#2 Kelley Corten : The Royal Bee Yarn Company
Q: Can You distill your business vision down to 3 words?
Environmentally Sustainable Yarn
Q: When was your inspiration for your business?
Prior to opening my shop and launching my own yarn brand, I was in the publishing industry and launched Mollie Makes in the US. I fell in love with the yarn industry and have been a fiber geek ever since. I'm passionate about the environment and supporting ways in which we can come together as a community.
Q: What part of starting your company did you really enjoy?
The best part of owning a yarn shop is shopping for all the wonderful items for my shop! And of course, working directly with the farm and mill to create my own custom all natural fiber yarn brand.
Q: What aspect of doing business have you felt challenged by and how did you overcome it?
Learning to live with the uncertainty of customer flow. I'm still working it!
Q: What help did you receive that was crucial to your strength and momentum of moving forward in your business?
I've had so much support from the regular stitch group that hang out at my shop, that I named my color ways after them. Garment samples in the actual yarn you are selling are so important to selling the product and my regulars have made so many for me and so quickly. This helped me get a leg up at events and inspire sales in the shop too. Thank you!
Q: What is something that you learned that was an AHA! moment for you?
When people come into the shop to buy yarn, often they buy the color they are wearing.
Q: When feeling stuck creatively or in life, what is your personal practice for rebalancing?
Going to the gym and I've just started yoga (I'm terrible at it!) Also, decorator magazines really help inspire me with color and shapes.
Q: Do you have a new product you are excited about for 2020?
In 2020, I'll be launching a few new yarn collections with different fiber content.
Q: Can you give a word of inspiration for other dreamers starting out?
There is no such thing as a 'safe' career choice, so do what you love! No one really knows how to launch a business as they are all unique. You can figure out what you don't know and learn from your mistakes. Just go for it!