How Laura Zander created a $7M online knitting business

6 years ago by in Best of The Web, Mentors Unplugged Tagged: ,

When Laura Zander started her yarn shop in a small town in California she was hoping to make $30,000 a year. In 2013, annual revenue will be $7 million!

Watch Laura Zander share her entrepreneurial journey from idea to $7 million in The Story Exchange video above.

Get the inside scoop on “How She Did It” from the NY Times Article, How Social Media Put a Tiny Yarn Shop on the Map.

Here’s a few priceless tips Laura shared with writer, Melinda Emerson:

  • woman-entrepreneur-jimmy-bean-woolsIt took five years for Jimmy Beans Wool to reach $1 million in sales. “The first five years in business we just focused on selling wool yarn,” Ms. Zander said. “In 2007, we started focusing on building a brand.” In particular, they studied how Tony Hsieh, chief executive of Zappos, used customer service to build sales online.
  • The Jimmy Beans Wool YouTube channel has more than 1,500 videos and almost 1.5 million views.We explain our products in videos as if we were talking to you in the store. We are purposefully unpolished. Our employees appear in the videos. They don’t wear makeup or have a script. They are all knitters, and they talk honestly about the products.”
  • Over the last few years, the company has introduced numerous marketing initiatives, including “Knit-A-Longs” tied to Downton Abbey and serving as the first official yarn supplier to the United States Snowboarding and Free Skiing Team. It has also created a Stitch Red campaign to raise awareness of heart disease in women and published a book called Knit Red (Sixth and Spring, June 2012) featuring designs of celebrities who knit. It even created Beans for Brains college scholarships for students who knit or crochet.

Read the full article on NY Times here. 

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