Frequently Asked Questions
Why haven't I heard of your company before today?
We're young. We began with a tiny Etsy shop in November 2010. In fact, we celebrated our first sale the day on Thanksgiving, and jumped up and down. Six months later, we made our debut at the TNNA Market in Columbus, OH. We opened our warehouse and office (after outgrowing three previous spaces) in December 2011, and we launched our own online store in February 2012.
I live close to the warehouse (at 806 E HWY 174 in Republic, MO) and I would love to visit and browse around
We realized that we are the last opened yarn "outpost" in town so we decided to open our doors and give the change to anybody interested to stop by, talk about Italy and fibers, touch the yarns, see the example garments and have a closer look of what they saw on line. I have just to remind anybody that this is, after all, a warehouse: you will find a lot of yarns on display, but we have some more still in boxes: and we cannot accept cash so if you want to walk out with the yarn you fell in love with, you will be able to use one of our computer, go online and proceed with the purchase thru paypal or check. We normally are here (behind Orscheln, same building as Higher Standard, it's the second driveway on the left at the beginning of HWY 174) Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, if we are not in probably we are at the post office: just drop a text or call me (417) 655-3742 and I will be back in few minutes.
How do I create an account on your site?
Accounts are created automatically when you make a purchase. Right now, the main purpose of customer accounts are to check on the status of orders. As the site is now, there is nothing a logged in customer can see that a customer without an account can't see besides status of their orders. As we add customer account functions, we will create accounts that can be created pre-purchase.
Why are the yarns so affordable? Is this cheap yarn?
Yes on the affordable, no on the cheap. These are top quality yarns from Italy. By buying in bulk directly from the producer, we are able to get great prices on the yarns. Since we don't have reps and are direct importers and distributors, there are fewer channels between you (the consumer) and the original yarn producer, so the prices can be lower than if the yarn was going through several channels of distribution. Even our yarn prices in stores are affordable because we use a different pricing structure in our wholesaling than is normal in the industry. Sometimes we are able to pick up a line of yarns that we love but has been sitting in a yarn producer's warehouse, and these yarns have especially good price tags.
How come some of the labels say "Yarns of Italy" and some say some Italian company I've never heard of?
In Spring 2012, we launched our own line of yarns that were created for us by our Italian producers. We picked the colors (or even developed the colors). These yarns are sold exclusively as Yarns of Italy yarns. For example, Lunare was developed from the same base as Filati Torre's Morbidoso, but we developed the line of colors in conjunction with our experimental dyeing branch, Piemont Fibers. These colors are exclusive YOI colors, hence the YOI label and our own product name.
We also distribute yarns for several Italian producers under their own name. Either we are testing these yarns or we haven't touched the production in any way, so these keep their original labels. We work with 8 Italian producers in the two yarn-producing regions of Italy. For five of these companies, we have agreements to be their exclusive distributors in the US. The other three work with other yarn companies in the US. Most of the labels you will see are FilItaly-LAB (an alpaca yarn producer located in Prato), Filtoppa (a novelty yarn producer in Prato), and Mafil Filati (a yarn producer in the Biella region). Even if the label doesn't say "Yarns of Italy," these yarns were chosen by Yarns of Italy out of thousands of options. Whether we created them or just distribute them, these are yarns we love.
Where are the patterns?
We have a number of designers with designs in production, and several already have patterns available on Ravelry.com. We are working on adding the ability to order patterns and yarns on the website, but we have provided links to patterns made with our yarns.
I've never bought yarn online before. What if I don't like what I receive?
Easy. If you don't love the yarn, send it back to us. We'll reimburse your shipping cost, the cost of the envelope you sent it in, and do one of two things (your choice): We'll refund the entire purchase price or we will send you something you think you'd prefer. No pressure. We guarantee you'll love the yarn or we'll make it right.
If I have a question, who do I ask?
Alex answers the emails, but he's great about handing questions off to the right person. Christine figures out any shipping and inventory issues. Kim handles the creative stuff. If, for example, you've found a pattern you love but don't know which of our yarns to use, send us an email, and Kim will help guide you through the possibilities.
Where do you find your designers?
We've found all of our designers on Ravelry.com or at TNNA trade shows. We have been so pleased with the results from our current designers.
Are you accepting design ideas from other designers?
Sure. Email Kim for more information about how we deal with designers.
Do you wholesale your yarns to stores?
Yes. We are a wholesale member of TNNA, and we wholesale to real yarn shops. Email Alex for terms, price lists, and product availability.
What if I don't own a yarn shop but buy a lot of yarn? Can I buy it wholesale from you?
Nope. Our prices are fair. We might be able to give you a discount for buying something in bulk, but we only wholesale to yarn shops.
If you sell to stores, why do you sell online?
It's simple. We don't have enough stores to sell wholesale only. At some point in the future, we may be wholesale only, but for now we balance both channels of distribution. We do list our stores on the website and work regularly with the stores we have.
What if I run a hand-dyeing operation? Can you get me base yarn?
Oh yes. We are often able to provide competitive short term and long term solutions for yarn bases from our producers. Email Alex what you're looking for, and he'll work to prepare a quote.
Are Alex and Kim married?
We got married on March 10, 2012 after a long courtship, many months spent living in separate countries, and with the blessings of our families. Alex has a Sicilian family living in Torino, Italy. Kim's family lives in the US and is definitely not Italian. Kim's Boxer dog, Emily, and Alex's cat, Mr. Fu, live in peace.
Do you have any instructional material for knitting or crochet?
Yes, we have a new YouTube channel. Search for YarnsofItaly to find our channel.