Early mornings with just me and Kleio, our french bulldog, and a cup of tea. My beloved books, my overstuffed studio with hand loom knitting machines,dyeing space, yarn storage, and my radio playing NPR.
Evenings watching TV that is not too engrossing, so that I can label skeins or fill sample cards without having to actually LOOK at the screen too often!
Daytimes are at my job as a sweater designer for a wonderful, unusual, old-timey small company where we make a charming product for specialty stores across the country.
Lunchtime allows a quick peek at my shop, and answering a few convos via smartphone.
Weekends are : in the studio...dyeing, dreaming, experimenting...my personal heaven!
I opened my shop in June of 2010 with a very clear idea of what I was going to sell. I could see it, but it took me years to figure out how I wanted my photos to look, working out my dyeing recipes, designing my logo. I had been experimenting with dyeing yarns and where I was going with them for about a year, and I had been going the stand alone website route. That became too complex for such a small startup, and in the middle of my frustration, a friend suggested Etsy.I love Etsy, because it allows me to focus on my product and my art rather than the mechanics of selling and listing. The community of Etsy buyers and sellers is very supportive, and it is something that grows over time, and word of mouth among buyers and Ravelry users has been wonderful.
My shop concept has always been about yarns to "swoon" over, as that is the core of the deep love and intense yearning I have always had for delectable yarns. My day job is now 4 days a week instead of 5 +, a change I engineered in order to have more time for my designing and dyeing activities.
I have worked in the fashion industry for many years, and although it has been driven by a love of knitwear from day one, the daily necessity of being creative under duress can be exciting, but can also cause burnout. I really craved, and needed, an art form that did not have a strict timeline, something I could nurture in my own terms, within my own timeline. I needed "slow food" for my creative brain to feel renewed.
At the beginning I offered about 5 core yarns, and now offer over 32 different yarns. My focus has been on the luxury handspun yarns. I add a yarn when it has something different to offer that I don't have.
Color...and unusual hard-to-find subtle and different color combinations have been the touchstone of Swoon Fibers. I often knit up a swatch of a newly dyed yarn while it is still damp, as I can't wait for it to fully dry before I play with it.
I love the excitement that knitters have about yarn, so when I deal with customers I try to make the experience as smooth as possible. I get it: you fall in love with something, you want it right away...that's me, too!!
All of my hand dyed yarns are a labor of love, they are an expression of the love of my life: fiber & how fiber takes color, and how yarn looks when it is knitted, how fiber looks when it is spun.
For the future, I want to add more pattern support for my yarns, and would like to eventually have a larger workspace so that my imagination can really fly. And I would like to have an even wider array of yarn bases, like more cashmeres, more silk blends, and kid mohair blends. I'd like to offer new experimentally-dyed yarns and even hand dyed wool for rug makers and craft artisans, and I have a ton of other ideas too!
So stay tuned! There's so much more to come!