As you may have seen, I released Knit Kits for pre-order this week and I'm so excited about them. I always find it so interesting to hear about the progression of other people ideas, so thought I'd give it a whirl myself - without it being all salesy and in your face, no one needs that! - and as this tale begins in quite a grumpy manor, I figured, where better to share it than on my nonchalant, totally casual blog?! So here's a little story about the journey...
The idea of kits was one I had very early on and one that other people kept suggesting to me as well. Initially, I'll be honest; I hated the idea. I was in the business of knitting, not watching other people knit! Every time I went to a show or event with any products, people would say "I could knit that", often when I post a picture on social media people tag their friends and say "could you make me one of these" and the other person replies "yeah sure!" as though it's the easiest thing in the world. On one hand, the creative individual in me totally understood, It is a lot of money and hey, If I didn't do it myself I'd want to have a go! On the other, as a person trying to earn a living by making and developing something different, it felt so hurtful. It was my baby, something i'd developed from scratch and my prices are worked out diligently and I'm always careful not to be greedy - the wool is so beautiful it couldn't be cheap and I need to be paid for my time otherwise I don't have a business!
When I wrote the blog post "The Art Of Pricing Craft" It was heavily on my mind - people asking "how much?!" because they felt they could make it themselves for half the price, and I so firmly felt 'that is NOT the point' ...Which I do still feel with regards to many, many products and businesses! Surreptitiously ripping off someone else's idea, because you can, is not OK. Anyone can make anything for the cost of the materials and looking back I felt very guarded and as though I'd developed something that people wanted to copy and in some regards steal from me, my intellectual property. (deep, I know!)
So how did it move on from there? I suppose that my main issue originally was that I felt so protective, which makes sense when I think about all the development, time and money I invested and nurtured. Selfish or egotistic as it may seem, I didn't want to just hand that over to someone else when it had cost me so much. Small business owners, myself included, often make the mistake of taking things too personally because everything about our business is personal. I also felt very nervous, If I told everyone how to do it, wasn't I doing myself out of a job?
But with so many people constantly asking if I sell the wool and wanting to do it themselves, I began to feel like it was a loosing battle. At this point I figured I had nothing to loose by simply looking into it and seeing if somehow, I could do it in a way that worked for me, that I could feel comfortable with. And now of course, I'm so thrilled I gave it a shot!
The way I process each of my products really is what makes them special. So I began to develop an 'at home' version where you can wash them yourself in a bathtub/big container to work in a similar but different way. Once I figured out this method it just all seemed to fall into place. I realised that I wasn't just given out my secrets willy-nilly to anyone, I was trading them with people who appreciated the value of my initial research, which on a personal and business level, made sense. I also realised that I wasn't doing myself out of a job, I was simply appealing to a new customer!
Over the course of the next 6 months I developed the 'at home' method, sourced the worlds most beautiful needles and spent a small fortune getting carried away on packaging and stickers (oh the stickers!) I became more and more excited about sharing this with everyone and anyone! I can do my thing, and you can do yours, and at the end of the day, each will be unique and we will all be totally snuggley wrapped up in Merino wool creations, enjoying our accomplishments!
I think part of my excitement now is having built this project up for so long and taking it from a negative, not wanting to do it at all, to where I am with it now, wanting to share it with as many people as possible mainly to see what everyone creates out of something I've developed. That is just absolutely thrilling. So all it really took was a tweak in my judgement to understand that I could share something without feeling like it was being taken unwillingly from me. To step back and not take is as an insult but a compliment, and now I couldn't be happier about it! All systems go on on the huge knitting front!
I can't wait to see what you create!