Recently we talked about subscription clubs on the Handmade Business Podcast and one of the things I mentioned was to look for clubs who could host your products if you don’t have the ability, or production space to run regular shipments yourself. Today on the blog I wanted to introduce you to KnitCrate who is one such subscription supplier I have known about for a number of years, as an Indiedyer in the yarn industry and have heard great things about!
I interviewed Rob Colon, owner KnitCrate to find out more for you about how the subscription box works, what their aims are and how you can apply as an indie dyer, or pattern designer.
Here’s what he had to say;
What inspired you to start KnitCrate and how did you make it happen?
After helping grow a previous start up and successfully selling it, I took a few months off. But like any good entrepreneur, you cannot sit around too long without having the desire to start building something again. So, I went online one afternoon and decided to browse companies that were for sale. I came across this interesting looking business, KnitCrate. It was a monthly subscription box for knitting enthusiasts. It was a very niche industry and admittedly, I knew nothing about knitting at the time; but I found the concept fascinating. I called the husband and wife team who had started the company and flew out to TX to visit them. I loved the concept, and a few months later, on June 1st, 2016, I was the owner of KnitCrate.
What do you feel makes your subscription box different from others on the market?
KnitCrate has really changed and developed over the years to be so different from other subscription boxes. Through our experiences and feedback from customers, we've developed KnitCrate into a bridge between the craft store customer and the yarn shop customer. We've put our focus on providing a high quality, natural-fiber product at a price that more people can afford - this is really achieved by taking complete control of the materials that go into every shipment. The yarns we use are custom-milled, designed, and dyed just for us, and then we work with both up and coming and established designers to develop beautiful, inspirational projects to go in each crate. We design the booklets and sometimes the extras that go into each crate in-house, and this has really helped us make each crate a unique experience that is fun and affordable. Additionally, our subscribers have helped us build one of the most vibrant, friendly, and welcoming online communities over all our social media presences, and that really helps KnitCrate stand out.
KnitCrate offers you the opportunity to choose which crates suit your crafting style;
Membership Crate: 1-2 skeins of high-quality, natural fiber yarns, knitting and crochet patterns in a printed booklet, and the occasional extra surprise
Sock Membership Crate: 1 skein of high-quality, natural fiber yarn spun especially for socks, knitting and (coming soon) crochet sock patterns in a printed booklet, and the occasional extra surprise
Quarterly Partner Crates: special offerings from enticing brands that are specifically designed and coordinated with extras and exclusive patterns
We also update the shop monthly with brand new yarns and notions from some of our favorite brands. Active members automatically get shop discounts when logged in, but you can also join our newsletter list to get promo codes, coupons and more.
What do you look for in the yarn dyers and knit designers who apply?
Designers are a huge core of each and every crate: we send both a knitting and crochet design in each of the crates each month, and that means we're sending between 4-6 patterns per month, and over 50 patterns per year! We're always looking for new voices and different perspectives for our designer partnerships. The ideal 'KnitCrate designer' is someone who can work to an outline (our monthly themes help set the tone for each crate) and also bring modern style and fresh ideas to the table. Sometimes designers are afraid to apply because they believe their work is too simple or basic, but our subscribers come from a huge range of skill levels, so everything from beginner to intermediate pattern design is welcome in our crates. We love designers who can be flexible and work with yarns that have different textures and fibers, but also who appreciate the fun atmosphere we're trying to create with each shipment.
Details of how the program works and how to apply can be found at https://www.knitcrate.com/pages/designer-programs
We've begun working with our artisans and dyers in new ways this year, first and foremost with the Dyer Highlights program. Through our sister brand, Dyer Supplier, we're able to source high-quality, natural fiber bases for dyers to use for their businesses. With our Dyer Highlights program, we're connecting these dyers with our huge KnitCrate subscriber base: a group of passionate crafters that are always eager to discover something new and exciting to add to their stash. We really think that these artisans' work is best able to speak for itself when provided with a platform and place to shine, so we're always seeking dyers who are open to having fun and sharing their work with our audience.
Details of how the program works and how to apply can be found at https://www.knitcrate.com/pages/indie-dyer-programs
Thank you Rob for your time today and I wish you lots more success for years to come.