After reading this great interview about her shop, what inspires her and some tips make sure to peak into her SHOP and maybe even send her a quick hello, we all enjoy meeting new people.
1) First just tell us about yourself and how you got started knitting?
HI! I’m Caitlin! I’m a twenty something stay-at-home-mom, first and foremost, but enjoy having a creative outlet through Etsy on the side. I’m originally a Midwest girl (Des Moines, IA holla!) but now reside in Portland, OR with my husband and two sons. It’s a really cool city with a great creative vibe.
I am a self-taught knitter. I’m not entirely sure how, but one day, the idea popped in my head that I should learn to knit. So I bought a book and a skein of yarn and went at it. I’ve been knitting for 8 years now. It started with a giant throw that I made for my husband, which is HIDIOUS. I like to take it out every once in a while and chuckle to myself at how bad it is. Thankfully I’ve gotten better ;)
2) What sorts of fibers do you use in your yarns?
My family affectionately refers to me as “their little hippy” due to my stint as an herbal therapist back in the day. But I do really prefer naturally occurring fibers like wool, alpaca, merino, cotton, bamboo, and linen. I love the feel and drape of these yarns so much! Knitting is a very intimate task, so if me and the yarn don’t get along, then it becomes frustrating instead of exciting. I’ve found that acrylic yarn is one that causes me frustration more than anything. I will occasionally use acrylic when a customer requests it, or if I find a great yarn that just so happens to be acrylic.
3) How much of your week is dedicated to knitting for your shop? Or side projects for family and friends?
O geez. It’s hard to put a number on it. I’m knitting whenever I get the chance. I often have a project in my purse and I’ll pick it up in waiting rooms or at family gatherings. It’s so natural to me to just knit whenever I’m sitting still. I feel jittery if I’m not! I have two small boys, so my Etsy shop is not my full time job right now, my boys are. But I try to put in at least 10-20 hours a week. Right now I’m spending a lot of time designing new products for fall and winter (knitwear isn’t exactly in high demand during the summer months. ;)
4) When you started your Etsy shop what were some challenges you faced?
The biggest challenge I faced (and still face) is pricing my items. The thing about knitting is that it takes TIME. A hat can take up to 10 hours to knit. So finding a balance in making my items affordable, but also worth my time and effort, was no easy task. I felt guilty pricing things so “high” because I didn’t think anyone would buy them. But they will!!! People really value having unique handcrafted products, and will pay for them. It took a lot of trial and error as well as lessons in confidence, to find the right price point.
5) Right now what are your most popular items?
The hand-knit bows are popular. They are such a sweet little accessories that you can dress up or down. I’ve seen them in weddings as well as everyday wear. The fingerless gloves are especially popular here in Portland! I’ve also sold quite a few of the lace slouchy beanie. It’s just such a cool and feminine design. I’m very proud of it. I have two myself.