Friday, March 16, 2018

An Interview with...Kristin Jones

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. Here are her other social media links:

Where do you find inspiration?
I draw inspiration from the world around me, everything from the traditional fashion magazines and runway looks to floor tiles and park benches.
What is your favourite knitting technique?
I enjoy knitting lace or slipped stitches. Not only do I enjoy keeping something interesting on my needles, but I love the finished results. Texture is definitely a favorite of mine!
Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
While I do have my favorite designers and it's impossible to avoid other knit creations entirely, I do try to stay away from knit designers because I don't want to inadvertently copy someone else's designs.
How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I love drawing from my followers, especially on Instagram, for test knitters. I don't have anyone that I regularly employ, but I try to have at least 3 test knitters for each project. I haven't used any sample knitters, but that will probably change this year.
Did you do a formal business plan?
I don't have a formal business plan because I want my business to be able to grow and change as I do, but I do have a general plan that's open. This year I'm following the 12 Week Year so my business plan is even shorter than normal!
Do you have a mentor?
I don't have a formal mentor, but I do have other designers and knitters that I admire and look to for guidance.
Do you use a tech editor?
I  do use a tech editor. While I don't mind the math and grading for 7 sizes, it can be really easy to overlook something with all those numbers!
How do you maintain your life/work balance?
In the mornings I meditate and journal with my coffee. It keeps me sane, helps me focus, and allows me not to get overwhelmed by my thoughts or even general anxiety with trying to do everything at once. I also plan things out in advance, and I break tasks down into tiny steps so that I can easily accomplish everything. Lastly, I keep track of everything that's been done so I can celebrate it. It's really easy to get lost in the moment of trying to do everything without realizing how much I've done in order to get to that point.
How do you deal with criticism?
Besides denial and general dismay? ;) I have to be in the right space to handle criticism so I make sure I'm in a good mood first. Then I carefully break it down. Sometimes the criticism is valid, and I incorporate changes into my work. Sometimes it's not valid and is merely a differing of opinion, in which case I dismiss it. 
How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
To be able to support yourself, you need consistent products and fans to purchase the products. I wasn't producing patterns regularly until perhaps a year and a half ago, and so while I had fans and income prior to that, I wasn't able to live off of it because I wasn't treating it as a business, but rather a hobby that occasionally made money.
What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
If you want to have a successful career in knitting, treat it like a career. Whether you want to partner with companies or do everything solo, you have to know what your options are and put time and energy into it. Enjoying knitting and enjoying pattern writing aren't enough; it is a business.
What’s next for you?
We're only in March, and this year is shaping up to be wonderful! Currently I'm working on quite a few patterns, some for self-publication, others for magazines, and still more for a yarn store in New Zealand. I'm co-hosting a weekly podcast on business in the fashion, accessory, and beauty industries at FAB Entrepreneurs, and I'm in talks for developing a new line of knitwear.

No comments:

Post a Comment