November 25, 2018

Wool and Honey

According to the 2010 census, Cedar, Michigan had a population of 93 people. I was there this past weekend and by my estimation, the population hasn’t gone up.

Downtown Cedar is basically a half-dozen shops housed in old single-story buildings situated around a lone traffic light flashing red in both directions. It’s one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” types of places.

One of these half-dozen shops is a yarn store called Wool and Honey. Since Erica is a knitting fanatic and W&H was the closest yarn store to where we were staying for Thanksgiving, we made the 45 minute drive over to check it out.

Much to my surprise, W&H was a thoroughly modern yarn store. It would have fit perfectly in any big city or college town or affluent suburb. It felt like walking into the yarn store where Erica teaches classes, but with a different floor plan. I barely know anything about knitting, but even I recognized labels and tools and periodicals and so on.

I also recognized the premium price tags.

The stuff in W&H was not cheap. They exclusively sell high-end stuff to well-heeled knitters. But... how many well-heeled knitters could possibly live in Cedar, MI, population 93?

We talked to the owner about it and of course... they don’t sell to the locals. They do most of their business online. Sure, they pull in some destination shoppers from the much larger and more affluent Traverse City, but the heart of their business is virtual.

Why am I telling you this?

Here’s the thing...

In spite of the fact that most of the people on this list deal in virtual goods and services that can be delivered remotely, a surprising number of you limit your marketing and sales efforts to your physical proximity.

Yes, there are sometimes advantages to understanding the local culture. And yes, sometimes you have to have a face to face meeting. But more often than not it turns that staying local is a limiting factor for the folks I work with.

So... if you haven’t already figured out how to market, sell, and deliver your products and services globally via the internet, there’s no better time than now to start. A knitting store in Cedar MI figured it out. So can you.