AL: My name is Annie, I am an independent knitwear designer who works under the name Boho Chic Fiber Co.! I like to design modern knitwear with a bohemian, feminine feel. I prefer seamed garments that offer nice structure and great fit and using interesting techniques and silhouettes in my designs. I sell my patterns on Ravelry and wholesale to yarn shops around the world.
JM: Why did you start your business?
AL: My business has changed a lot over the years, it started out as a small etsy shop where I sold my hand spun yarns. It began as a way to fulfill my creative urges and make a little of money on the side. I added dyed fibers and hand dyed yarns and eventually transitioned over to my own website. A couple of years ago I designed my first shawl pattern and fell in love with design! Now I am focusing primarily on design and have left the dyeing part of my business behind. I think about it as a real business now and not just a hobby. It’s been a long journey and I look forward to seeing where this new direction takes me!
AL: What I love most is just what I do, I LOVE knitting. I love yarn, swatching, coming up with an idea for a new design and seeing it slowly come to life. I love making something with my hands and using my creativity to dream up something new. It is so fulfilling when I see someone else has knit one of my patterns! I admit I can get caught up in wanting to grow the business and feeling like that is not happening fast enough, or I am not good enough, but I always try to remind myself to focus on my work and enjoy it because thats what it is really about and thats where my joy ultimately comes from!
JM: What is your least favorite thing about being a yarnpreneur™?
JM: What would you tell (or what advice would you give) someone that wants to be a yarnpreneur™?
AL:I would encourage them to go for it! Everyone has something new to offer and a unique set of skills and interests that can inspire you to create new and exciting things. You can start small and grow it over time, you don’t have to quit your day job and jump all in if you’re not ready for that.
AL: My business started small and has grown slowly and organically. I am not the kind of person to plan everything out and write a business plan though I supposed more planning would have been helpful. My main piece of advice to myself would have been to SLOW DOWN! I have so many ideas for patterns that sometimes I frantically rush to get them out there into the world and that means sometimes (especially earlier on) photography wasn’t great, there were errors in patterns, and there were mediocre designs I put out that were probably not worth it to publish. And I wish I hired a tech editor earlier, it is definitely worth the money to have error free patterns, I have learned that the hard way!
JM: What’s next for you and your business?
AL: I am looking forward to focusing on knitwear design and working with new yarn companies and publications in the year ahead!