My first knitting busines, Kreative Knits, has gone through many iterations since my grandmother taught me to knit when I was only three years old. She was my best friend and knitting was a very enjoyable thing that we did together. She passed away when I was 11 but the love of knitting that she shared with me lives on.
At age 15 I was in school and too young to find a job which paid well but I was able to design knitwear and sell it for a good income. This is how I supported myself while I earned my degrees in computing science and math.
After graduation I worked as a programmer, an actuary, a financial analyst, a project manager, and a systems analyst for the next 27 years. Kreative Knits was on the back burner--I didn’t put a lot of time or effort into it. For the first few years I enjoyed my job because it was constantly changing and I was always learning new things. By the early 2000’s I was paid well but I was not challenged and hated to go to work to be bored for 8 hours while I could have spent that time knitting. My employer was bought out by another company and I was really hoping to be laid off so I could get severance and then focus on my knitting. However, the company didn’t want to lay me off. They kept paying me and I kept going to my boring job. In late 2009 I realized life was passing while I went to a job I hated. I asked my boss if I could cut back to part time so I could focus more on my knitting business. I could have done my job in 25% of my hours anyway and he could have saved 75% of my salary. He said no. I quit. After a brief moment of wondering, “What have I done?”, I regret that I didn’t do it 15 or 20 years sooner.
For the next few years I was free to explore many different directions for my business--selling yarn, dyeing yarn, felting, custom knitwear, designing and selling patterns, etc. Then about 4 years ago my brother was in kidney failure and my mother wasn’t well and I was thankful that my self employment allowed me to spend more time with them without changing anything about my career. I still have my apartment and my studio in Halifax and I also have this studio with a retail yarn shop called AntigoKnits in Antigonish.
My brother has had a kidney transplant and I’m enjoying the time I spend with my 85 year old mother. I have developed a love for more exotic fibres and a deeper awareness of just how much textile waste fast fashion is contributing to our landfills. I like living in three different places and moving around all the time while operating a part time yarn shop. I have stopped spending a lot of money on clothes I don’t need or wear. I want to be part of the solution and focus my business on creating quality knitwear that will last. I want to increase my income so that I can give back by donating more to local and global charities.