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Meet Amy Small of Knit Collage in South End

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Small.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Amy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Before I started my company, I worked as a sweater and accessory designer at Free People. I traveled a lot and that experience had a huge impact on my aesthetic and the way that I work today. While working there, I learned how to spin yarn and there was no turning back. I fell in love instantly. The amazing thing about designing yarn is that you get to actually choose what you want in each section. You have the ability to make it completely unique.

After I discovered spinning, creating a business around it became an obsession. The company began when on the advice of a yarn store owner, I decided to take my first yarn collection to an industry tradeshow. I got a few orders, and had a biz!

Today I work with 11 women in Punjab, India who spin my yarn designs. I have trained them and provided all of the wheels and tools they need. It’s an amazing thing to see in action!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh man, there have been many struggles. One of the worst things that happened was a few years ago. I decided I was going to try selling accessories on top of the yarn. We had a huge order for hats to go into every single Anthropologie store and they were for the most part, all too small. The yarn was handspun and they were handknit. Of course, they did not sell. That was a huge lesson for me to focus. The yarn was doing well at the time and it was too much to add in the accessories. I’ve learned to do less and really do what I know well now.

Aside from accessories, I’ve had crazy horrible customers, money troubles, lost freight shipments. I’ve seen so many things. I feel like nothing can ruffle my feathers at this point!

Knit Collage – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I specialize in handspun yarns that I sell to knitting stores and on my own site. It’s completely unique from other yarns you’ll see out in the world. There are trims spun into it, like ribbons and tiny flowers. The colors and textures are carefully thought out. It’s impossible to make yarns just like ours on machines. In addition to yarn, I sell knitting and crochet patterns as downloadable digital PDFs. If you want to knit something with our yarns, we got you covered!

Lastly, I have a podcast, called the Collage Creative podcast where I talk a lot about small business and creative living. A huge part of why I have my business is to inspire others to lean on their unique traits and to inspire creativity through making. But not just any creativity, the creativity that comes from within, where you can express your weird, beautiful self and let it blossom in any way. I love that there is a place in the world for this crazy business I have that lets me do just this.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Having close to 200 people sign up for my latest knitalong! A knitalong is where a community or group of people, all knit the same style together. We learn new skills along the way and cheer each other on. It’s the best!

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