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Secrets of Darn Good Yarn’s Business Success

May 14, 2014

Have you ever wanted to know some of the secrets to Darn Good Yarn’s success?  Don’t worry, we don’t have them locked away in a vault somewhere.  The good folks at FedEx, who have helped support Darn Good Yarn through all kinds of growth and changes in shipping needs, have sponsored a great article about us on the website “Small Business Trends”.  The site has all kinds of great business advice, check them out here.

The article describes how Nicole’s choices in technology, the folks she went to in order to gain support and advice, and her marketing strategy all helped to make Darn Good Yarn a successful, expanding business.  There are also some great business tips for anyone looking to expand their own business!  Well worth a read.  Check out the full article here.

Happy Crafting!

Marissa :)

2nd FedEx Small Business Grant Competition Nearing a Close!

March 13, 2014

Remember the FedEx Small Business Grant that Nicole went to Nashville earlier this year to promote?  (If not, check out my blog here!)  She was there because through the support of all of you Darn Good Yarners, we won the Grand Prize last year!  Now this year’s contest is almost over, and the top hundred finalists have been chosen.

Want to check out the top 100?  Click here.

In a fun article about one of the top 100 finalists – the entrepreneurs at Spin Chill (learn more about them here) – FedEx writer Daniela Mencos wrote some lovely things about Darn Good Yarn.  She writes:

“Nicole Snow, founder of Darn Good Yarn, a company dedicated to producing recycled-silk yarn products, won the grant contest in 2013.

Snow said the money enabled her to expand. Before the grant, she was able to provide 250 colors of yarn, and now she has 1,700.

“It’s conscientious capitalism at its finest,” Snow said.

Darn Good Yarn, which is based in Maine, helps women in Nepal and India become financially independent by employing them as yarn spinners. The company created jobs for more than 300 families, she said.

Snow said she had people reach out to her during the contest process who said her company inspired them to start their own business. She said she attributes this to the exposure companies receive through their Facebook pages during the contest voting process.

“People want to see you succeed,” Snow said. “People root for small businesses.” ”

Read the entire article here.

And guess who else is a top 100 finalist?  Our friends over at Fiber Arts Now!  If you have been following us on Facebook, you may remember a contest give-away we did with them a while ago.  It’s a great magazine with lots of fiber inspiration.

Check out all of the awesome inspiration and read about their goals if they win the FedEx grant here.

Thanks to FedEx for saying such nice things!  And thanks, as always, to all of the Darn Good Yarners who support us!  We couldn’t be where we are without you!

Happy Crafting!

Marissa

 

 

 

Darn Good News!

February 9, 2014

If you have been following us on Facebook, or are an avid reader of this blog, (especially this post)  you know all about how much we love FedEx here at Darn Good Yarn.  Along with enabling Nicole to ship yarn from all over the world to a tiny town in Maine and then get it out to you as fast as possible, FedEx also made it possible to greatly expand our efforts with their Small Business Grant that Darn Good Yarn won last year.  A few weeks ago, Nicole and another Small Business Grant winner, Danny Catullo, went out to Memphis, TN to visit the FedEx World Hub.

While there, they got to share their own experiences and successes with their businesses, as well as helping inspire the folks that are applying this year.  FedEx’s Josh Rosa recently posted some great stories about their visit.  He writes,

“Watching the two small business owners enjoy their rigorously scheduled “vacation” to Memphis, I think back on the last 48 hours. Since meeting for the first time, Danny and Nicole have spent hours telling and re-telling their story to attentive listeners at FedEx, each other and anyone else who would listen. Each story contains a few variations or things not mentioned before, but each rendition is delivered with the same enthusiasm as the first.”

It’s a fantastic article, and I would highly encourage you to take a look at the whole thing here.

 

More exciting FedEx news – we have discovered a better (and cheaper!) way to ship to Australia!

Regardless of where you live, we want you to be able to get your hands on great yarn!  And did you know there’s even a special Darn Good Yarn Australia Facebook page?  It’s true!  Right here.   Here’s the low-down: every 2-3 weeks, Nicole will be shipping Australian orders all together to Karleigh (our fabulous Darn Good Yarn Australia coordinator and crafter) in New South Wales.

Karleigh: The Woman You Can Trust with Your Yarn :)

From there, she’ll be able to ship out individual orders through the regular Australian post system.  It won’t get there faster (when will someone invent instant teleportation?) but it will be only half as pricey to ship, get through customs way more easily, and be simpler to track!  Yay!  So if you live in Australia or just want to send yarn there, it’s now a whole lot easier.  What will you do with all the money you save on shipping?  I would wisely invest it in more yarn. ;)

 

Thanks for all you do, FedEx!  And as always, happy crafting!

Marissa

 

Darn Good Yarn & FedEx Both Love Small Business!

