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The Knit Cafe Seattle

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3/23/05 03:45 pm - neevita - SBA fucking rules!

So I gave a call to the Small Business Administration after talking with my fairly biz-savvy friend and being sufficiently freaked out about getting a loan for this place. I was reading about their Prequalification Program and called to see if it's available here, and I came back with a ton of information and ideas. Thank-you, Linda and Jom!

Aside from offering tons of helpful information online, which I've been reading pretty much constantly since I decided to do this, the SBA offers a free seminare on financing every second and fourth Thursday of the month from 12-1pm. Different people teach it from week to week and you can go to it as many times as you like. There are two people presenting in the Seattle area, so I plan to go to at least two of them, the first one being tomorrow.

They also partner with something called SCORE, it's apparently an organization comprised of business savvy volunteers. They offer free 45 minute appointments for business counsoling. I'm seeing someone on Friday!

http://www.seattleccd.com/ - This place specializes in helping people put together business plans and loan applications. They offer 4 hours of help for free and then start charging, so I think I will go to them after I've sucked up everything I can from the free SBA programs. They also offer an array of classes, I'm particularly interested in the cash flow projection class. What a fab resource.

Linda also suggested looking into community college classes. Damn, why didn't I think of that?

After talking with Stu, all I could think about was how there wasn't any way I could possibly do this alone because of the money and all this damn business minded shit I know nothing about. Now, I feel empowered, and supported, and that I can do this. Fuck yeah!

3/22/05 11:54 am - neevita - Advertising ideas

NewsPapers and Publications - The Stranger, The Weekly, KEXP
The Internet -Livejournal, Knit forums, Our web site, Citysearch, Search Engines, QuestDex
Independant Advertising - Fliers, Pole Posters, Signs.

Postcards - "Wish you were here, at THE KNIT CAFE SEATTLE" postcards with a flattering photo of the location. Allow customers to fill out the postcard address for their friends and supply postage. This way we target people who are more likely to be interested in the place rather than spending resources on irritating people with junk mail.

My Angles - It will be hard to pry the coffee going public of Seattle from their laptops. Utilize the ongoing research that shows how constantly being on the computer is eating your soul and shit, and find a way to excite the consumer about our alternative, and be sure to mention that lessons are available.

3/22/05 11:20 am - neevita - I am having name issues..

I'm having a hard time deciding what I want to name this place.

Ideally, I will call it 'The Knit Cafe', but I have an ethical issue with using that name because it is exactly what the place that inspired me to do this is called (http://theknitcafetoronto.com) though it seems that the owners wouldn't mind.

The alternative names my friends and I have come up with are pretty cute. Help?

Poll #459339 What should I name my knit cafe?

Which one do you like best?

The Knit Cafe (simple font)
4(10.0%)
KnotTea Knittery, a knit cafe (with some type of knotted wood decore)
4(10.0%)
The Naughty Knittery (with pinup-girl decore and a frilly font)
15(37.5%)
The KnitWit Cafe
11(27.5%)
The Knitty Gritty Cafe ("Let's get down to the knitty gritty!")
6(15.0%)


Eh? Eh?

3/22/05 10:15 am - neevita - More little detail ideas..

Woudln't it be cool if I had a soap artist make bar soap suitable to wash wools with that were molded in our brand? :D

I'm hoping to have an ecclectic array of ceramics for the place. Lots of different teapots and cups and cream pourers. But then, what about the opportunity for branding? Hm. I guess I should probably not make that too important to me. But I love the idea of offering a free beginners knitting lesson and asking for dontations of ceramic pots and cups and cream thingies before the place opens, you know? And it would make it so much easier to identify your drink, if it were in a unique mug.

And man, does paying GoodWill prices to supply my biz sound sultry.

3/22/05 09:59 am - neevita - Already thinking too far ahead?

Why on earth am I already thinking about where to put a second location?!

3/21/05 10:29 pm - neevita - Yay, KnitWit Cafe will be offering handspun/hand dyed yarns by unluckymonkey!

I'm so excited! I LOVE this girls yarn, I've made hair pieces with it as well as clothes! She makes chunky, varying yarns that are perfect for small projects.



Her Yarns

3/21/05 10:18 pm - neevita - Hello knitwitseattle.com!

Just registered http://knitwitseattle.com!

Hehe, nothing there yet! ;)

3/21/05 10:17 pm - neevita - Focus Group Questions

I have decided that I would like to schedule a couple of focus groups to find out what the local knitters here are interested in having in a meeting place. I've begun a preliminary list of questions I want to ask them, though I believe I will be putting them in Multi-choice form and storing the data in MS Access for easy display and printing for the bank.

Here is what I have so far, suggestions are very welcome!:

Name, age, gender, etc.
how often do you knit?
what time of day do you knit?
where do you like to knit?
do you socialize while knitting?
do you prefer lessons, or books, or both?
do you knit in a group?
how many in your group?
how often do you meet?
where, and for how long?
do you feel it is difficult to find suitable places to meet?
if you were able to rent space for your group, would you?
how much would you be willing to pay per hour for a cafe all to yourself?
how important is the availability of food to you?
do you use knit patterns?
how much do you usually pay for a knit pattern?
what are your favorite knitting books?
what types of yarn do you enjoy using?
how much do you pay for a skein of yarn on average?
do you see a value in more expensive, hand dyed yarns?
where do you purchase your yarns?
how often do you find yourself purchasing yarns?
do you work on multiple projects at once?
where do you go for your supplies?
what type of knitting needle do you prefer?
crochet hook?
do you find that you use larger sized needles, or smaller?
do you feel that KnitWits mission statement properly educates the reader about the cafe?
would you be interested in working at KnitWit based off of what you have read?
would you recommend the cafe to your friends?
what would you change about the details of the establishment that you've read about so far?
thank you for taking the time to talk with me. If I think of more questions, can I contact you again?

3/21/05 10:17 pm - neevita - Handspun Yarn Suppliers

Yay, fun stuff!

Most of the day has been focused on figuring out software and money, and really I didn't get anywhere with either of those, but I did some fun stuff too - I looked at yarn!

I spent a few hours trolling yarn sites looking for bulk suppliers of handspun wools. I've found a few places I like but I want to wait to approach strangers about stocking their product until I have a Business Plan to reference or show them to explain what it's for. I found a cool little place in Montana and a place at works with a womans co-op, I'm interested in both of them. I also want to stock http://prismyarn.com but their minimum order is $5,000, and they're not accepting new accounts right now. Bah!

3/21/05 10:09 pm - neevita - Hopefully be in business in 6 months!

According to my business guru friend Frank, I should expect to have a storefront in about 6 months. Which is nice, cause I had figured it wouldn't be until the summer of '06, so yay. I am looking forward to it.
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