year!
[Viewing this blog post in your e-mail? Please click on the title of the blog post to be taken to the website to view the video. Having trouble watching the video? Click here to go to the Orange County Register's website. Must have Adobe Flash activated to watch video.]
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking to the New York City Crochet Guild. We had a great turn out of over seventy people. I truly enjoyed watching the proud participants of this group show off their latest projects and designs. I was able to show them all of the exciting new yarns that we have for this year, such as Hometown USA, Amazing, the LB Collection, and some new yarns that have yet to be introduced. When I asked how many of the ladies had been to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the majority of the members had visited the store and absolutely loved it. I have attached some pictures for the meeting for your viewing pleasure.
My favorite part of the night was when one of the ladies, Irene, donated some vintage Lion Brand yarns to our archives. She donated some great oldies like Glitter Knit, Pamela, and Molaine that was made in Italy. She even gave us a sport yarn that was 100% pure wool that came out way before my time that was article number 804 with an old dye-cut label. Being that I love to collect vintage Lion Brand items for our archives, this was most exciting.
One of the greatest take away from visiting guilds around the country is all of the insightful feed back that I receive. I love going back to the office the next day and sharing all of the wonderful things I learned with the rest of the Lion Brand team. I can’t wait to visit my next guild.
Want Jack to visit your group? Groups of 50 or more in the tri-state area can contact firstname.lastname@example.org regarding speaking at an event.