Which Are You…a Loopy Mango or a Tomato Factory?

The owner of Tomato Factory (an awesome, now-defunct yarn store in Lambertville, New Jersey) was one of the best marketing people I’ve known.  She was the one that brought Alice Starmore to the attention of most American knitters back in the 9o’s.  When it came to naming a yarn business, she gave me some great advice.  Don’t use the name of your product in the store name.

How Are Canned Tomatoes Related to Yarn?

Yarn stores around The Tomato Factory opened with names like Yarn Gazebo or worse yet, Knitting To Know Ewe.  She insisted that a non-knitting-related name for a store imprints much more indelibly on people’s minds.  I think she’s right.

Someone also told me about the concept of subliminal questions in advertising, which supports her theory.

With most advertising, our minds are automatically closed down.  “Buy Yarn” is a statement that your mind already has multiple blocks against.  “I can’t afford it right now.” “My spouse is already annoyed with the yarn purchase I made last week.”  “I already have enough yarn to keep me knitting well beyond life expectancy.”

Our minds are closed to direct commands like “Buy Yarn.”

However, if you start with something absurd or somewhat nonsensical, our mind opens to start to question where this is going.

“What Color Would You Want Your Rhinoceros?” makes you open your mind with curiosity.  The answer is a photo of knitted rhinos in a rainbow of colors, and a reference to a local yarn store.  This is a much more effective way to have you consider buying yarn.  And your mind is automatically more open to it.  No?

Similarly, naming your yarn store Tomato Factory starts with a bit of curiosity.  And curiosity is the sign of an open mind.

With all the click-bait on-line, the curiosity-trigger is getting more and more numbed.  But I still think Tomato Factory is a MUCH more sophisticated name than a store that uses stupid knitting or sheep puns to try and be clever.

Book Review

I was recently sent a review copy of “Loopy Mango Knitting” by Oejong Kim.

Loopy Mango Knitting Book Cover

First of all the title is a wonderful curiosity that made me want to see more.  The cover photo increased that curiosity.

The book combines two things that I’ve never seen in a knitting book before.  Beginner’s/simple techniques with avant-garde fashion sense.  Two things that don’t apply to me.  But I still found the book intriguing and worth reviewing.  I love the authors style and artistry.  The book includes a very well-illustrated “Knitting Basics” section.  The photos use big needles and big yarn to demonstrate beginners’ techniques.  Perfect way to learn to knit.  It further encourages the new knitter with simple, quick-knit pattern designs.  All-in-all, there are 34 designs in the book all using very thick Loopy Mango yarns. They can be made in a day!

So, I’m not a beginner knitter.  I’m also not one that could wear such wonderfully fashionable pieces of art without looking ridiculous.

If you know either of these knitter-types, this book would be a very nice fit to their library.

Current Knitting

Regarding my main project lately, I have had continued slow progress.  Mostly due to two other projects I’ve been focusing on.

See Grass Shawl 09-02-19 01

This is about 17″ of knitting and based on how much is left on the cone, it looks like it will end up being about 24″.

One of the other two projects is an “upstairs knitting project.” One that I just started when I was on a long phone call and pick up whenever my hands are idle.

Scrappy Biased Scarf 09-02-19 01

I’m calling it the Scrappy Biased Scarf.  About 7″ wide and I will just use up leftover scraps of sock yarn.

The second other project I’m working on is a secret, but it’s a very big undertaking.  If you’re on Yarned & Dangerous, you got a glimpse, but I’ll share more of it once it’s ready for prime time.

5 comments on “Which Are You…a Loopy Mango or a Tomato Factory?

  1. I remember the Tomato Factory. Really good yarn shop. I lived for a couple of years across the river, outside of New Hope, which is where I had grown up. Learned you really can’t go home again.

  2. What a happy memory! Definitely one of the best shops ever. The amazingness went well beyond mere marketing, but a passion for boutique knitting and unparalleled service. It was my tourist destination of choice as a college student. Oh the sweaters…..

  3. I love your bias scarf. Do you have directions for it? It’s right up my alley of where I want to be with my knitting today.
    I am in a phase where I want to do everything very simple and basic so that the knitting is the star (OK, the yarn too). I just want to do something that is basic where I don’t have to count, I don’t have to move many stitch rings, etc.

  4. Mr Joe, did David Coffin work at Tomato Factory? I think he was the person that would kit up Kaffe sweaters for me. Hope he is well!

    1. Hi William. You probably mean David Codling. He was one of the co-owners of Tomato Factory when it first started and then he took over the wholesale part of the business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *