Kia ora, I’m Francoise, aka Frenchie!
Franco-Maori, American-Australian knitwear designer + coach living in Osaka, Japan.
At Aroha Knits, as a knitwear designer and coach, I inspire and empower fiber artists to transform their yarn so they can manifest Aroha, one stitch at a time. I’m passionate about creating meaningful and fulfilling work, shaking up the industry and fibre community, and serving as a catalyst for transformative impact.
My Work as a Knitwear Designer
“It is in this third space that a new culture develops from the known two, a culture that its roots in the Maori and the Pakeha world, but which grows into something of its own”. - Nadia Majid “Myth and Memory in Maori Novels in English”.
As a bi-racial, multi-cultural queer crafter of color, I work to empower knitters, whom I call Fibre Muses, by exploring the intersection of making with identity, so they can think deeply about why they create to make a transformational impact with their craft.
My designs draw influence from my Maori heritage, where I transform the myths, legends, and other stories into stitches and connect them to the story of why we make. Through this recreation, my work aims to remember the past and strengthen the future for the Maori culture and people, while enriching the present knitting community and be a representative for the third-space generation.
I’m on a mission to start a movement. I believe that our art and work as knitters can make a difference. More than ever, this craft, which forces us to slow down and breathe for just a moment, is needed in our society of instant gratification and go-go-go.
Knitting is not just a hobby, but a medium for us to carry out our life’s purpose. It is a powerful medium of bringing more joy, healing, creativity, and connection into our lives… one stitch at a time.
Through intentional creation, we are capable of transformative impact.
Why do you knit? Begin your journey of discovering your story of why you create by taking the Fibre Muse Discovery Quiz.
I document my journey through my podcast, the Fibre Muse Podcast, and through my patterns, which you can find on Ravelry and on Making Things.
My Work as Design Coach
With over four years of designing experience under my belt, I also teach and coach aspiring knitwear designers how to confidently transform their yarn into publish-worthy designs of their own through my signature program, the SWATCH Studio Circle.
Through tackling both mechanism and mindset roadblocks, my program has enabled aspiring designers to become accomplished ones, with former students now in-house designers for large yarn brands, establishing their own successful brands, and seeing their designs published in well-known publications.
Interested in designing but don’t know where or how to get started? Sign up to watch the free Masterclass.
How will you transform your yarn today?
What is Aroha?
Curious about the name Aroha Knits? Here’s why I named it so:
Aroha is Te Reo Maori for love. It is also my middle name, after my grandmother, whose name translated into English is “A Child Born of Love”.
Aroha is the way I feel towards knitting. I love knitting. Why? Because it has brought so much aroha of its own into my life. A sense of purpose and fulfillment.
The aroha that knitting brings to me is joy, healing, connection and creativity… So I aim to inspire and empower other fiber artists and lovers to transform their yarn so they can manifest aroha - this same joy, healing, connection and creaitivity - into their knitting and their lives, one stitch at a time.
10 Things You May Not Know About Me:
- I have four citizenships. I was born as an Australian, New Zealand and French citizen and received my American citizenship in 2014.
- I LOVE geek culture. Anything under the Disney brand (that includes Star Wars and Marvel) I love and obsessively follow. Going to see a movie in IMAX 3-D is one of my favourite past times.
- Growing up, I wanted to be a Manga-ka (Japanese comic book artist). I suppose being a knitwear designer is not a terrible substitute ;-).
- I’m a Pisces with Aquarius rising in my star chart.
- I love going to cafes and just sitting there for hours (with my knitting of course!).
- I have a scar on the left side of my face, right above the eyebrow. Almost like Harry Potter, minus the lightning bolt and magical curse.
- I still secretly love reading fanfiction (did I just confess that? Eek!)
- I’m woo-woo, and I’m not sorry about it. I consult my cards for guidance, smudge sage to chase out negative energies, cleans my crystals in the moonlight for good vibes.
- I discovered that I like the horror genre and have been binge listening to the “No-Sleep Podcast” and “The Black Tapes.”
- My middle name is Aroha, which is Maori for “love, compassion, and empathy.” In addition to my brand’s name, it also serves as one of my core values.
I am available for interviews, profiles and expert commentary and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some topics I can cover include:
Gaining a loyal audience and following on social media
Kick-starting a hobby into a career