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Jimmy Beans Wools- A very inspirational Yarn!

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by Startacus Admin

Just last week we gave you the lowdown on Shopify's fantastic competition for budding online retailers and so to continue that thread, we searched high and low for a business which would demonstrate how a simple idea can grow into a highly successful online business.

That’s how we stumbled across Laura Zander from California who over the past decade has knitted her way to international success with her knitting andjimmy beans wool sewing enterprise Jimmy Beans Wool!

Our story begins back in 2002, Laura and her husband had been working as successful software engineers in Silicon Valley during the dot-com boom,and when the web began to unravel they decided to move themselves to Reno, Nevada with the plan of starting a consultancy firm. It was a rocky road to say the least and in a seemingly insignificant move Laura decided to take up knitting classes to help her relax (it was a decision that would change the family's fortunes forever).

Sadly (or luckily) depending on how you look at it, the consultancy firm didn't grow as they has expected and so keen was Laura on knitting that a client who owned a yarn business advised her to open her own yarn store. After much consideration Laura did just that, a brave move when the world was staring down the barrel of recession and small enterprises like yarn shops were closing right, left and centre.

Jimmy Beans Wool bucked the trend however, doing very well over its first five years selling yarn and specialist coffee beans. In 2007 with sales surpassing $1million, the Zanders embarked on an online and social media campaign to develop their brand and establish themselves as the 'go-to-people' for all things knitting and yarn. They posted instructional videos and product reviews on YouTube, developed their Facebook presence and bulked out their website with helpful tips, instructions and videos.

The result of these efforts were truly astonishing as Jimmy Beans Wool has seen hefty and sustained growth of between 25% and 55% year on year since 2007. Today the company exports to 60 countries all over the world and expects their revenue to reach $7 million by the end of the year!  Further testament to their phenomenal success is the fact that Inc Magazine named them one of the 5000 fastest growing private companies in the US for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

What we like best about their website is how they have managed to stay so on-trend with their marketing initiative incorporating aspects of popular culture including a knit-a-long to coincide with Downton Abbey and a wool design inspired by hit tv show Once Upon A Time. To share in their success they have also orchestrated numerous 'charity knits' for causes such as Breast Cancer Support and have even set up their own campaign 'stitch red' to raise awareness of heart disease.

If the past 6 years have been anything to go by, Jimmy Beans Wool is only headed in one direction, and we are thrilled to bring their exciting story to our readers. We will be watching closely to see what they do next and hope that their story will inspire you to take the next step in developing your own businesses.

If you are interested in selling crafts you may want to check out our recent article on selling crafts at a market stall.


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Published on: 7th October 2013

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