Hi Everyone! It’s Nikolina here from Pacific Knot, and I’m excited to be an OML guest blogger! Let’s talk summer, the hot and sweaty season that makes it impossible to wear your favorite knits. That season that makes a knitter scratch their head, wondering, “What the heck am I going to make now?”
I’ll be honest, I struggle in the summer. I struggle to find my niche and to find my motivation and drive. I feel like I’m scattered and all over the place finding it really hard to focus because I don’t have a set plan or goal. Are you ready to talk about staying motivated in the warmer months? Let's go!
Last summer, I felt so much pressure to “keep up” with the summer trend in the knit community. I saw all these amazing designs for amazing knitted and crocheted items on other feeds and I figured, that is what I should be doing too. So I started to create these summer knits and I even did a summer market but it just didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel as organic to me and it didn’t make happy like fall and winter knits did.
Fast forward to now, I used last year as my learning curve. I love seeing all the spring and summer knits that other makers are creating and I’m so happy that they have found their year round niches, but I’ve realized that I’m a full fledge fall/winter knitter. Chunky knits make me happy. Merino wool gives me joy. I have found what I can focus on! Now how do you stay motivated on winter knitting when it’s sweltering hot out? I take these days and use them as my planning days. I look at what my goals are for the year and map out my yearly plan and I have made note of all the markets I hope to do in the fall and winter. After applying for those markets I figure out what I plan on selling at them and start to map out my inventory lists. From there I create my materials list so that I know what needs to be purchased as well as creating inventory lists for shops I have done previous wholesale orders with. I also contact new shops to see if there is interest in carrying my products for the upcoming seasons. In other words, I PLAN PLAN PLAN!
Once all that is done and decided on, I work on getting new ideas and designs onto paper. I like to sketch my designs out before I start to work on them. My sketch book is full of drawings of garments and pin designs that I plan on working on eventually, whether it is for future pattern releases pin production or for some selfish knitting! I also take the summer months to do collaborations if the opportunity presents itself. Because I have more time to focus on other projects, I can gladly accept and work on collaborations without feeling the time crunch that I would in the fall/winter months.
I use the cooler summer days to build that inventory, not just for wholesale and markets but also for future sales. I struggled to keep up last year so I want to make sure that I’m not drowning in orders this year and this is the best way that I can prevent that from happening.
I’ve accepted the fact that I cannot do everything and by trying to do everything I was stretching myself out thin. The best advice I can give is to find your niche! It’s ok not to follow a certain trend or to make sure you have product for every month of the year. Find your go-to projects that make you happy and that give you the drive to stay motivated whether the weather is scorching hot or freezing cold. For me, it’s mapping and planning out the rest of my year, for seasons I’m passionate about.
Happy making, happy planning!
Nikolina is the maker behind Pacific Knot Co. She has always been a knitter and finally decided to open up her shop in February 2017 after realizing she didn't only love to knit - it was truly a passion of hers. Since then she has entered a wonderful community that genuinely supports one another, and has been on an amazing journey ever since.