Friday, August 26, 2016

An Interview with...Svetlana Volkova

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 Svetlana here on Ravelry.
Update: a reader notified me that the index link to Svetlana Volkova's interview was broken. It looks like it got moved back into the draft file some time ago since it had a low page view number. Many of my readers may not have seen it so I'm reposting it at this time.

Where do you find inspiration?
It’s everywhere! In the woods where I live, in trips to different countries, on the Internet, etc …but 2 main sources for me are yarn and people.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
I love inventing new seamless techniques and new stitches.

How did you determine your size range?
I always try to make wide range of sizes, however it often depends on the pattern. When it is simple stockinette it is easier to make wide range, but if I use lace pattern and don’t want to break the lace pattern, I have to consider it.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I used to look at other designers work a lot and I’ve learned many things this way, unfortunately now when my family has grown I have less time for this. I’m not afraid to be influenced, I have my own style.

How do you feel about the so called controversy of “dumbing down” patterns for knitters?
I prefer intuitive patterns with just enough explanations.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I don't have sample knitters, as I never know how my new design will turn out and I make changes during knitting. But I always use test knitters to see the design in different sizes and on different body types.

Did you do a formal business plan? Well, I’m very good in making business plans, I have degree in economics. However due to my character it is very flexible.

Do you have a mentor?
Not yet, but always wanted to have one, so feel free to contact me!

How are you using social media to grow your business?
I use advertising and take part in different knitting events.

Do you use a tech editor?
Sometimes, yes.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
It is hard, especially when you have a baby. Usually I try to alternate knitting and writing with some activities out-of-doors, fresh air and sport gives me more energy. Also I’ve got helping husband who takes our little ̶b̶e̶a̶s̶t̶ angel out for few hours on evenings, so I can work.

How do you deal with criticism?
I must say I’m very sensitive person and it was especially difficult in the beginning, I could dwell on one letter for a day! But now I don't take it as a criticism, but as helpful suggestions.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
I cannot say, my needs tend to grow LOL. But I’ve started to receive stable income approximately after 2 years.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Be active, creative! Learn! See what others do, what people like to knit and try to find you own way.

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