Brenda Trice has been crocheting most of her life, and knitting for several years. A former teacher, she came to the Maryland Small Business Development & Technology Center-Eastern Region at Salisbury University (SBDTC) last August for direction in opening her own yarn shop in historic downtown Berlin, MD, a major tourist destination site just 15 minutes west of Ocean City.
Brenda worked with SBDTC Business Counselor Lois Haggerty to develop a business plan and cash flow projections. Lois helped Brenda identify customer segments, develop marketing strategies, and project revenues and expenses. Lois also brought in SBDTC Retail Specialist Casey Willson to work with Brenda. Casey gave suggestions on store lay-out and marketing strategies, and operational benchmarks. "The advice and council I received from the SBTDC have been invaluable to me as I considered the possibility of opening the business, the preparation process, as well as beginning the day-to-day operations," Brenda said.
Brenda realized her dream just three months later when she opened A Little Bit Sheepish in mid-November. The shop carries a range of products, including luxury yarns and specialty tools as well as local Maryland and Virginia yarns. A Little Bit Sheepish is an 'inclusive' yarn shop that strives to make all crafters feel comfortable, with products available across a range of prices, from affordable to specialty.
A Little Bit Sheepish has quickly turned into a “destination” site, with knitters and crocheters coming in daily to take classes, or sit on Brenda’s comfortable couches and practice their craft with other drop-in crafters. Weekend knitting retreats are being planned with an area B&B and restaurants.
"It is wonderful to know that I have the SBDTC as an on-going resource available to support A Little Bit Sheepish as the business moves through the first year and experiences the inevitable growing pains that are sure to happen. I am so thankful to be the beneficiary of the work of the SBTDC, and I am especially grateful to Lois for her counsel and professionalism as well as her encouragement and positivity," Brenda said.