SS: I design knitting patterns for accessories. I may branch out into sweaters soon since I dearly love knitting, wearing, and improvising them. Right now, I’m focusing on smaller projects so that I can learn from them first. There are a lot of surprises in design, and I’d rather have them pop up in a hat or a shawl! I have been designing for my family for over a decade, but I haven’t been generating multi-size patterns as long.
JM: Why did you start your business?
SS: I have homeschooled my kids from the beginning, but now that my youngest is almost done it became clear that I’d have to finally figure out what to be when I grew up! I was looking for something that would work well part-time at the start so that I could integrate it with my last years of homeschooling.
I’ve been knitting non-stop since I picked up the needles about 12 years ago. There weren’t as many resources for patterns for guys/boys, so I started improvising almost right from the beginning. I think this really deepened my love of knitting because I wasn’t just knitting versions of other people’s patterns. Knitting became an outlet for my creativity and problem solving.
When I realized that I could pursue design as a small business, it seemed a perfect fit. I adore knitting and design works well as a small business.
SS: I really enjoy how it requires me to constantly learn and constantly play. The requirement to always work on something new – whether it’s with yarn or with the business side of things – is really stimulating for me.
JM: What is your least favorite thing about being a yarnpreneur™?
SS: I’m not yet a fan of the side of business where I have to deal with the financial record-keeping. I’m hoping that one day I’ll hit on a routine or method where I don’t have to grit my teeth and get through it.
JM: What would you tell (or what advice would you give) someone that wants to be a yarnpreneur™?
SS: Be prepared to learn a lot about a lot of areas when you’re a small business owner. You can start simply, but you will have to be willing to work on all sorts of things, from your photography skills to your graphic design, from pattern sizing to managing test knitters.
SS: Right now I don’t have any real regrets. I’m going slowly and transitioning into this, and it seems that I’m figuring out what works in a reasonable manner.
JM: What’s next for you and your business?
SS: Next up is submitting to magazines. I want to see what that process is like, and I’d like to widen my audience so that I’m reaching more people who like my designs.