What’s up guys and gals? It’s been a while!
A lot has been going on for us.
I’ve been hell-bent on getting our knitting machine in working order, Nick has been designing some awesome new patches, and we’ve both been managing a blowout of sorts to our website which has been interesting... All up and in between our typical shenanigans that take place outside of work (trip to The Keys anyone?).
It's no secret that there is a complete lack of transparency plaguing the modern business world. We think it's bullshit, and have been inspired to create a video series called “Behind the Screens” as a means to remedy this issue. As we learn the ins and outs of running a sustainable business, we hope to inspire others and spread lessons learned along the way by documenting the process (with some adventure thrown in too, of course).
I think the easiest thing I can do here is to take it piece by piece! So let’s start with the knitting machine-
The Passap Duomatic 80 is a machine we decided to pick up a while ago. The plan was to get it, learn how to use it, and manufacture our own beanies made with environmentally responsible materials like organic or repurposed fibers.
After about 2 months of frustration, I corrected one major mistake I was making (unbeknownst to me, obviously) and was able to knit a seamless tube! This is the first step in making a beanie that’s on par or better than the mass-produced beanies out there, and it was quite the exciting feat. Since then, I’ve nailed the tubular structure, have been working with different fibers to see what feels/functions best, and have been dialing in the stitch that holds together the top, providing the beanie with a good fit.
I’ll send out another update soon where I show you the machine itself, how it works, and share exactly what our plan is for the materials/how we’re going about sourcing them.
Since Nick has designed some patches we’re both in love with and all-things-beanie are coming together, we decided to celebrate by hosting a giveaway for all those on our email list and will be announcing the winner at the end of this week! After that, we’re in beanie-business, baby! We’ll give you a shout out when the first batch goes live on the site.
Now that we’ve got all that covered, let’s change gears. For those of you who are interested in the backside of running a small business- we wanted to take a sec to talk about something that happened to us unexpectedly a few weeks ago.
If you’ve been following us for a while and have signed up for our emails, you’ve probably received the stickers we send out for free, or, used to send out that is…
We had to stop after we woke up one morning to a subscriber list that had gone from a few hundred to a few thousand. We pay for everything out of pocket, so though it was exciting to see that for whatever reason a lot of people were coming to the site and signing up for emails, it was just as unsettling because as the list continued to grow, so did the cost of the stickers.
It took us a while to figure out what was happening, but Nick realized that a freebie site (after verifying that we do indeed send out free stickers) had posted the link to our website within an article of theirs telling people what they needed to do to get them.
At first, we were worried that we were going to be paying a shit ton of money to give people stickers that didn’t necessarily care about the message we’re trying to send, which, negates why chose to give them away from the get-go. Thankfully, however, after putting together an email configuration to assist in narrowing down the list by a hair or two, we received a fair amount of support and kind words from the new subscribers and have been super happy about the feedback.
Unfortunately, as we said, we had to stop our free sticker shindig because the list is still growing. But we did put up a deal on the site for a small pack people seem to be enjoying. Hopefully one day we can send them out for free again.
As we always try to balance work with play, we took the Florida Keys as all this was just starting to happen and figured out how to deal with it on island time. It was chill yet productive, and we managed to gain inspiration for future designs via the culture I grew up in which was super cool.
Other than all that, we painted Granny a bright sea-toned blue and sandy gold, and have been frequenting the beaches as summer starts to rear its sweaty head amidst our beanie creating. And that’s about all she wrote for now!
We would definitely love to hear some more of your feedback. From colors to fits, dad hats to truckers, what do you want to see from us?
The reason why we’re doing all of this by hand is so we can have complete control over each variable in every product we end up making. So if you have any input, drop us a line!
by Alexa Francisco
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