Guest Post: Allison from Knotted + Main · Sweet Bird Crochet

Guest Post: Allison from Knotted + Main

I am very excited to introduce to you one of my favorite maker friends! Allison and I met in the little squares of Instagram over a year ago! We both started our small businesses around the same time and have watched each other grow in amazing ways. We’ve supported one another’s journey and have encouraged each other along the way! I really value what Allison brings to the crochet community and her little knotted creations are absolutely adorable!!

This past month, I sent Allison a few questions that I was curious about and thought my readers would enjoy knowing the answers to them as well! Let’s read our conversation and encounter a few of her lovely, knotted animals along the way!

 

 

Who taught you how to crochet and how long have you been in the craft?

Under the guidance of my mother, I learned the basics of crochet at a rather young age.  It wasn’t until about five years ago that I started to hone in on the craft and explore the ways in which it could feed my desire to create.

 

Share your heart behind Knotted + Main.

Knotted + Main is a handmade dream that was planted within my being long ago; a space to create with my two hands, an avenue to show love to others through meaningful gifts.  The stories behind every design, every Knotted Animal, are what give purpose and life to each handcrafted piece.  It is my heart’s intent to pass on that same sentiment to others as they forge their own memories. Whether it’s awaiting the magical arrival of a new little one, falling into the arms of a toddler, the constant companion throughout childhood, in memory of a life lost too soon or a comfort in a stormy season, I hope these are the stories that will be passed on throughout the generations.

What is the most challenging part of being a handmade business?

Finding the time and capacity to do it all. So much heart + soul and attention to detail go into not only the actual creation of each product but also the behind-the-scenes tasks.  From website building and managing, social media content creating, product photography, customer inquiries and constantly stumbling my way through just how to market and tell my story, time and capacity is hard to come by. Often, I wish I had the ability to expand the amount of knotted animals making their way into the arms of littles but knowing the amount of love and time that is poured into each one, helps to reassure that I am doing enough, and it means something.

 

 

Share how you organize your week or how you balance life as a mom and businesswoman?

Every day looks different around here.  Motherhood can be unpredictable–some days I’m needed more than others. Some days we are craving a spontaneous adventure. Some days the work can simply wait.  But sprinkled into little pockets of time throughout the day, I can usually be found with a hook and yarn in hand. The majority of my work, however, takes place as the sun goes down and the littles are tucked into bed. It is in the stillness of the night, when I can exist within my own quiet thoughts and dreams, that the role of ‘businesswoman’ comes to life as I steadily crochet each piece.

 

I know you can’t give away all your secrets, but how do you develop your creative ideas for each knotted animal?

It’s no secret that there is intentionality behind just about every creative element of my Knotted Animal collection. Those ideas are born out of the simplest of moments in motherhood and brought to life through trial and error.  I view it as a challenging puzzle, and I thrive using the skills I know to bring it to fruition.

 

Please share which knotted animal is YOUR favorite and why?

I simply cannot choose!  Since most of the animals have a personal story connected to them, that’s quite the impossible question.  I love to share what each knotted animal represents to me, but it would surely take a book to convey it all in its entirety.  If you ever want to hear more of the backstories, reach out and I’ll be happy to give a glimpse into the Knotted Animal crew.

 

 

How are each knotted tested to meet US toy safety specifications? Please explain what those specifications are?

Safety is the most important aspect when making products for the littlest of hands.  This is why all Knotted Animals are tested to be in compliance with ASTM F963-17 General Toy Standards. You can find comfort in knowing that all components, from the materials to the construction, have been thoroughly tested and approved.

 

Any plans for a future pattern book of your lovely, knotted animals?

I’ll never say never, but for the foreseeable future, I don’t have plans to release my patterns.  It’s something that I’ve certainly thought long and hard about on multiple occasions, but my heart just isn’t into that aspect of the maker world.  With every design being a personal reflection of my own story, I desire to have my hands be the sole creator of them; to be the heartbeat behind every Knotted + Main creation.

 

Where do you promote your lovely, knotted animals? How do customers place orders?

Most of my promotion takes place on Instagram and word of mouth! Thanks to an amazing and loyal customer base who go above and beyond to share Knotted + Main with their circles and continue to show their support through kind words and purchases, I have been able to reach people near and far!

All orders are placed through my website. Although it’s a bit unconventional, I have found that it works best for my business model to take orders based off production month.  For example, if an order is placed with a production start date in July, the order will also ship out in July. This allows me to keep my books on a rolling schedule while still giving customers insight on when they can expect to receive their item. Historically speaking, I am usually booked out two+ months in advance.  With the proper planning, I hope to be invited into creating Knotted Animals for all of life’s special moments.

 

How are you hoping to grow over the next few years?

I have plans! I’m not quite ready to share exactly what those are but I am very excited to take it one step at a time as I see where these ideas lead.  I had some dreams and business opportunities fall short this past year and that experience has given me a renewed perspective on growth and the ‘why’ behind it. It’s easy to get sucked into the lie that you only matter if you have X amount of followers on social media, or that recognition amongst the masses is the thing to strive for. But it’s not. It’s about connection. It’s about sharing a gift with others. It’s about making an impact even in the simplest of ways.

 

 

Do you have a newsletter and how to readers sign up?

I do not have a newsletter. Solely operating all facets of this business, I have to be selective on how I devote my time.

 

What advice or encouragement would you give to other handmade businesses?

Your story is worth telling. You are more than the things you create; you are more than how the world would define business success. Those simple truths may seem so obvious, but they can easily be forgotten amongst the hustle and bustle. The heart behind it all can never be duplicated and that is what needs to be shared with the world the most.

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Allison, for being a guest here at Sweet Bird Crochet! If you’re interested in purchasing a knotted animal from Allison, you won’t be disappointed! I have personally purchased two knotted creations from her. One was this precious mini donkey for my grandson and a mini knot beaver for my great niece. When I held her knotted creation in my arms for the 1st time, I cried. I honestly felt the sweet love she poured into each stitch. This little mini knot, a piece of Allison’s heart, will live in our family forever!

You can follow Allison and her knotted creations on Instagram @knottedandmain and you can place orders on her website, knottedandmain.com

 

 

Thank you for visiting! Share in the comments which knotted animal is your favorite?

 

 

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Cherie Mellick

Cherie Mellick

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