Wolf And Faun Knits

I have followed Nat of Wolf and Faun Knits on Instagram for some time now. I love the aesthetic, use of color, and look of her posts. When she started making stitch marker holders a little while back I was so excited because I  ALWAYS loose stitch markers, they fall between the seat crack in my car, get taken by a kid or just  seam to always go missing when I need them!  I wanted to grab one but the first batch sold out quickly! So a few weeks ago when she added some new bronze and turquoise stitch markers to her shop I had to act quickly and I am so glad I did! I got one of her Willow leaf stitch marker clips and it now has a permanent place on whatever project bag I am using! Read on to hear some of Nat's story and for your chance to win a stitch marker clip for yourself!

Can you tell us  a little about yourself, your work, and where you live?

My name is Nat (short for Natalie), I am a 33 year old mother of 2 (and 3 step-kids) I live on the West Coast of Canada on Vancouver Island with my partner Ron in an old mining village called Cumberland. I have been a knit designer for about 3 years and this year I launched wolfandfaun.com, an online shop that offers artisan made knitting tools and notions, mostly sourced from other local artists and makers and some made and / or co-designed by myself. I feel like where I live plays a big role in my ability to create and source these products. The village I live in is quite small (we have one road in the Village core where all businesses are locate in only two or three blocks) and the people really value local business and local products (we have no box stores or chain restaurants!) so it has attracted a variety of makers that are supported and encouraged by the community, thus I have a lot of talent close at hand to work with. I love that 90% of the other makers and artists I work with are women. There's a lot of lady bosses in my community! 

What do you love about the knitting community?

I love the inclusiveness and the collaboration. I love the diversity. I love how knitters use their art to communicate their individuality, their personal beliefs, their politics, and even their spirituality. I love how fibre arts is a traditionally women's art and that it is taking off rather than dying out. I love to see how much support we all give each other. In most industries, you'd be competing with each other but in this industry, collaboration and supporting each other is emphasized rather than competition. I've made a lot of online and local friends through this industry and have received a lot of support, encouragement. I wouldn't be doing what I am doing without this community. 

What inspires your work?

Where I live, my relationship with nature, my friends and family, myths and legends, and my core values. My designs tell stories about who and what matters to me. 


What new products are you excited about?

I have a lot of really exciting products on the horizon. I am waiting for a shipment of yarn bowls and notion dishes I had custom designed for me using elements and themes I often incorporate into Wolf & Faun. I think people will be really excited about them! I am also in the process of designing a project bag with a local seamstress and a hand care line for makers. There is a lot happening to be excited about. 

What is in your project bag right now?

A shawl design that is a creative experiment play time for me. I am doing a crescent shawl shape using fingering weight Sweet Fiber Yarn. Just playing with texture and color. Not sure what it will look like yet... I am kind of making it up as I go. I also have a few Fall Collection projects on the go but those are top secret! 

Do you have any advice for other creative women wanting to start a business?

Hmmm, where to start? Some of the major points I have reflected on are: 

1. Be willing to invest in yourself and don't try to do it all. Often starting a business we think we will do most of it ourself now and when we get to a certain point or grow enough we will bring in help or professionals. Unless you have a graphic arts background, hire someone to make your logo. Unless you really want to build a website, ask for help or hire someone to make one. You have to believe your product or service is worth it and worth investing in before anyone else will, so invest in it and invest in yourself. Your time is probably limited as it is, figure out ways to save yourself time and energy so more of that time and energy can go into creating your actual products and services that only you can offer. Having quality services and products to offer is what is going to make you successful so put your energy into that. 

2. Give yourself time. It took me 6+ months to go from concept to opening my online shop. If I had been hard on myself and decided I couldn't do it all in a month or two so why do it at all, I would not have my business. Sometimes it takes me 6+ months to release a pattern. That's ok. It's ok to take a long time. I have two very young children at home, a part time job as a special ed teacher and I am in long-term recovery from two auto accidents. Life is busy and crazy and unpredictable. Don't wait for life to be normal or easy, but rather just give yourself permission to go at your own pace. 

3. Reach out and find community to support you. Don't try to do this alone. Facebook, Instagram, Ravelry and locally there are many communities and groups aimed at supporting and collaborating with one another in both the fibre arts industry and as a work at home mom. Don't be afraid to ask questions or reach out to people for advice. This community is very helpful and supportive to each other. 
4. Don't hide who you are. Be authentic. When I first started putting myself out there as a knit designer, I constantly kept my personal life and my business separate. I hid who I was and created a rather flat online persona for fear of offending or turning anyone off. It was exhausting and my brand was boring. Eventually I got tired of hiding who I was and started sharing my authentic self with the world. Not only did I attract an audience that really loves who I am and supports me, but my creativity and enthusiasm has increased. Sure the odd person is turned off by me but they were never my audience or client base to begin with, and for every one person turned off by me, 10 more love what I do. 

Where can we find Wolf and Faun Knits?

Website: www.wolfandfaun.com 
Instagram: www.instagram.com/wolfandfaunknits 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/wolfandfaunknits 
Ravelry ID: Nattery 


Nat is generously offering a Willow stitch marker (like the one pictured above) to one lucky winner! Just leave a comment below for your chance to win!

Cathi is the Winner! Congrats! We will be contacting you for your prize



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