As of the most recent newsletter, there are sixteen merchants in our guild. One -- Sassafras Creations -- makes jewelry. But all the rest sell fiber. Most are bricks-and-mortar shops, but at least one is purely web-based. We don't currently have any hard and fast rules about what shops have to do to be guild members. Yearly dues for a merchant are the same as those for a regular member. And the shops themselves are in a wide range of locations and have a wide range of clientele. What a shop owner in North Carolina and a shop owner in Decatur might reasonably expect are probably different things.
Each merchant has her own way of doing what works for her business. Some come to almost every meeting, toting their newest wares and giving guild members the opportunity to shop. When we've had superstars, shops will often bring books so that members can get autographs. Some shops offer discounts to members. And each shop owner sets her own rules. Some will give a discount on yarn but nothing else. Some will give a discount if you say you are a guild member, while others will only do so if you show your guild membership card. Occasionally, shops will even participate in knit-ins, workshops, or monthly programs.
Since there isn't a specific policy outlining what shops have to do, it is sometimes a true delight to see proof of how nice people in the business of knitting can be. Most of the merchants were away at the national trade show during our June meeting. Debi Light, owner of The Whole Nine Yarns, was one of those people. She brought back for our library an autographed copy of Sweater Renewal by Sharon Franco Rothschild. Debi also gave a different autographed book to our younger sibling, the North Georgia Knitting Guild. I like to think that this kind of good will enhances knitting for everyone here in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area.
To you, Debi, a very public, "Thank you!"