Episode 13: Gauge and Tension Pop Up Shop, an interview with Michele Wang

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An interview with knitting designer Michele Wang on the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show

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This Week’s Episode

I interview Michele Wang, the designer behind Mishi2X Designs. She recently opened the pop up shop Gauge and Tension, which carries fine and hard-to-find yarns, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I also share an update on the Indie Design Gift-a-Long and the Thank You Card Challenge.

About Michele Wang

Interview with knitting designer, Michele Wang, on Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show.

Michele Wang started her knitting career as a sample knitter working on Shirley Paden’s Knitwear Design Workshop: A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits. Michele soon began publishing knitting designs and eventually joined Brooklyn Tweed. She transitioned into a full-time career as a knitting designer in 2011.

Michele recently launched a seasonal pop up shop, Gauge and Tension, in Brooklyn, New York. I read about the project in Yarn Market News, and reached out to Michele for more information. (I previously interviewed Michele here on the Underground Crafter blog.)

You can find Michele online on the Mishi2x Designs websiteFlickr, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, as well as on Ravelry (as mishi2x, on her designer page, and in the Mishi2X by Michele Wang Fans group).

 About Gauge and Tension

Michele has always had an interest in becoming a retail shop owner, and after she began knitting, she dreamed of opening a local yarn shop (LYS). The high cost of commercial rents in New York City were always a barrier to entry.

Recently, Michele learned about Storefront, a website that connects commercial landlords with renters interested in short-term rentals. (You can hear more about Storefront in this episode of the Etsy Conversations Podcast. Additionally, Heather Davis from Vadis Artist talks more about using Storefront for pop up craft shops in this episode of the Etsy Conversations Podcast. And, I interview Ijeoma Eleazu, the hostess of the Etsy Conversations Podcast, about selling on Etsy here.)

Michele was inspired to open a seasonal pop up shop featuring yarn on weekends from October through mid-December. She combines commercially produced yarn with indie dyed/spun yarn. She has added trunk shows, where yarnies can sell yarn on consignment, and some holiday items.

Gauge and Tension carries yarns from $9.50/skein up through $42/skein for Tanis Fiber Arts Silver Label; the typical price point is $20 (which is comparable to LYSs in New York City). She accepts cash payments and charge payments via Square, but she suggests new ventures may want to compare to Amazon Register.

Michele promotes the pop up shop locally, via social media, through her network of colleagues in the industry, with Facebook and Ravelry ads, and promotion on local blogs. In addition to the Yarn Market News article, Gauge and Tension was also written up in this blog post on Knitting Daily.

Learn to Teach Craft Classes with Gwen Bortner on Craftsy: How to Teach It

In the interview, Michele talks more about how she selects yarns, stores her inventory during the week, and what’s she’s learned about organizing pop up shops. (Michele also mentions that Yarngasm, hosted by Kristin from Voolenvine Yarn is one of her favorite podcasts.)

You can learn more about Gauge and Tension on its website here, or follow it on Facebook or Twitter.

Have you organized a pop up shop, or would you consider it in the future? Leave a comment below, Tweet me at @cyeshow, or leave a message at 646-713-8973. (You can call me for free through the Contact page.)

If you enjoyed the show

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Comments 1

  • I loved what Miss Wang had to say and wish her much success in her endeavor. I wish you much customer loyalty!!! My husband and I did retail before we started doing art shows years ago.

    Thank you for another great, informative podcast, Marie.

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