Friday, 25 January 2013

TFA - growing, changing, staying the same

A wee sweater in progress, this one is a gift, it's now finished and is super cute! Can you spot the new colourway?

I've been getting a lot of inquiries lately from people who want to know what my plan is. How do I intend to keep TFA afloat, all by myself, while taking care of a newborn? Good question! The answer is quite simple, basically, I'm not all by myself. I've got Chris to do all the dyeing and my mom to help out with everything else. And I can't exclude my dad, he rarely gets a mention on the blog, but he's basically the baby whisperer (not joking, he's really got a golden touch with babies, he loves them and they really love him) so I'll be inviting him over a lot! All of us will be taking time off when the baby is born. I'll still be checking e-mails (though I may take a day or two longer to answer them) and I'm sure I'll pop in with a few blog posts to introduce you all to our newest member of team TFA, but once we've taken a week or so to settle in at home, Chris will be back to work dyeing up yarn for all your orders and mom will be helping me take care of the rest. So for the most part, other than having a new face on the blog to coo over, you really shouldn't notice much of a difference from TFA.  

I feel extremely lucky to have such a strong support system in place. Most new moms are left alone at home a week after the baby is born when their husbands have to go back to work. Maybe their mom will come stay for a week or two to pitch in, but not everyone gets a husband who works from home and a mom who lives 10 minutes away. When Chris goes back to work he'll walk across the backyard and be a quick shout away should I need him. 

Chris and I have always known that we wanted a family. In fact, back in 2008 when I officially started TFA, part of my reason for doing so was because I knew that the late night, long hours of the restaurant business were not what I wanted to be doing long term. Along the way we have always kept our future family in mind when making decisions about the growth and management of TFA. That's why we opted to build a backyard studio rather than rent a space, why we've made the decision to stay small and flexible rather than go big. It has always been our plan that our lives at TFA would be able to pretty seamlessly be integrated with our lives as parents. 

We started scaling back on some of our production earlier this year, just to make this transition more manageable for us, and if you haven't noticed a change yet, you likely won't. We'll be amping up our inventory before the baby comes. Our focus is on our direct to customer retail sales, including our website sales, Etsy shop sales and Club memberships. The website will not shut down, there will hopefully still be a few One Of A Kind Etsy updates and of course the Club will go on as usual. You may find it a little bit harder to find my yarns at your LYS (though lots of my LYS's have been stocking up on inventory, so maybe you'll find it easier than ever!) but everything will still  be available on my website as usual. 

The one thing that I haven't been able to fit in with the new baby this year is the DKC Knitter's Frolic. The baby is due early April, who knows when I'll actually go into labour, and committing to the April 27th Frolic date is just not realistic. I'm sad to miss it, but I think that trying to make it work would just make me crazy and stressed. I plan on being back next year with baby in tow!

I'm feeling extremely creative lately, I've got no less than 5 or 6 patterns in development at the moment, all of which I'm very excited about. We're working on new colours, considering new yarn bases, things at TFA have never been more rewarding! So have no fear, TFA is growing and changing, but from where I'm sitting, it looks like things are just getting better.