I left my job over a month ago to take some time out for me and to set myself up as an artist. What this has meant for me is that I have had to change a lot over the past month and the months leading up to it. I have had to get into the entrepreneurial mindset, which from what I have learnt, is all about trying, failing and learning (repeat times a million!). It is also about realising that what I love may not make me a living and I have to change my focus so I don’t have to be that “starving artist”. I have also learnt that I have to make significant shifts in how I approach what was my hobby (writing blog posts and knitting) so that I can make it a business and make my dream work. This has lead to a lot of existential thinking about what Knittwittowo is and isn’t and who I am as a designer.
As a dedicated follower of my blog and Facebook page, you have probably seen the transition of my brand slowly happening before your eyes or perhaps you have been oblivious to the changes! If you haven’t really noticed, that is fabulous, as it shows that I haven’t thrown things on you and have done them gradually! Either way, I want to share with you the evolution of Knittwittowo and where I hope to take it so that you know what is happening. Knittwittowo doesn’t exist just for me, it exists for you, and I want to keep you in the loop (knitting pun intended!) so you know what you are following and so you can decide if you still identify with the Knittwittowo that exists in the form it is now, which probably was a very different Knitwittowo at the time you joined my tribe.
So over the next two days I will publish two posts taking you through the evolution of Knittwittowo. This first post shares with you the first part of my story, from the moment Knittwittowo was born up to the point I decided to make it a business.
The moment of creation in 2009
One late night at university in 2009, I decided to start up a blog called Knittwittowo. It was late and I was up knitting, so it made sense to me to make my name sound a little like the combination of knitting and the sound an owl makes. And that was how the blog was born! If you say the name out loud in three parts you will see what I mean “Knit-Twit-Towo”.
For the next few years I continued blogging intermittently and sharing my creations on Ravelry. Although I wasn’t blogging very frequently, I knitted a lot as I was going through a difficult time and knitting helped me to cope with the difficulties. I taught myself a lot of complex knitting techniques which I had to really focus on and therefore forget the outside world. In the long run that wasn’t the best tactic but at the time it helped.
When Knittwittowo got legs – Joining Instagram and Facebook in 2012
The next major step in the evolution of Knittwittowo was when I came out of the water and onto land with my new found legs! I was feeling more positive at this stage and wanted to share fun my love of knitting with the wider world. When I set up my Instagram account, my first ever post wasn’t even of knitting or crochet but of a butterfly! It is quite poetic actually that that was my first picture, as I had gone through a transition period, like a caterpillar and had come out the other side. It was in the summer of 2012 that I learnt how to crochet and I made all sorts of things, from plastic yarn baskets to blankets and toys. I started to add a watermark to my photos using the font Special Elite, which I just felt drawn to – as you can see in the image below. So by 2012, I had made one of the first decisions about my brand that I have kept to this font with me throughout.
I used my Facebook page to share my blog posts and to share images of other peoples work that made me smile. For a long time my Facebook page looked like the below, using the blankets that I made out of crochet for my profile and cover photos.
Sleep walking – 2012 – 2016
Over the next four years I blogged mainly on Instagram but had periods of time not sharing consistently on any of the platforms that I had. There was one day, probably in 2015, when I remember logging in to my Facebook page and realising I had 3K followers and I hadn’t even noticed that happen! Which shows how out of touch I was with my creativity!
Waking up – 2017
At the beginning of 2017 I did some serious thinking about what I wanted my future to look like as I was outlining my new years resolutions and goals for 2017 in my bullet journal. When I was drawing out what I wanted to achieve for the year and ultimately what I wanted to achieve in my entire life, I realised that my time and energy was not focussed in the right places. I realised that I wasn’t using the best of my time and energy to be creative and the path I was on now was not going to lead me to being a creative person most of the time. So I started making steps towards being the creative person that I wanted to be, knitting, crocheting and drawing, and hopefully getting paid to do it.
The next big step – moving my blog to a website in February 2017
After thinking about it for a long time, I decided one day at the end of February to just go for it buy my domain knittwittowo.com. I have always loved my creative name and thought about securing the domain, but never did, so I used some spare money from pay check and went for it. That was really the push I needed. Once I had invested in the domain, I started to take it more seriously and started reading up about how to become a freelance artist.
Transitioning from a hobby to a business February – April 2017
Once I had my website going, I started to reach out to people who I knew who were freelance. So I met up with someone who I knew through work who left to be freelance full-time. Carol gave me some fabulous advice and recommended that I take a free business course to help me get my thoughts together. So I signed up, took two days holiday and went along to the course! Thank you Carol!
A few days before the business course, I bought myself business cards, a business stamp and labels online. So by the time I went to the course I was feeling somewhat organised and legitimate! I met some wonderful people at the course who were creative like me and were wanting to set up businesses that were a bit unusual – so I felt super comfortable. After taking the course, I felt a lot more confident in what I had done to date and decided to invest in a course specifically for Fibre Artists who want to make a business out of their hobby called Fiber Boss College.
In part two tomorrow at midday I will explain the progress that I have made since joining Fiber Boss College to refine who I am as a designer and has lead me to embrace the real me, and how I will show that through Knittwittowo. I will also share the new look for Knittwittowo that I am super excited to share!
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