Friday, October 7, 2016

An Interview with...Kristin Omdahl

Once a week I post interviews with interesting people about their insights on their experience of working in the Knitting industry.  I’ve noticed that every one of these individuals makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the knitting world.

You can find Kristin here and here on Ravelry. 

Where do you find inspiration?
EVERYWHERE! I see in texture so I see textile (stitch pattern) inspiration everywhere. I find inspiration for ideas in nature. When I’m stumped on a name or a concept, I often take a walk in nature to clear my mind.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
I’m not sure I have one. I’m grateful to have so many techniques in my repertoire. There are yarns that I prefer for lace, yarns I prefer for cables, etc.

How did you determine your size range?
There are challenges in design for what works and what doesn’t work in large size ranges. Sometimes its based on a stitch repeat or the size of the gauge. However, as long as it makes sense technically, I prefer to have a large size range. #everyBODYisBEAUTIFUL

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I haven’t opened a knit or crochet magazine, unless I was checking my own work or advertising, in years. I avoid seeing other people’s work within our industry because I don’t want to be influenced by their work. I am comfortable being influenced by the fashion industry as a whole, but not our small niche corner of the industry.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I do all my own samples. I have tried it a few times over the years, but it hasn’t worked smoothly for me. And, I feel it should be helpful not more stressful. Luckily I am a very fast knitter and crocheter. In a dream world, I would obviously be more productive with a team, though.

Did you do a formal business plan?
Once in a while, I do map out the direction and goals of my business, focusing on staying on track of the mission.

Do you have a mentor?
I have a few business friends I consult with, one in the industry, one outside the industry and one on the fence.

Do you have a business model that you have emulated?
No. I have always thought I blazed my own trail.

Do you use a tech editor?

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
Very carefully! Working from home, and working for your own business, means the lines get blurred. I find it challenging to make time for a personal life. Due to the fact I have a very busy teenager, his schedule helps force me out into the world. But luckily I am very disciplined and focused, so it is easy to get back to work.

How do you deal with criticism?
Some days are easier than others. I think we live in a society where people feel so disconnected with other humans from behind their computer screens. Most of the time, I see if there is something I can truly do differently or fix. And when it’s really nasty, I try to remember my favorite Wayne Dyer quote: How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.”
How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
I was in a sink or swim situation when I began working in this industry: filling for divorce from a violent man, 22 month old baby, no car, no money but a dream, a vision, and full-on survival mode. I worked around the clock for years to be able to support us. I still work long, hard hours, but I pulled all-nighters back then.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Depends on the capacity. Do be the sole breadwinner of a family, like me, it is definitely not the easiest route out there. But if you have a passion for working in the knitting industry, there are all sorts of facets to pursue. I would always suggest doing your research first, and asking lots of questions. But don’t quit your day job until you have a plan.

What’s next for you?
I’m always cooking up something new. Right now, I’m focused on my charity, my yarn company and my YouTube channel. I launched a new yarn this fall and that keeps me very busy!  

No comments:

Post a Comment