To be fair, many big things happened, good and bad. The defining factor of the year would be my moms illness, the brain aneurysm and strokes that plagued about a quarter of the year for us and almost took her from me. We are grateful every day that she is still with us, still 100% herself and now, moving to Burlington to be closer to us.
The year got off on a bad note t00, last Christmas I put my beloved little cat Shodan to sleep, following her bout with diabetes, and to do the right thing before her kidneys began to fail. I miss her every day.
Then, in February, we got the idea for ombre yarn. Our own method, no yarn blanks, no injecting cakes, and no separating into mini skeins. It took a while to perfect, but once we had it, ombre took off for us, to the point where it totally defined our company.
Yarn began to rule our lives, and we couldn’t deal with running the company out of a 600 sq. ft. apartment anymore, and dyeing out of our kitchen. So we left the stomping grounds of downtown Toronto, moved to the burbs, and bought a house. My day job moved to the cloud, and we all started working from home, which brought its own perks and challenges.
Of course, with a house, comes a doggie, right? World, meet Anika, our Border Collie/Australian Shepherd rescue; she arrives in Canada on January 11th and we are just dying to meet and cuddle and love her!
The company went through growing pains as well. We discovered what our limits are, how long ombre can really take, and that small companies are subject to things like yarn shortages, postal strikes and power loss. We discovered that ombre is not like any other kind of dyeing – if a speck of rogue dye gets onto tonal or variagated, it’s no big deal. If it gets onto ombre, the skein can be ruined, which can be tragic for everyone. We powered through these learning curves, owing in no small way to the incredibly wonderful, supportive, patient, honest and loyal customers that we are blessed to have. You are why we do what we do, and we thank you from the bottom of our fiber’y little hearts.
And now we’re trying to improve things further. If you go to our site right now, you’ll see that all yarn colours are marked as ‘sold out’. That’s because, starting in the new year, The Blue Brick is moving from a Dye-to-Order system to an inventory-based system. If you’re able to order it, that means it’s in stock, and it will ship within 1-2 business days. No more three week deadline, no more hold ups due to yarn shortages or personal emergencies. We are confident that it makes sense to stock inventory now, and this is definitely the way to go. Items not in stock will be marked as ‘sold out’ and we will work every day to replenish inventory so our most popular colours/bases are always available.
You’ll also notice some colours are missing; Parrot, Hyacinth, & Rose. Coming to replace them are Opal, Waterfall, Wheatfield and Grand Turk (each one gets its own blog post, coming soon!) We hope you’ll love the new additions as much as you did the old crew :)
A lot of folks have said 2016 was a bad year. In lots of ways, especially in greater occurrences around the world, it’s true. On a personal level, it certainly started off tough.
But it was also a year of great growth and many fun, positive things. I was a bridesmatron for one of my dearest friends. We went to Mexico with my entire family to celebrate the marriage of my beloved cousin and his partner. My niece, nephew and step children are growing more wonderful by the day. My journey as a karate instructor progressed, both through my self defence program, and the opportunity to teach several classes at my home dojo. We were able to rescue a dog, buy our first home and bring my parents closer to us. I took advantage of having a food-safe kitchen again to expand my kitchen skills (to the hubby’s delight). We did our first fibre festivals, our first trunk shows, and started selling in our first stores. We’ve shipped yarn to Tasmania, Italy, Germany, Japan, Singapore, France, Iceland and New Zealand. I’m probably forgetting all kinds of great things as I write this.
In short, if you focus on the positive, its been a wonderful year. We are happy and healthy and together as a family, for which I am grateful beyond measure. I’m grateful for our friends, for our customers, and for those precious people who are both. Bring on 2017, we’re ready.