The Knock-On Effect8 February 2013
I had a comment here a few days ago from someone who intends not to buy magazine subscriptions in future – she’s had her fingers burned over Simply Sewing and has watched others lose their money. As a result of Kerrie’s behaviour a number of people on Ravelry say that they won’t pay for annual subscriptions to ANY magazine in future but will buy single issues only
I’ve also read the same sort of comments about yarn clubs. You pay a fixed sum of money upfront, and you’re promised delivery at regular intervals of a particular type of yarn, together with maybe a pattern and a small gift. It’s a surprise package and the items in it are usually discounted. Independent yarn dyers often use this idea to to create brand loyalty and awareness.
Some people who joined what was then Knit Magazine’s yarn clubs definitely got a surprise. They joined the Sock Club to get indie-dyed yarn but the final installment they eventually received was Rico Superba Poem, a perfectly good yarn but it’s commercially manufactured and dyed, and retails at about 7 pounds in the UK.
Others joined a Knit Magazine Lace Club and were thrilled to see they were going to receive a skein of Wollmeisse Lace yarn, a much sought-after commodity in the knitting community. However, as KNIT hadn’t actually ORDERED AND PAID for the yarn, it didn’t materialise. So an alternative was offered – Colourmart to be dyed by an independent dyer. AND as a special treat, the members were to receive a skein of Sparkleduck, another lovely yarn.
The Colourmart was delivered to All Craft Media, who owned Knit at the time, and was never seen again. I’ve no idea whether it was ever dyed. Colourmart wasn’t paid for this yarn. The Sparkleduck was also delivered to ACM (and was paid for) but that too never again saw the light of day.
So knitters didn’t get what they’d paid for and all installments were delivered late (and in the case of the Lace Club, not at all). Naturally there are now a lot of people who were either involved in this or who have read about it who are keeping well away from yarn clubs in the future.
So other businesses - magazine publishers and yarn companies - are suffering because of the antics of one Kerrie Allman. She’s messed up every attempt she’s ever made to run a business. And now her actions are impacting on other, reputable, businesses.
I’ve even had one business in Essex tell me that people have become wary of buying from her as they really believe that half the parcels sent from Essex Post Offices don’t reach their destination. They haven’t understood that only the parcels sent from Hipknits/Yarn Forward/Knit et al go missing. And I think we can correctly assume that’s because they never made it into the Essex postal system in the first place.
I promise that when I hear of a yarn club with a good track record, I’ll post about it here. It’s in all our interests that these reputable independent dyers survive.