Main career: Fabric creator with the focus on weaving, sewing and knitting (www.ehmert.at | www.freeform-crochet.com)
It all started on a hot afternoon in July 2007. I was just working on my loom and putting together various yarns for a hand-knitted woollen fabric. It’s a job that I like doing because something beautiful can be created by hand. Wool and dyes are my passion. I really wanted to share this passion with others. In particular with those who live in small communities and villages and who have few opportunities for getting hold of fine and unusual materials and the right patterns and accessories.
So together with my partner Jörg Schönberger I launched our first online shop in autumn 2007.
Our first little wool store was located in our bedroom and at that time it was very easy to manage. To start with, I fetched the first pattern leaflets that were ordered from a nearby craft shop since I had had no experience with order quantities and delivery times. But we learned fast and we also learned to react fast. You had to keep to promised delivery times to keep your customers happy.
Then in autumn 2008, big excitement! Expansion of the range with Rowan, the somewhat different yarn producer in Great Britain (beautiful pattern leaflets, models photographed in exquisite county settings, exclusive yarns and exciting stories all about Rowan in England). Suddenly we were the Rowan pioneers, the first ever online shop for Rowan in Austria.
Then we also held seminars on Fair Isle knitting, a typical British knitting technique, and the courses were regularly fully booked. We displayed the appropriate wool in a very simple outbuilding tucked away by our house, a former office of a scrap metal dealer. Our “farm shop” was open! It was not heated in the winter. We and our customers were guaranteed red noses.
At that time, I found the highly fashionable Gedifra patterns especially appealing and I would occasionally find myself in the evenings sitting at the kitchen table, crocheting my way through a pattern until one in the morning.
Now we have customers all over the world, with the front runner being a parcel that took 14 weeks to reach the Caribbean.
With many years of experience with dispatch, positive customer feedback and a very wide product range that includes the most varied products, the desire now grew in me to get closer to customers and to deal with them face to face. Bigger warehouse capacity was required and we chose to move to Wiener Neustadt. We have a beautiful salesroom and we hold various courses here.
New, unforeseen prospects often arise on the courses.
The many encounters with creative craftswomen, the creative exchange and the enthusiasm of our customers provide us with work that brings joy, meaning and substance.
Main career: Independent web worker with the focus on online shop systems (www.webchills.com)
A lot has happened in the last 12 years. Our online shop as you see it now no longer has very much in common with the one that we started with in 2007.
Having grown up on the French border, I was able to use my somewhat rusty knowledge of French and since 2010 to offer the website in a French version too. Today we deliver a large proportion of our orders to France and Belgium.
An online shop can only work reliably with strong partners.
I have focused from the beginning on the Zen Cart flexible open source shop system in the background and I also use it and constantly develop it for my customers. With increasing hits, the demands on the server that hosts the shop are also growing. With the All-Inkl provider since 2011 we have had an excellent partner for hosting our website and we can also offer you a secure purchasing experience thanks to permanent SSL encryption.
DHL and DPD transport our parcels quickly and reliably to all the countries in Europe.
Our payment processors Braintree, PayPal and Sofort allow us a wide range of options for payment methods for you to choose from.
And the IT Recht law firm checks our standard terms and conditions of business and other legal text.
We have greatly expanded our product range in recent years. Here for us the emphasis is not on the volume of items. We carefully select the yarns to include in our range and focus on premium yarns produced in Europe that we can then deliver quickly and reliably.
With the German manufacturer Atelier Zitron, since 2014 we have had yarns in the range produced entirely in Germany which are also all certified to Ökotex 100, Product Class 1.
Since July 2016 we have also been offering the Katia Concept collection by the Spanish producer Katia.
Ever since the setup of the woollen mill we have been trying to expand the range of certified yarns and we are now pleased to be able to also supply GOTS-certified yarns with Cottonea from ggh and Alba and Semilla from BC Garn.
We have been cooperating with the bewusstkaufen.at (shop with awareness) portal of the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management since 2014.
In addition, in recent years we have greatly expanded our service section on the website. So for instance you will find the current colour chart for every yarn and in our knitting gallery (menu item Designs) the right patterns with detailed information on the materials needed. You can leaf through our comprehensive range of patterns, which are always in stock to find out quickly whether the patterns in a leaflet are of interest to you. With the yarns you will also always obtain rapid access to completed projects by knitters all over the world on Ravelry.
Our loyalty scheme rewards regular customers with interesting discounts and besides up-to-date information on all aspects of Zitron, Katia Concept, Rowan and Schachenmayr, our newsletter always contains exclusive offers for newsletter subscribers.
Since May 2015 our online shop has been interactive, that is the presentation is adapted to your iPhone, iPad, Android Tablet or whatever device you use.
To find out about offers and workshop dates and times you can also use our Wollerei app which is available for Android:
Wollerei App for Android
Since March 2019 we have been arranging for customer reviews to be recorded in cooperation with Shopvote, the independent service provider. A little while after the completion of your order you will receive an email in which you will have an option to submit your review. Here you can read all the Wollerei reviews on Shopvote.
We have incorporated many of these changes on the basis of customer feedback and we are always ready to listen to your ideas.
Other new features are in the pipeline. We don't stand still!
I’m looking forward to the next 12 years, with my partner Andrea Ehmert, with our business partners and with you.
Thank you for your trust in us!