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YarnYAY! Coming to an End: A Letter from Our Founder + FAQ

 


Dear YarnYAY! Community & Supporters,


It’s with a weary heart and a deep breath that I announce that the current box  (December #68) will be the last monthly box, as we begin the process of closing YarnYAY! by Vickie Howell.


Five and a half years ago, YarnYAY! essentially fell into my lap. I was wrapping up a promo tour for the launch of The Knit Show, and in the middle of writing my most recent book The Knit Vibe, when subscription box software company CrateJoy approached me about co-founding a box business for knitters. They would handle the capital, fulfillment, customer service and sourcing, while I would be in charge of design, curation, marketing, media, and anything else creative. I had long been wanting to add a retail aspect to my offerings, but with a very full plate I hadn’t yet figured out a viable, responsible way to do that. This seemed ideal.


We launched YarnYAY! on April 2nd, 2018. Almost immediately, you, my loyal community members subscribed sight unseen, solely based on my word that I was putting together something special. Then, less than 2 weeks later, I was informed that the wing of CrateJoy supporting YarnYAY! (and other businesses like it) was shutting down. I had to make a choice between either walking away completely, abandoning the communities’s trust, or learning how to run and operate a subscription box business. The choice seemed obvious to me so, I jumped in. The first YarnYAY! box for knitters, shipped in May, 2018. Feedback was great, but crocheters felt left out. Elitism is not how I roll, so I decided that I would also take on also a crochet pattern per box and since June of that same year, both crafts have been featured.


Over the course of the following years we added curated products and kits, 140+ knit & crochet patterns, specialty boxes, Vickie Howell yarn and tools lines, a block-of the-month club, Quarterly Boxes, and more — all of which are packed and shipped out of a small studio in Buda, Texas. It was our founding principle that we would be a “rising tide” company, not only by empowering people to be creative but also by collaborating with and cross-promoting as many fellow indie designers, dyers, and makers as possible. I’m proud to say that we’ve partnered with over 175 fellow small businesses, including 5 of our Designers-in-Residence, and 3 YarnYAY! Maker Grant winners.

YarnYAY! has been an extraordinary learning experience, for which I am so grateful. It has been one of the joys of my life, working with a small team of contractors, most of whom I’d been friends with for years before. Their investment, creativity, and camaraderie is an invaluable gift. They are family. It has been an honor being even a small part  of our beloved “YarnYAYers” creative lives — especially during a global pandemic when we all needed each other, as well as something positive to put our energy into. You are community.


Over the past 18 months, however, the costs of everything from fiber and cardboard, to software and shipping has increased anywhere from 20-300%, while YarnYAY!monthly box subscriptions (our main source of revenue) have steadily declined. The losses have snowballed and now, to quote an infamous start-up CEO’s recent announcement, “we have more debt than assets”. I’ve tried every form of jazz-handing, creative re-packaging, and overall strategy-pivoting I know, but unfortunately, without success. I’d hoped that subscriptions would pick back up as we entered the beginning of “knitting season” (aka Fall). Unfortunately, though, that hasn’t been the case. I’ve also realized running a company that can’t financially support more than one full-time employee (me) isn’t the healthiest choice. All of this has brought me to the difficult decision that the December Box #68 will be the last Monthly, and the Winter Box (shipping mid-late January) will be the last Quarterly box. I love them both, and I hope you will too. We have many costs to cover during this challenging time, including paying the team and ensuring that we do right by our club members. If YarnYAY has inspired you, taught you a new skill, or maybe even brought a little joy into your life, and you’re interested in supporting us through this transition, here are the biggest ways you can help:


  • If you’re a regular, monthly box subscriber who has previously chosen to skip the December Box, consider un-skipping. You can do that by emailing support@yarnyay.com and Carin, the best customer support manager in the business, will make it happen.

  • If you’re not a subscriber, please purchase the December Box. It’s the happiest, little package of holiday-inspired, fiber goodness, and makes a GREAT gift for the knitter or crocheter in your life! You can learn more here.
  • Pre-order the Winter Box. There are two palettes to choose from, a project inspired by my recent trip to Iceland, an accompanying e-Course, hangout session, and more. Let’s hang out and stitch for a little while longer!

  • Shop our inventory clearance sales that will be happening over the next couple of months.

Lastly, I just want to extend my heartfelt thanks to those who have supported YarnYAY!over the past 5+ years. Many of you have been with us from the beginning and shown up for every new box, kit, yarn, and event we’ve produced. Your support has meant to world to Team YarnYAY!, and to me personally. We appreciate you so much.


With gratitude & love,

 

FAQ

  • What happens if I have a pre-paid monthly subscription with future boxes still owed?

No worries, we’ve got you! Please keep your eyes open for an e-mail from us with more information about compensation for your remaining boxes. You can expect to receive that email by or before December 31, 2023.

  • I purchased something before your announcement. Will I still get my order?

Absolutely! We will continue shipping physical products through January 2024.

  • What happens to my Block Builder Club subscription?

Please keep your eyes open for an e-mail from us with more information about the future of Block Builder Club. You can expect to receive that email by or before December 30, 2023.

  • I’m not a subscriber, but I’d like to purchase a December box. How do I do that?

We appreciate it! You can purchase a box without a subscription here.

  • I’d like another December Box, how do I order an additional one?

That’s great! You can purchase a box without worrying about an additional subscription here.

  • I have a gift card for your shop. Can I still spend it?

Yes, we will honor gift cards through January 26, 2024

  • What will happen to my YarnYAY! Rewards points?

Rewards points will need to be used by December 31, 2023. After that the program will be shut down.

  • Will my digital files still be available?

If you’ve purchased digital patterns or other content, we highly recommend downloading them as soon as possible. Although we don’t anticipate the download links becoming inactive any time soon, we can’t guarantee their availability after February, 2024.

  • I have a question or concern not mentioned here. Who should I contact?

Feel free to reach out to us at support@yarnyay.com. Please note, it may take 24-48 hours for a response. Thanks!