A Year in Review and Looking Forwards

2015 has come and gone so fast, and for good reason: it was an extremely busy year of working non-stop around the clock. But what a year it was! I dedicated 2015 to really growing my design brand as a business, not a hobby as it was in 2014, when I first started knitting. Making that decision to jump into designing as a full-time job really affected the growth of my brand and the way I approached everything I did regarding designing.

This year I published 21 new designs onto Ravelry (meaning that I have other designs that were published in other sources), surpassing my original goal of publishing at least one design a month. In those 21 designs...

  • 3 garment pieces (+1 for Chicago Knits)
  • 3 hats (+1 for YarnBox)
  • 12 shawls
  • 3 other pieces (+1 for YarnBox)

I've also had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with some amazing fiber artists including, Julie Asselin, Frabjous Fibers, Rhichard Devrieze, Circus Tonic Handmade, Frida Fuchs, Artyarns, Hill Country Weavers and Everyday Peacocks. My work is now known on an international scale, and some of my patterns have been translated into French, Dutch, Russian, and Spanish. I've also been published in Chicago Knits, Holla Knits, Knit Picks and coming very soon, Creative Knitting. I've been submitting lots of proposals but got lots of rejections so that is something I need to work on for 2016.

I've also had some drawbacks to 2015: sometimes a design didn't sell as well as I had hoped, a pattern proposal got rejected, etc. But I'm learning more and more how to fix those problems and I'm moving forward.

But most importantly this year, I found out what direction I want to take my brand: enrich, encourage and empower creatives through the amazing craft of knitting.

  • Enriching the knitting community by creating accessible, stylish and modern pieces of knitwear that reflect and drawn upon my cultural heritage that many can enjoy, whether they are process or project knitters. 
  • Encouraging Maori (and other Polynesian communities) to take up this craft as there is a space for their talents and culture. 
  • Empowering aspiring designers to share their creations informed through stories and culture by providing motivation and education.

With these three purposes in mind, here are my goals for 2016 (so far!):

  • Publish at least one pattern a month, that is not only well-written, tech edited and test knit, but is also an engaging and enjoyable knit.
  • Release my Pattern Design and Writing e-course to the public, so as to help aspiring designers smoothly make the transition from knitting other people's patterns to creating and writing their own, and fostering a small community where we can all motivate and encourage each other.
  • Attain a sustainable income each month from my design work and e-course. I love what I do and I'm not afraid to say that I want to be able to make enough money so I can continue doing what I love.

This June I'll be moving back to the States which will bring a whole new set of challenges. Goal #3 becomes extremely crucial as if I don't meet my goal by then, I will have to find a job with a stable income. I've been extremely fortunate that my husband and I have been able to live comfortably in Japan that despite me not being able to work in the country. However the States will present more expenses and financial challenges so I'm going to use that as my motivation for making the most out of the last six months I have here. So expect to see lots more new designs, a new e-book on shawl design and my e-course on pattern design and writing coming out early 2016!