January 20, 2014

Thanks to all the support of fabulous Darn Good Yarners, a unique and innovative business plan, and the dedicated passion of DGY owner Nicole Snow, Darn Good Yarn was the first Grand Prize winner of the FedEx Small Business Grant last year.  We won $25,000 to help expand Darn Good Yarn, support more women in India, Nepal and now Chile, and bring the best products to you!  Working with FedEx has helped Darn Good Yarn reach more people, save money along the way, and ship faster despite being located in a tiny, often snow-bound town in Maine.

See FedEx in action and see the lovely video created after Nicole won the grant last year here.

After the success of the first Small Business Grant, FedEx is offering another one this year!  Hear more about what Nicole and one of the other winners, Danny Catullo, were able to accomplish with their winnings.

Darn Good Yarn is a very small business indeed (feel free to get to know all of the Darn Good Employees here!) and we try to support other small businesses.  Not only do we support micro-enterprises and small businesses in India, Nepal and Chile, we also try to help out Darn Good Yarners and their businesses with our great wholesale opportunities.  (Learn about those here.)  FedEx wants to help small businesses too!  They are again giving away $50,000 in grants to 10 small businesses.  Check out their grand announcement here.

If you have a small business, or know one you’d like to support, make sure you tell them all about this great opportunity.  Here’s the vital stats:

Register your business or vote for one you’d like to support at http://smallbusinessgrant.fedex.com/.

Need tips on the best way to win?  Check out recommendations from last year’s winners, Nicole included,  here.

Spread the word and make sure to support the business you love!  And in the meantime, Happy Crafting.  :)

Marissa

Get Cozy with Darn Good Yarn

December 13, 2013

Darn Good Yarn has hit Hollywood.  That’s right, the crafters you know and love now have famous fingers.  Their knitting needles and crochet hooks shall be bronzed for prosperity.  Ok, not that last one, because then they would be difficult to use.  But some fun and silly cozies made by Darn Good Yarners have been featured in a nation-wide commercial!  Check it out:

As you may know, Darn Good Yarn won a FedEx Small Business Grant at the beginning of this year.  Watch a super cute video about it here, and read even more about it here.  When they wanted to make this fun commercial all about cozies, the FedEx folks came right to Darn Good Yarn.  Nicole rounded up her troops, had us all crafting madly, and made it out to LA all in about 1 week!  But who made what, you ask?  Let’s see:

Joie, one of the owners of Foxcroft Agway, a store near where Nicole lives in Maine, made 2 of the granny squares on the refrigerator cozy, and also helped out on the Christmas tree cozy.

We love our Cozies!

I (Marissa, your faithful DGY blogger) made the other 6 granny squares on the fridge, and also made the toaster cozy.  Nicole (our crafty leader) made the dog cozy, worked on the Christmas tree cozy, and helped put everything together on the set.

 

Tail cozy!

(The separate little tail cozy on the dog may be my favorite!)

Olga -- yarn-bomber extraordinaire and faithful Darn Good Yarn fan, check out her fabulous work here -- helped on the Christmas tree as well (that was the largest project!) and also made a cozy for a bush right outside the window.  It’s hiding right here:

Sue, Nicole’s wonderfully crafty Mother-in-Law, made the commercial’s crowning glory that is the kid cozy.

Also helping out finish the giant Christmas tree cozy were Wendy and Cathy -- local friends of Nicole’s who helped her out -- as well as Jackie, a fellow dedicated Darn Good Yarner, and Beth, a friend of Nicole’s from California.  I’m sure we have all tried not to let this overwhelming fame go to our heads.  ;)

If you have a silly cozy or other fun project, especially made using Darn Good Yarn, I’d love to see it!  Email me at marissa@darngoodyarn.com.

Happy warm and cozy holidays and happy crafting!

Marissa

FedEx Hung Out with the Darn Good Yarn Crew: Behind the Scenes! – Darn Good Yarn

March 5, 2013

Okay, so it’s been a few weeks since they were here, but I wanted to share with you all the great fun we had with this sweet little sampling of candid pictures. You can always find more of the photos in my Facebook fan page gallery!

Squeakers just has to take the show!:

FedEx and Darn Good Yarn Behind the Scenes

This is how those fabulous Heirloom Knitting Needles are made:

FedEx and Darn Good Yarn Behind the Scenes

Making great content isn’t always beautiful. Sometimes you have to cook in front of the fire, like poor Greg had to do for the audio!:

FedEx and Darn Good Yarn Behind the Scenes

And finally, a sneak peek at the basement. Squeakers is exhausted from all of the excitement. What a day it was!:

FedEx and Darn Good Yarn Behind the Scenes

Again, without all of you to support us, Darn Good Yarn would never have won this awesome grant. Thank you for everything you do!

xoxo,

Nicole Snow, President of Darn Good Yarn

Like: http://www.facebook.com/dgyarn

Watch: http://www.youtube.com/snowbigdeal08

Add: http://www.facebook.com/darngoodyarn

Follow: http://www.twitter.com/darngoodyarn

FedEx Had a Great Time Hanging With the Darn Good Yarn Crew!

