This week I got back a box of charts from Hoffman Distributing, my largest distributor, not the first of such boxes over the years. It makes sense: warehouses are only so big and the number of designs and designers grow daily. Shops are pressured to continually turn over inventory. It's not that old designs are bad; they are just not the bee's knees (except for my chart the Bee's Knees, which will always be exactly that.) That's how the model of a retail shop works, and nearly all of them order from the distributors rather than directly from me. Which means they are likely to tell you that anything beyond the 83 charts currently carried by Hoffman has been discontinued. That's less than half of my catalog still there. I also distribute through Wichelt and Yarn Tree, but have recently lost Nordic Needle and Norden as distributors, and it's the same story.
Why does a chart "fail" or go on to become popular? Sometimes it's bad timing, but more often for my charts it's because the designs are a little closer to the fringe. Overall, I think the Ink Circles appeal is not a huge audience saying, "This is fairly nice", it's a tiny audience saying, "This is really cool!"
Seriously, how many people are going to laugh at a Dala Squid, or even get the joke? A Punnett Square with Quaker motifs? A Snow-spider with 8 stick arms?
Tiny album covers for you music player: I think the Earbuds concept with the magnets to change the screen frightened people.
I accept this, and embrace this. I am not trying to please everyone. I please me. If our wavelengths happen to coincide momentarily, then I am delighted that I can please you too.
- Shops are likely to only have a few or the newest charts on the shelf.
- Shops can order about half of my charts from distributors.
- If you ask them, Shops can order directly from me and get anything except sold-out Limited Edition stuff. (I have extremely reasonable terms, BTW)
- If your shop doesn't want to bother with special orders then you can order anything directly using the Catalog tab.
Charts shown in the picture:
- RYO 4 & 6
- Tombstone Monkeys
- Twice Cursed: Gloom and Doom
- Cover Story
- Friendly Flower Bot
- Quaker Genetics
- Irish Springs
- Snow Spider
- Dala Squid and Friends
- Holiday Magick.
I was cheered by the comments both by people seeing their favorites in the pile, and by people who were seeing things for the first time.
So, My Friends, stay weird and stitch what floats your own boat.