Friday, January 12, 2018

An Interview with...Anna Johanna

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
Anna here and here on Ravelry

Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere, but mostly in yarn. I like to cuddle all the lovely skeins and let them tell me what they should become.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
Probably lace and nowadays brioche as well. Cables are not my cup of tea. I like how they look but they're so laborious to work.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I think we can't help being influenced by each others designs. I usually don't look at other designers' work while working on my own design but then afterward I like to check that there isn't anything too similar out there.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I usually knit my own samples but I do have a little army of helpful test knitters that test out all the kinks in the patterns.

Did you do a formal business plan?
No. I wasn't sure initially that my patterns would sell so I just put a few patterns out there to see what would happen.

Do you have a mentor?
No, but I would really like to have one.

Do you use a tech editor?
At this point, I do my own tech editing. I have a background in mathematics and statistics so I like playing with numbers and checking out all the little things in the calculations.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
Half the day I spend at work and the other half on knitting. I guess you could call that some sort of balance. It's a difficult question because I don't just knit to design and sell patterns but I knit to make myself happy.

How do you deal with criticism?
I have to admit that in other fields of life, I don't deal too well with criticism. But in designing, usually every comment is really helpful at becoming a better designer. I wish I could adopt the attitude elsewhere as well.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
I'm not there yet. At this point, I'm a researcher for living and a knitwear designer for fun.

What’s next for you?
More designing and a whole lot more marketing. I'm from Finland and most of my sales are to Finland. I need to sort out a marketing plan to get my designs better known in other countries as well.

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