February 21, 2013

Alright, it’s all over. Time to resume a normal day at Darn Good Yarn (I might be too ecstatic to do that!). Mike, the Darn Good Husband, and I had such a blast with the FedEx crew! They were absolutely amazing. Thank you all for coming out to hang with us!

We managed to take some fabulous behind the scenes photos while they were here. Check them out!:

FedEx at Darn Good Yarn

FedEx at Darn Good Yarn

I don’t think I could have a bigger smile! I can’t express in words how exciting everything was!

FedEx at Darn Good Yarn

And here’s a thumbs up from The Darn Good Husband (he was such a wonderful husband that week!–well, he’s always wonderful):

FedEx at Darn Good Yarn

One of the other things Darn Good Yarn did was show FedEx how we work in the community. Here’s a picture of us at the Agway, teaching people to knit (with big needles and fabulous yarn, of course!):

FedEx at Darn Good Yarn

This was such a memorable event for us, and we have to send a big thank you to ALL of our Darn Good Yarn fans! We couldn’t have gotten here without you. :) Big love going out to everyone!

xoxo,

Nicole Snow, President of Darn Good Yarn

Like: http://www.facebook.com/dgyarn

Watch: http://www.youtube.com/snowbigdeal08

Add: http://www.facebook.com/darngoodyarn

Follow: http://www.twitter.com/darngoodyarn

 

Mini Packs of Recycled Sari Silk Ribbon Now at Darn Good Yarn – Newsletter

February 14, 2013

Phew! Sorry it’s been so long since I sent an email out. Things have been CRAZY ever since we won the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest!

I’m actually doing last minute preparations for the FedEX Press Crew– They’re heading down right now to record and get a sense of what is going on. I’ll be posting pictures of the events on our Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/dgyarn) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/darngoodyarn) so you can get a taste of what is going on here… After all, YOU had a big part in us winning!

Make sure you let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like to see or have posted!

With that said, I have been hearing what you and the rest of your fellow Darn Good Yarn-ers have been saying… There are times where you don’t need a giant skein of fiber for a project. Maybe you just want a little bit to accent a project or maybe you need a tad more to complete the last part. Maybe you’re just looking to make some jewelry to accent your scarf!

Well, I know that times are a bit tougher now (Mike commutes and is here only a weekend or two a month.. believe me, I know…), so I want you to be able to finish ALL your projects instead of having to spend more because you needed “just that little bit for a finishing touch.”

I have created “mini” packs of some of our most popular ribbons and they are now available. They’re a little bit more expensive “per yard” because we needed to create special packaging, cut them to length, etc. but, believe me, I’m giving away for as little as I can… This is more a service to you :-)

You can do a LOT of cool things with this yarn: make jewelry, add accents to projects, add trim, create tassels, extend the length of your knitted item, etc.

For the next week, if you order $70 or more of yarn, we will throw in a FREE mini-skein of yarn of your choosing!

On top of that, if you cant choose between yarns and won’t be able to order $70+, I’m also offering a 20% discount on up to three mini-skeins of yarn if your order is $49 or more. Use code MINIRIBBON at checkout (exp 2-17)

FINALLY! I will be holding a contest. Once you get your mini-skeins of yarn, post a cool project you have completed on http://www.facebook.com/dgyarn with them and the winner will get a $25 gift card + 10% off as well!

Stay fabulous darlings!

Nicole

nicole@darngoodyarn.com
It’s not your grandma’s yarn! Reasonably priced, high-quality yarn that helps women in India and Nepal and gets rid of waste.
http://www.darngoodyarn.com

Add: http://www.facebook.com/darngoodyarn
Follow: http://www.twitter.com/darngoodyarn
Like: http://www.facebook.com/dgyarn

FedEx is Filming Darn at Good Yarn!

February 13, 2013

Hey everyone! Some really cool things have just happened. Remember back when Darn Good Yarn won that $25,000 grant award from FedEx? Well, they’re in my living room! Yup, here’s me sitting all cool and collected (psst! Look at how tidy my desk is!):

Fedex is coming to Darn Good Yarn

..and look at that, I’m even wearing FedEx colors! Alright, deep breath. It’s going to be hectic here with the filming crew, but it’s a great way to show a big business how hard small business owners work. I mean, most businesses start out this way, right?

Here they are setting up for the interview:

Fedex is coming to Darn Good Yarn

It feels really official now! Well, I can’t post too many behind the scenes pictures right now…I gotta build up the suspense! More pictures can be found on my Facebook page if you haven’t already joined me. :)

Oh, and here’s a picture at the Agway, just before we start the knitting class! (Yeah, that’s the Darn Good Husband in the background there!):

Fedex is coming to Darn Good Yarn

So excited! Stay tuned for more teasers. :D

Like: http://www.facebook.com/dgyarn

Watch: http://www.youtube.com/snowbigdeal08

Add: http://www.facebook.com/darngoodyarn

Follow: http://www.twitter.com/darngoodyarn

xoxo,

Nicole Snow, President of Darn Good Yarn (nicole@darngoodyarn.com)