The highs and lows of The Threshing Barn – Winter Newsletter 2020

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A Year with a Difference………

Well, what a year 2020 has been….and here at The Threshing Barn HQ we have had to adapt and change along with many other businesses across the UK, it hasn’t been without its struggles but it has been full of laughter and giggles!!

I must start this newsletter with a huge, big THANK YOU to you all; your support and continued custom have given both Sara and I a boost during these difficult times. Not only have both old and new customers taken the opportunity to order from our new e-commerce website which we launched right back at the beginning of Lockdown One; many of you have phoned through with your orders and I am so glad you have. I have spoken to people from Caithness to Cornwall, from Canada to Germany and you have told me amazing stories of creativity and courage, you have divulged your ups and your downs, and you have kept me connected to the World and helped to keep me from missing seeing you all. We are all truly blessed to have such creative passions to keep us occupied and sane.
 
2020 saw the advent of the Virtual Wool Show of which we did many…. starting right back in April with Wonder Wool Wales and finishing off at Kendal Wool Gathering in October. We have travelled the Country from our couches. It is not the same as seeing you all and we have all our fingers and toes crossed that we will see you in the coming year.

On the upside 2020 has given Sara and I the chance to go live across Facebook and start our own You Tube Channel. We have had so much fun, oh how we have laughed and cried with laughter whilst making our short videos for you and it would appear you have also loved watching them, I have had so many messages to say how they have cheered you up. I received this message a few days ago “Thank you so much for getting us through 2020, your videos are legendary” So if you need another giggle click this link and it will take through to our back catalogue.

Wow this year has seen an explosion of export orders, we have gone Pan-European and now our Lendrum wheels come in stacked up on pallets and I must admit storage has been a bit of an issue! Within days however they have gone out to Spain, Austria, France, Germany etc and I can move freely around the workshop. I have had a few issues getting some stock as supply chains have been affected by the current Pandemic and many suppliers of small components have had to temporarily close and some permanently. So, if we do not have the item you really want or need please be patient, we are doing our utmost to keep our stock levels up.

Earlier in the year we secured distribution of the Electric Eel Wheels (Nano) they have been a great success story this year and we love them! For those who are waiting for the EEW 6 to arrive I have been talking to Maurice over in The States about the new EEW 6.0 which will be released in Feb 2021. This wheel is 4 times heavier than the Nano, so he is busy getting quotes for us to bring a pallet load in by sea freight to keep the retail price at a reasonable level. Maurice is also currently working on a circular sock machine and an electric cone winder so lots of new pieces of equipment to look forward to over the coming year.

Also new in 2020 were the manual and e-ball winders from Ashford they have been extremely popular as Christmas presents, and having used both models we can highly recommend them, they are a pleasure to operate.

In 2021 we will be launching a new range of Spinning Fibres exclusive to The Threshing Barn – we are in the midst of the design process at the moment and we are really very excited. We will also have a new range of ceramic buttons and orifice hooks made exclusively for us by Solitary Bee Ceramics making their way to us in the New Year. The other major release in 2021 is the new Spring 2 floor loom from Louët we have a couple of customers eagerly awaiting delivery and we are looking forward to hearing their reviews.

It would not be a Newsletter without my annual rant and this year my biggest rant is against some of the cheaper courier services (M* H*rmes in particular!) who have been employed by some of my suppliers!! I have had orders go missing, orders undelivered and returned to the supplier….one delivery has been across the channel three times now. Being in a rural area often they cannot be bothered especially when the order is large and requires a 3rd Party Transit company who will not deliver until they have other deliveries in the area. After three weeks of one order being in their depot, they ripped off my labels and sent it back to the Netherlands, stating the address did not exist – which led me to wonder how the two smaller parts of the order made it to me……. you cannot speak to their customer service and no response to emails, so if you are waiting for orders, we are very sorry for the delay but quite possible they are somewhere near the Port of Rotterdam.

Anyway, enough of that…….

We hope that 2021 will see a return to normality, that Wool Shows will go ahead, and we will get to see all your lovely faces again.

Enjoy your Christmases this year, no matter how strange it may be, the most important thing is to stay safe and eat mince pies!!

So may Sara and I wish you peace, joy and good health in 2021.

Janet x

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