Friday, January 23, 2015

An Interview with...Rose Beck

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 Rose here and here on Ravelry.

 Where do you find inspiration?

I find design inspiration from many sources including fashion trends, architectural motifs,  knitting stitch dictionaries, and colors of nature.  I am a multi-crafter and also find inspiration for knitting ideas from other crafts such as quilting and beading.  For example, I came up with the idea for my Hexed! shawl pattern while playing around with hexagons in a quilt.

What is your favourite knitting technique? 

It's hard to have just one!  I like knitting in the round, continental-style, because it's faster.    I also love knitting lace, cables, and textural stitches.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I like admiring other designers' work and I am not afraid to be influenced by their designs.  Few ideas are truly completely new or original--most designs build off previous ideas.  Plus, it's fun to see what other indie designers are up to.

How do you feel about the so called controversy of “dumbing down” patterns for knitters?
I'm not familiar with the controversy, but I don't think a pattern can be too basic.  You never know what a knitter's skill level is, and you can't assume the customer will know anything.
How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I have a small group (around half dozen) friends who help me knit and test.  There's no way I could knit all of my designs myself--it would take too much time!

Did you do a formal business plan?
I do not.  I have a professional, part-time day job that makes most of my income.  I find conceiving and writing up knitting designs to be a wonderful creative outlet, and I try not to be ruled by the business aspect of it  (I am fortunate that I don't have to be).
Do you have a mentor?
Not really, although I have asked other indie designers for advice at times.

Do you have a business model that you have emulated?
No.  I realize I could do a lot more to grow my business, such as going to shows and having an active online presence, but I simply don't have the time.

How are you using social media to grow your business?
I post on Facebook and instagram.

Do you use a tech editor?
Mostly yes.  If the pattern is simple, I will edit it myself.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
I lay out my priorities.  Family is first, then church, work, hobbies, etc.  If things start to get too crazy, I let go of the lesser things (like housework, admittedly!).  I also know how to put things into perspective.  I was very sick for several years and couldn't do much, couldn't even leave the house much.  Now that I'm healthy and energetic again, I'm grateful just to be able to do everyday activities, and I don't get upset by small things.

How do you deal with criticism?
I examine whether there is merit in it and use it to improve. I'm not perfect and am usually open to suggestions.  If I think the criticism is unfounded, I ignore it.  Life is too short to waste energy on things that won't help you move forward.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Do what you're passionate about and people will see and be inspired by your passion.  Don't be afraid to take a few risks and put yourself out there.  Network with fellow knitters and designers and be active online. Advertise and use social media.  There are a lot of indie designers out there now, so you really need to work at getting exposure for your work.

What’s next for you?
I'm open to anything.  Life is an adventure and I can't wait to see what's next.

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