2021 has been quite a year; there have been so many changes I’m not even sure I can remember them all! I want to thank you for joining me on this crazy journey. I enjoy change, forward movement and feeling like I’m making progress.
change for the sake of change doesn’t make any sense.
This year has seen some very conscientious change. Stepping out of my hectic travel and teaching schedule due to covid has created some space to reflect. I wanted to avoid filling the time and space by being busy. I wanted all changes to be deliberate and take us in a positive direction.
All of the change you have seen and helped me create this year began with chatting with others and reflecting on where I was and where my business was.
Thanks to several woman’s networking groups, I began thinking a lot about my business. What does it do? What values does it reflect? What do I want it to look like? And on a personal note, what do I want my life (in relation to my business) to look like?
These are hard questions to answer, but it helps crystalise what we stand for and where we want to go.
No Longer Working alone
Asking these questions got me to step back a little and view my work from a distance.
This also meant that I started thinking about how much I had changed as an individual. I’ve always been a fairly determined (aka stubborn) person, but I used to be much more introverted. Over the last few years, I’ve discovered that I work best with a combination of alone and people time.
Spending all my time alone doesn’t spark new ideas and means that I sink too deep into my own head. But without alone time, more complex tasks can’t be done. So I started to see that to keep working in a way that was satisfying, I had to have both.
Coming to this realisation gave me a goal for my business. I no longer wanted to work alone. It was a big jump for a business to become more than a one-woman show. It’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s necessary to become more structured.
So the first step was changing my business structure from a sole trader to a limited company. Next came the people I work with. Nadia began working with me on a part-time basis several years ago virtually. Over the last year, this has become a more significant role.
While it’s still virtual, Nadia has a fantastic ability to make her presence felt! She has become the driving force behind our online presence. And she has become so good at it! Nadia is also the person who pushes me to not sink into my introverted self. You can thank her for all the crazy reels and videos you may have seen over the last few months :-)
Some of you might remember that Laura joined our team a few months ago. She began working with me in the studio full time, and this has made such a difference! Slowly Laura has been taking over jobs, shipping orders, organising subscriptions, and getting the shop in shape. But over and above the help with physical tasks, I now also have someone to work through ideas and problems, someone on the same wavelength. Everything is just much more fun now :-)
Focus On You
This may sound cliched, but the next realisation came when my business mentor asked me about my goals. Talking through my business, I realised that my top priority was customer experience. I wanted/want to create patterns that gave/give you an amazing finished knit AND were a way of learning a new skill.
I want my designs to be challenging enough to push your knowledge, but with enough tools that that skill was attainable. So my job this year is finding the best way of making that work for a variety of learning styles, e.g. written, charted, video and chat support, to give as many knitters as possible the ability to reach their goal.
This means that we’ve been doing workshops with almost all our patterns over the year. In addition, we’ve added a brand new community space, KnitHub. This has allowed us to create a place for chat, pattern support, and exclusive club forums. It’s really lovely to have a space that combines so well with our workshops.
Realising that customer experience was everything has also led us to expand our clubs. So as well as the Celtic Knits Club, we added the Seasons Club this year with rolling subscriptions. These clubs allow me to create a complete experience for you. It means that you try new yarns, experiment with new techniques and chat with other knitters in a supportive, fun space.
I’ve really enjoyed expanding the business in different directions this year. I loved dreaming up ways to make it easier to use and enjoyable for you. I want to thank you for your support this year and for coming along on this journey with me.
So, I want to turn it over to you now. What would you like 2022 to look like? What do you want to learn? Or do you want more fun and chatter?
Let me know, and thank you for a lovely year of growth and change. I hope you enjoyed the journey too?