Talking Shop…Deweys of High Lonesome Stone
Marv and Linda Dewey of Lonesome Stone Yarn, Dye Works and Alpacas. 946 CR 60, Granby.
How long have you been in business? 13 years. Just sold the fiber processing mill this past November, but still operate in the alpaca fiber and yarn business.
How did you get started in this business? After buying alpacas, we saw a huge need in the fiber community for quality processing and yarn as an end product.
Business mission statement: Quality and customer service are number one.
Success in the mission: Gained very loyal customers both locally and nationally.
Challenges to the mission: How to balance time; personal versus business.
How do you cope with Grand County’s seasonal surges? Not affected as we have a broad based customer support.
What do you think is the biggest business barrier in Grand County? Taxes and permits.
What can government here do to help? Realizing that anything to do with agriculture is a challenge.
How does your business give back to the community? We offer free tours to hopefully educate folks about agriculture, raising alpacas and adding value to create an end product that people will love.
Give examples of how you are environmentally responsible. We use solar and recycle.
How do you support other local businesses? Because we have so many visitors to our yarn store and farm, we are always recommending where to eat, what to do in Grand County as well as where to stay. Our weekend workshops draw people from all over the country and they stay and eat locally.
How do you feel about direct competition? We focus on our business and how to improve, not to worry about what others are doing.
How do you market yourself? Trade shows, wool markets, internet and newspaper.
What’s the main thing you have you learned in your years in business? That our customers are great! What a joy to have met people from all walks of life.
Where do you go for help when you need it? Internet and our textile consultant.
Who is your biggest business influence/mentor? Our parents, who instilled a great work ethic in us.
If you could go back in time and start up your business venture all over again, what would you do differently? Start when we were younger!
What’s the best compliment you received from a client/customer/guest? Their return business. Customers feedback on what they have done with their yarn and alpacas.
What organization(s) is (are) most useful to business owners? Depends upon the business use, find those organizations involved with agriculture.
How much of a role does technology play in your business? Very small.
What’s the general key to making a customer/client/guest happy? Listen to their needs, provide help.
Is there any certain trend you’ve noticed in consumer habits lately? Yes, the fiber world, yarn etc. is booming!
What are some tricks such as signs or window displays that you’ve noticed work in attracting customers to your front door? We don’t like the word “tricks.” We stand behind our work and word of mouth attracts customers.
What are some ways to keep up staff morale? We have no staff.
If you could give advice to a novice entrepreneur, what would it be? Don’t be afraid to try new things or grasp your dream. Keep trying, don’t always take no for an answer. Find ways to attain your goals; they are out there!
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