The cruel truth

blue-bike with ad

It’s getting close to that lovely time when every needlepoint store owner without an extension has to file their taxes.

To take a page from Dave Letterman, I thought that maybe now is as good a time as any to take a step back from the shopping frenzy that is Needlepoint Land and write a Top 10 list of the most important lessons I have learned during the past year.

Now, I’ve worked in the needlepoint business like… forever — first as a sales associate with various needlepoint stores (both locally and in CT), then as manager for several years at a nearby needlepoint shop — until it was sold, the windfall from which allowed me to buy a blue bicycle (see above), on layaway of course.

[This bike later morphed into a free-advertising, ambulatory billboard (note the chain-guard) for Needlepoint Land — as I now ride to work 20 miles each way each and every day to my store, and laugh at incoming hurricanes and the crazy traffic on US1.]

And I’ve also needlepointed all my life.

gadbadpoetrywomanTherefore I could legitimately say — a year ago, before jumping into this madcap venture — that I was already acquainted with most, if not all, of the ins and outs, so to speak, of needlepoint, as both a craft and business.

I thought to give Needlepoint Land a year (from June 2014, when I moved into my current store location, to June 30, 2015, when my lease runs out) — knowing full well that 80 % of small businesses fail within 18 months — and determine around May (which is coming up real fast) if I wanted to continue on to Year 2.

I cleverly reasoned that running out of money, or getting frustrated with dealing with all the headaches of running my own business, would be a good indicator as to whether I would (or could) trudge on.

I also decided going in that I would make a positive Year 2 decision only if I could say yes to two basic but somewhat crucial questions:

a) Could I operate Needlepoint Land for a year without depending on constant outside cash infusions beyond my initial starting capital investment to artificially keep it afloat; and,

b) Could I demonstrate to my own satisfaction that Needlepoint Land was on a clear path to sustainable profitability?

What follows is what I hope will be an entertaining but informative list for all you readers who have dreamed of owning your own needlepoint brick and mortar store.

Here goes.



All images are either from Openclipart, the PD, fair-use old ads, or NPL’s proprietary photo and derived art catalog