Leanne’s guest today is Dave Van Stralen, owner of Louet North America. They discuss changing business models, the decline of retail and what that means for local yarn shops.
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#1 Can you share with our listeners a brief history of your background and how your family got involved with Louet? [1:45]
#2 First, let’s give the listeners some background into recent changes at Louet and then we can jump into discussing how that came about?[6:38]
#3 If other listeners out there are struggling with competing focus, what would you advise them as to how to sharpen the focus and refine a business like you did? [10:18]
#4 As someone doing business in the international realm every day, what are the challenges you’ve experienced that you’d caution others to consider if they are thinking about expanding to international markets? [13:17]
#5 Can you give us an example of the purchasing with that consideration? [15:13]
#6 What sorts of items fall into that model? [16:35]
#7 Do you have other “lessons learned” from playing in that sandbox that other business owners might benefit from? [17:21]
#8 In addition to going back to the roots of Louet with spinning and weaving, you also purchased Kollage needles and you’ve brought the manufacturing o Canada. How is that new development working for LNA? [20:46]
#9 Dave, I know you’ve been on the TNNA board for a long time. How long exactly? [27:20]
#10 The yarn market has really undergone some turbulence in the last few years. As someone who’s talked to a lot of people on both sides of this issue, can you give us your perspective on where the turbulance originates? [29:55]
#11 How, as an industry, do we prepare for what seems like some inevitable and difficult changes ahead? [36:15]
#12 Do you think the yarn companies that survive will HAVE to have an online, e-commerce presence to compete? [40:25]
#13 Can you share some of the changes TNNA is making that we can see at the January show? [45:24]
#15 I’d be remiss if I didn’t include some hockey questions since I know you’re a diehard fan. The Canadian Women’s Hockey League announced that it would expand to China, beginning next season, becoming one of the first North American professional sports leagues to field a team in Asia. What’s your feeling about that? [48:17]
#16 Do you think this means that China will have a competitive team for the 2022 Olympics in Bejing? [49:46]
Kollage Needles | Needle of the Month Club
Washington Post Article Breaking Down Signs of Retails Big Reckoning
The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA)
TNNA Foundation | Smile.Amazon.com link
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