Beautifully hand made accessories focusing on highly original knitted lace items in luxury yarns. I’m primarily exploring knitting as a way to make a textile conform to a predetermined shape with the exclusion of seams.
I am expanding the range of accessories to include felted and knitted bags and purses, as an alternative to heavy leather statement designer bags.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
After studying fine art and fashion in England I worked in couture for several years in London. Following a move to San Francisco I was employed by local sportswear companies and did a stint at O’Neil, in their wetsuit product development department. For the last decade I have had the good fortune to operate to a small custom couture bridal business, with clients coming to me solely by word of mouth. Recently I picked up knitting again after a 20 year gap since my last foray into this fascinating craft. I am now completely obsessed! A bridal client seeing my scarves suggested Etsy and I saw saw enormous potential for creative expression.
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
I am a huge fan and advocate of the fabulous city of San Francisco which I now call home. There is a wealth of talent and creativity here which I’m very proud to be a part of.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I think of myself as a highly social loner! This contradiction in terms illustrates my need for solitude, particularly during the creative process, but also the joy I have interacting with clients and creative friends I’ve made through Etsy and the internet. I do work alone and genuinely enjoy the multitasking involved with all the aspects of my profession. As to getting all the work done-there simply aren’t enough hours in the day and I am turning into a knitting vampire.
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
Currently I only sell on Etsy. http://KarinSF.Etsy.com and to by appointment clients, but I am exploring other online vendors.
Selling online can seem impersonal but I make sure I communicate with all buyers, and follow up after the purchase if necessary, to create a rapport and make myself more accessible. Working one on one, with a bridal client for example, is completely different and engages the other person more in the creative process.
I haven’t attended a show to sell my accessories yet but I feel this will be an important adjunct to my online shop.
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers you’d like to recommend?
What inspires and motivates you?
As a designer with a background in pattern making and fine art, I find I see everything as form and color first. So I’m primarily motivated by colorful shapes in nature or the urban landscape. Other artists’ and craft people’s work is also a huge influence, and I like to purchase from local designers as often as my wallet allows. I never underestimate the inspiration I find looking at outfits put together by fellow travelers wherever I go.
What do you wish I had asked you?
“If you could take a break from your current passion, what other line of work would you like to pursue?”
Thanks Karin! And if you would like to be interviewed next, just head over to DIY Interview.