Funny how ideas and projects that seem so static all of a sudden gain momentum.
Way back in November, I waxed poetic about wool tech gear, bemoaned the awful synthetics, and dreamed big dreams of a yarn/running store. It made total sense.
Actually, the yarn/running store is a lousy idea. But, its offshoot–wool tech gear? Now, that’s plausible. For the past six months, the wool tech gear idea has been like a worm in my brain, wiggling around. It won’t go away. And if I’ve learned anything in 47 years, it’s that when an idea won’t go away, it’s worth researching.
So in my head over the past six months, I’ve been lining up the players. (That I even have players to line up is a good thing). And outlining a business plan. And reading and researching. And dreaming of some awesome marketing ideas. But I hadn’t started the ball rolling on anything yet, because I hadn’t spoken to Big Jim.
Funny how even as an adult, fathers’ opinions are so sought after. At least for me. Big Jim has had a long career in retail and direct mail. Not athletic wear specifically, but if anyone would actually be able to gauge my idea and its feasibility, Big Jim would.
So a few weeks ago, I made the trek to Connecticut (with Thing 3–grandma was bringing her up to Maine for camp) specifically to hash this out with Big Jim.
Now Big Jim isn’t exactly a patient man. And on Friday night when I interrupted his Red Sox game to talk about wool tech gear, well, let’s just say the conversation didn’t go well. Lots of roadblocks. Too many questions that I couldn’t answer. But it was all food for thought and good to hear. And free.
I get my early-riser habit from Big Jim, and Saturday morning as I made my way into the kitchen, there he was, NYTimes in hand. “G’morning dad,” I said. “Morning Paige.” Silence as he continued to read and I made my coffee. Then, out of the blue: “You know, I’ve been thinking about this wool idea of yours…”
And then I knew. It was an idea worth pursuing. The snow was packing snow.
So I started rounding up my players and making inquiries. I had a meeting with a tech gear designer who’s putting me in touch with a freelance designer and a company that manufactures smaller runs of smaller lines. I’ve found two sources for fabric and samples are being sent to me as I type. The designer I met with also gave me a to-do list for some more research which I’ve started.
I’ve started a business before (my yarn store), but this is a whole new ballgame. And it takes me a little outside my comfort zone, but at the same time, being outside that zone isn’t at all terrifying–just exciting.
There’s a long road ahead, and maybe it all stops with the research. But at least then I’ll know I did my due diligence.
Or maybe all that due diligence snowballs into something fantastic.
I hope all you guys are up for being guinea pigs.