Today I am pulling back the curtain on the Aroha Knits brand, and letting you in on some behind-the-scenes reflections.
These past few weeks have been a time of introspection and meditation. I have been really digging deep into why I do what I do (aka, why I design knitwear), who I do it for (the Fibre Muse), and now it is shifting to answering the question of "how to do it".
If you have been following me for awhile, you know that I am passionate about creating an enriching, exciting, and empowering knitting experience for my tribe of Fibre Muses. I believe that knitting should be a blissful experience, and that our finished projects should bring us joy, so I aim to create patterns for that purpose.
However, I wanted to go a bit deeper. We do not knit for the sake of knitting. We knit as a form of self-care, self-discovery, selflessness, and self-expression. It is a form of self-actualization—it makes us feel complete.
Knitting is a quiet magic that connects us to our pasts, helps us stay grounded in the present, and shapes our futures.
As I came to these realizations, I learned some things about myself and my business, too.
For the longest time, in fact since I started designing, I was releasing patterns monthly without much structure or thought. I would design what inspired me, but did not really think much about connecting it to something bigger than myself.
Then I created the Fibre Muse Alchemy Kits, at the beginning of the year—a quarterly luxury subscription yarn club that brings all of my favorite aspects of the fibre industry together: handmade items from small and local businesses paired up with thoughtful designs, all curated together to evoke one of the four Fibre Muses (first time hearing about the Fibre Muse? Click here to read more). It was a great hit, and seeing the reactions from the first shipment really solidified how much my community loved the kits.
Yet, something was still missing. The Alchemy Kits were only available to a small portion of my community—it is an exclusive offering that is only available for sign-ups once a year. It is not a core part of the Aroha Knits brand (but it certainly plays a big part), and because it is so exclusive, I wanted to do something that could bring more people in, while also elevating the aspect of my business, which I love to do the most: design knitwear.
I learned that the Fibre Muse Alchemy Kits take a lot of time and effort to manage, and dealing with single pattern releases every month, among my other activities, was much too exhausting. I needed to find a way to simplify my business, which would still allow it to grow and bring ME joy.
Hence, the creation of the Fibre Muse Quarterly and from that, the Fibre Muse brand. Over the past week I have been developing a framework that not only identifies the core pillars of creating an enriching, exciting, and engaging knitting experience in my brand, it also structures and simplifies what I need to do. And this framework is, appropriately enough, centered around the four Fibre Muses.
The Fibre Muse is the main circle: the outcome. I want to elevate knitters and transform them into Fibre Muses, so that they, in turn, can confidently transform their yarn into fibre art that inspires bliss and excitement within them.
And the way I do this is…
1) Mystic (the Muse of Self-Care): Create offerings, such as the Alchemy Kit and the Quarterly Publication that inspire awe, bliss, and excitement. Everything, from the design of the patterns, to the layout of the publication, to the item selection in the boxes are all chosen for that specific purpose. Shifting from single monthly pattern releases to quarterly publications, focused around a specific theme, helps me bridge the gap between my design inspirations and deeper knitting experiences.
2) Seeker (the Muse of Self-Discovery): Challenges have played a huge part in my brand. If you have participated in the 5 Shawls, 5 Days or the Initiate Knit Design challenge and enjoyed them, then I have some new ones in the pipeline headed your way. Challenges are great, because of the low commitment to time, while the results are tremendous. In addition to challenges are KALs. I have never done much with KALs, but I am realizing that I need to be doing more of these! KALs are a much longer version of challenges (1 month vs 5 days). During that time, I can invest time and energy into encouraging knitters to try new techniques, set outside their comfort zone, and help them end up with a beautiful knit project at the end.
3) Giver (the Muse of Selflessness): The Fibre Muse Sanctuary plays such a huge part in the Aroha Knits brand experience. It is a place of support, motivation, and inspiration where knitters from all parts of the globe come together for one common purpose: to share our love of yarn.
4) Dreamer (the Muse of Self-Expression): Social media, especially Instagram, are more as a place for story telling through images and words. Instagram is the platform that most people come to know me by, and it is a platform that I love to use. I have been slacking off on it, as of late, but since moving into our new apartment, with all the space and natural light, I'm feeling motivated once again to take beautiful photos + tell stories. I have had many people tell me that the Aroha Knits account is a source of inspiration, so I am now committing myself to really go forward with it.
Offerings. Challenges. Community. Instagram. These are the four pillars of the Fibre Muse framework, which all work together to help knitters elevate themselves into a Fibre Muse. So, they can feel more empowered transforming their yarn and creating projects that bring them joy and bliss.
This also brings me joy, because I can clearly identify where my energies need to be spent most, and has really simplified my business model. It feels very liberating to have a clear path and structure to follow that is for a defined purpose, instead of wandering along a road.
So there you have it—the core pillars of the Fibre Muse Brand framework! You will be seeing more and more about the first issue of the Fibre Muse Quarterly in the following weeks, but in the meantime, why don't you join us for the first Fibre Muse KAL? Chose one of these three patterns to cast-on, and we will see you in the Fibre Muse Sanctuary June 4th!
Transform your yarn,