Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yay! New Adventures in Designing Fun Products!

I truly cannot tell you how excited I am to finally be posting this today. It's a venture several months in the making, and while most of you will just go "Okay then. She needs to get out more" and all of you will think "One would think she would have come up with a better title for this post in all that time", I hope at least six or seven of you will share my enthusiasm and love this as much as I do.

So who has heard of the Yay! Life! company? I hope a few of you, because they are hands down the best example of American small business gumption and spirit I have encountered, ever. Yay! Life! makes cute, often hilarious, refrigerator magnets that allow all of us to express what it is we Yay, be it a favorite food (Clams, Tacos, Lobstah - they even spelled it correctly!), a favorite sport (Swimming, 26.2, Wrestling), the natural world (Compost, Organic, Ladybugs), or even just being silly (Honey Badger, Sock Monkeys, Cowboy Butts). Yay! Life! is based in Colorado, run by a husband and wife team apparently unafraid to make themselves look silly on their website or catalog - which of course drew me to them instantly - who started the business in their Denver studio in 2010, moved to their garage, and finally a real warehouse all within two years of spreading the Yay! joy. All of their magnets and displays are made locally; they have teamed with Easter Seals to place 19 individuals of varying levels of learning and physical challenges in their warehouse as packers, all of whom have a full color photo and their name on the back of the catalog.

I. Love. This. Company.

My teamup with them began, unbeknownst to Yay! Life!, on Christmas morning. My sister had attached Yay! magnets to several of our gifts (Wine for me, Beer for husband, Clams for my dad, Compost for my aunt) , and they totally cracked us up.

I mean really, if those don't at least make you smile a little, I worry about you.

Like a smart company, Yay! Life! had their website on the back of the magnets, so I checked it out the next day. Imagine my horror when they didn't have Quilts. Or Fabric. I had to sit down and reassess my love for them for a second or two.

But lo and behold there was a place to contact them if you had a new idea. So I did. And I waited a few weeks.

I didn't hear from them right away, but I was undaunted, and knowing that fabric was my own true yay, I decided to see if I was the only one or if I was on to something. Many of you may remember the seemingly random survey I conducted on my business FB page in late January, asking what word excited you more, "Quilting" or "Fabric". See? I wasn't just passing the time of day with you, I was using you as market research. I am sneaky, aren't I?

The response was about a 70/30 split in favor of Fabric being the more exciting word, and several people commented it was because one can do so many more things with fabric than just quilt. Exactly, hotties. Fabric can be purchased just because you love it. Fabric doesn't guilt you out every time you look at it on your shelves in the manner that a half finished quilt sends stinging eyeball rays of guilt at you every time you pass it on the UFO pile. Fabric can be fondled, loved, and rolled around in naked in a way that a quilt just can't be. Fabric rocks.

After my survey, I sent another plea to Yay! Life!, stating my case that I really thought they needed a Fabric magnet. This time I got somewhere, and I was able to special order a Yay! Fabric! magnet, which I am bizarrely honored to be the ONLY purveyor of (for the time being, anyway) in the entire world. And how darn cute is it?

If you don't Yay fabric, you aren't a real quilter. Period.
Since I knew I wanted to carry some of the other sewing and quilting related magnets too, I checked out what might fit from their line of yays. While they didn't have quilts, they did have quilting, so that was for sure in. But I was kind of shocked that the Quilting one was so, well, blah.
 I felt it needed some color. So in my email and phone discussions with Rachelle, I (hopefully) politely brought up that I was kind of surprised by how washed out the quilting mag was and because quilting was such a vibrant and colorful art, shouldn't it be a little brighter? I helpfully (ha!) suggested a couple of brighter color combos, and hoped she wouldn't think me too pushy. At first, she did politely (for real) decline my idea, as the manufacturer was set with this design template, but as our emails progressed in talking about my order, she came out as a new quilter, asked my advice on sewing machine purchase, and suddenly convinced herself to change the quilting mag.

You don't think quilting can change the world? It just changed a magnet!

Yay! Colors!
While I was at it, I also ordered some other titles that I thought quilters would enjoy.

Yay! They are finally here!
You want Yay! Cowboy Butts!, you gotta go to them directly. But you want these? The magnets will of course be in the NEQDC vending booths at various shows this season, as well as coming with me when I speak at guilds. If you simply must have one, and I can't see why you wouldn't feel you must, they are also available for purchase through PayPal on the Patterns page of my blog.



BCT said...

Yay! Beth!

Unknown said...

Yay Fun!!!

Unknown said...

How 'bout YAY Hotties done in hot pink!!

Love the magnets.

Renae said...

Yay! Awesomeness!

Francine said...

Yay, off to order & share with friends!!

Kelli Fannin Quilts said...

Yay! Newfies! lol I am going to have to check that page out now. Yay! Booth Number! So cool that you can buy and resell them~ are you bringing some to market? ;) Those are seriously fun and cute!

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