You scaled your college knitting blog into a multimillion-dollar business. What’s your secret?
Test, learn, and stay true to yourself. In 2012, I created a blog called Sh*t That I Knit so I could share my knitting projects with family members. By 2014, I wasn’t just selling my designs to family and friends, but to friends of friends and complete strangers. That’s when I knew I had something. I spent summer 2014 knitting beanies and headbands to build up inventory for the winter season and set up a booth at a local market in Boston to sell my products. Watching people walk by our booth, sound out our name, and laugh really pushed me to keep going with the brand and the business. I quit my full-time job in 2015 to turn Sh*t That I Knit from a side blog into a business and never looked back.
Sustainable clothing has exploded in popularity over the past few years. What does it take to be competitive in the space right now?
Staying true to our values while being conscious of our consumers’ mindset. At Sh*t That I Knit, we are laser-focused on growing the business in a sustainable way – from product development to shipping materials. We source all-natural materials from Lima, Peru. The handcrafted nature of our products ensures that they will last a long time – we don’t believe in fast fashion.
While we know our consumers have high intentions of supporting a sustainable brand, price point becomes a huge factor in whether they will shop with us. Educating our consumers about our supply chain, and how we work to support both local and global communities, allows us to stand out, giving them a reason to shop again and again.
You’re a young woman entrepreneur and business owner. Are there specific challenges you’ve faced or are facing as a result, and how are you addressing those?
Growing a scalable business requires raising capital. As a female entrepreneur who creates and markets products primarily for women, it has been difficult to find investors. The hard truth is that capital to invest in women-led businesses is controlled by men, and 95% of capital goes toward male-founded companies. Articulating our brand and story to potential investors was a hurdle when starting out, and I continue to make investor relationships a priority as we grow the business.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in your goals and surround yourself with people that you can trust. There will be moments when you might not have all the answers, but relying on trusted experts in their field to help guide you and answer questions will be enormous. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” and ask for help.