Well if it isn't the first blog I've written in years?! I suppose this is really just a test one, to see if the blogging bit on the new website works. We're currently in a sort of soft launch/testing stage so I'm not even going to be telling people that this is up! If you've found it, then you're part of the real, true, Knit Nottingham crew. Welcome.
So the website is here. If you've been following for a while you will know that this has been the source of immense stress. We had our previous website for just over 11 years. It was set up in August 2010 by our friend Kate, a place holder at first and then towards the Autumn of that year she showed me how to start adding products to the website and away we were. It took a very long time to populate that website, as I recall, but we were a new shop with very few products so I definitely had in the back of my mind that whilst we definitely needed a new website, it was going to take some doing now that we're four times the size and stuffed to the rafters. In 2018/19 I had a few meetings with some website developers - some one man bands, some fancy agencies - and got a few quotes. Anywhere between £600 and £6000 but not a lot in the middle and I don't know about you, but I always feel more comfortable there. Then I had some personal stuff and that got put on the backburner. The old website limped on.
Then the pandemic hit and two things happened - I had to find a way of keeping Katie and Emma in gainful (self) employment and also, I had to run the whole business as an online/mail order business with a website that was neither connected to stock nor very easy to use. It hadn't mattered when it was just a small add on to the bricks and mortar but it became a huge focus and people being able to order stuff which we couldn't get in because of the pandemic shortages was - to put it bluntly - doing my nut in and causing a lot of extra work with the back and forth over emails and calls.
So me and Dr Chris (the husband) set up this Shopify website very quickly during the last week of March 2020 and in the background Katie and Emma started to populate it with all of our products. Mostly patterns to start with as that's what we have the most of and they're the most fiddly. You'll find each pattern is linked to the yarn that it's written for or a yarn that we think would be great to use and so they were setting the yarns up as they went too. Neither of them work full time for me and they had to work less hours as less money was coming in anwyay so they were busy for the entire year or so that we were closed (with a few weeks of being open in the middle...). At the end of lockdown, Emma moved down to London and Casper came on board to help tidy up around the edges and get us ready for publication. I had the bright idea of buying us a new till which would connect to the website for stock levels just about two weeks before we reopened thinking that we'd just bish bash bosh and get it all ready to go. Reader - we did not just bish bash bosh and get it all ready to go. Casper and I had the most incredibly stressful couple of months trying to configure the till software to work the the website software in the way it was sold to me but it was just never going to happen. Let's be clear, this isn't the gorgeous farting around playing with wool kind of work, this is numbers on spreadsheets and copy and pasting and some bits of some programmes that like spreadsheets from Word and other bits like Google Docs and some will only let you put it in this way but other bits need this way and 'oh did you say you needed it like that!? Well I didn't hear so it's actually like this' when you've been doing it like 'that' for the last two months and now everything needs to be changed to 'this'. Anyway, genuinely some therapy later, and I made the decision to get rid of that swanky till system and invest in the Shopify till system which connects directly with the webshop. Why didn't I do that in the first place? Not a clue. Not a dickie bird. But here we are.
I must admit, it wasn't just tidying up around the edges for Casper, in the year and a half since we'd started getting products on a lot of those products and colourways had been discontinued or new ones introduced and so everything already on there had to combed through for updating. We've concentrated on getting that done so we're at about the same place we were with the old site, as in, most products are on there but not the stock levels. So you will be able to buy some stuff that isn't in stock for now and if that's the case then we'll be in contact to offer a date for when it will be in, an alternative or a refund. We're working through stock taking now so you'll find more and more of the shop showing stock levels as time goes on until it's all covered - patterns will be last because they're the easiest to order.
When you do find stock levels please bear in mind that we're also facing some serious delays and stock issues now that Brexit is hitting hard and we'll have to have a proper think about our European suppliers which is so sad to me but we are where we are. Do feel free to ring or message if you want to ask about particular yarn that isn't in stock, sometimes we can source odd balls even if we can't get full packets. I wonder if we can offer a sort of wishlist option whereby you can tell us you want something even if it isn't in stock at some point? Hmmm, first things first, let's get a truly functioning website I think.
So, here we are, we hope you love it as much we do. Sometimes, when we've figured out how to do something or we find another amazing thing that the site or till does we just dance! It is so exciting to us to have something that really, truly functions as it should, even if we're not quite there yet. So be gentle with us, please tell us if you find spelling mistakes or broken links - we'll be really grateful and most of all, just enjoy spending time browsing this lovely website that we're so proud of.
Love Eleanor, Katie and Casper. xxx