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From the old garnbutik to niche products

Cashmere, alpaca, wool and mohair. The small butikslokalen in Floda, just over three km north of Göteborg, is filled with exclusive materials and the inspiring pieces that should trigger creativity. This takes Mia Aarstrand customers a day in the week, the remaining time she spends upstairs its combined office and warehouse. To sell yarn only in the shop has become more difficult as online shopping has grown larger. Today there are few pure yarn - and sybutiker left in the smaller towns.

Mia Aarstrand took over Garntua 2010 when the shop is still in Allingsås. Shortly thereafter, she started an online shop.

– But in the end, the number of visitors in the physical store is too small to be able to pull in the rent to the premises. But I wanted to keep the store in order to be able to provide service to my customers, many want to feel the yarn and see the color with your own eyes. Therefore, I moved the shop here to Floda 2015.

on really noticed she also that it was not profitable to sell the cheapest garnkvalitéerna. They took up too much storage and too long to pack. Therefore, instead of Mia Aarstrand niche in itself on the more exclusive materials, such as cashmere imported from Italy and alpaca from Peru.

" When I bought the shop it was a classic garnbutik with many and most inexpensive yarns. By the time I felt that I actually sold most of what I personally thought about. The market has changed much in the last few years and today, I think it applies to my niche to succeed.

Mia Aarstrand with the dog Charlie. Photo: Tomas Ohlsson

But it's not enough just with the e-commerce mean Mia Aarstrand who say that the market on the net now is quite difficult to get into as garnförsäljare. It is equally important to be active on social media and inspire new customers who want to learn to knit.

– It is just where I sell, I advertise nothing in the press, it does not work. I put out a post on Instagram on a new piece of clothing I knit, it can be seen directly in the web shop.

Mia Aarstrand had since growing up in Norway, where the stitching has long been much greater than in Sweden, she believes. Before she took over the Garntua of one of the founders ' daughter, she has worked as a konferenssäljare and travel agent. But to dare to invest in a private business was nothing she been thinking about for a long time.

" I'm very spontaneous of me, thought it might be fun and took a chance. So was it also with my own yarn that I brought home from Peru and that comes from the long-haired alpackorna of the breed suri.

Garntua is one of the oldest garnbutiker and was founded in 1944 in Allingsås of the two sisters. Since 2015 is the store in Floda, two miles south of Allingsås. Photo: Tomas Ohlsson

in Addition to the web shop, shop and Instagram have the resale of rare and more expensive yarns become a part of the Mia Aarstrands business model. To shop owners to buy out a huge stock of precious materials can be risky. But by establishing contacts with dealers in Europe and Asia works Mia a bit as an agent and can sell on to the Swedish stores and webshops. But the prerequisite to do it is send with mönsterbeskrivningar.

" It is not possible to sell without descriptions, either to the customers directly or passed on to other stores. If the customer comes in and says ”nice yarn, what should I do?” can't I say ”find something”. It is very important to be able to show what can do, I work a lot with.

" I think that any form of needlework is here to stay. But as a shop owner it is very hard for me to hang on, especially when the big chains are competing with us less. Would all the trade, where would the variation disappear and also expertise.

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