One of the highlights at KAN was getting to meet some of the amazing indie dyers. It was really great to meet Hannah Gordon of Red Riding Hood Yarns - I ended up buying a few skeins of scrummy DK and 10ply yarn.
Hannah was kind enough to tell me a bit about her extremely popular yarn (her last Facebook sale sold out in a matter of minutes) and current Pledge Me campaign to increase her production.
How did Red Riding Hood Yarns begin and how can people buy your yarn?
It all started after I learnt to knit four years ago. Knitting lead to playing around the dyes with a few friends, which lead to other friends asking me to dye for them. One day I decided why not try and see if I could sell my yarn to others? I took a few weeks of trial and error with websites ( I started out on a blog) and bases but after a couple of months I settled into the facebook scene and found a local base yarn to work exclusively with. I now sell exclusively through my Facebook page with co-ops in my Ravelry group.
Do you have a particular love of fairytales?
Not really with fairytales in general but definitely with Little Red Riding Hood! Being a redhead is a big part of my self identity and my business name is an extension of that - although I nearly went with Little Bo Peep due to the sheep/yarn reference!
Your colourways have really cool names - where do you draw your inspiration from and which is your favourite?
I love naming yarn colourways! It's one of the perks of the job. My stockings are always themed and a lot of my inspiration comes from Pop Culture. I have many books, TV series and movies in my yarn repertoire. I also like to think outside the square and chose names that people will remember and associate with RRHY.
What kind of projects do you think your yarns are most suited for?
Although I work with multiple yarn weights, the majority of yarn I sell is DK weight and being superwash and hard wearing is ideal for children's wear. Many Kiwi indie dyers work solely with sock yarn and lace weight so I think I help fill that gap. My dyeing style means there is no pooling risk too!
You're running a Pledge Me campaign at the moment - tell us a bit about this.
I have been wanting to ramp of production for a long time now but lacked the funds to make that jump. I heard about crown funding through social media and thought I would give it a go! I have had an overwhelming response and its wonderful to be able to join forces with all my supporters and be able to offer rewards and expand at the same time. Win win!
|Hannah from Red Riding Hood Yarns|
Your fanbase on Facebook is growing so quickly - do you think the campaign will help you keep up with the huge demand for your hand dyes?
That's the plan! The manual labour or reskeining everything by hand takes up about 50% of my time, time that could be better spent dyeing yarn. I am so excited about all the extra time I am going to have up my sleeve for new ideas and increased output. There is so much demand at the moment that my stockings are selling out within minutes so I would love to be able to satisfy that demand a bit better.
If people miss out on your Facebook sales, is there a way they can still buy yarn?
Due to the speed of my Facebook stocking sales I don't actually ever have "in stock" yarn. I do however run co-ops and pre-orders for certain colourways in my Ravelry group. Colourways are voted in by you and I dye bulk lots at once. I also run yarn clubs throughout the year where you receive themed monthly instalments including exclusive yarn and other goodies from yarn related businesses, exclusive patterns by some of Australasia's top designers and of course yummy treats!
This year was my first year at KAN and it was an experience I will never forget! Getting to meet face to face with long time customers, showcasing my yarn to a whole new audience, and being amongst other yarnistas was priceless. I learnt a lot and will definitely be back next year!
Where do you see you and your yarn biz going in the next year?
With help from my Pledge Me campaign I am going to be improving my systems to become a lot more efficient so I will be producing a lot more yarn :) I am also going to be dabbling in some design work of my own to go with my yarn which is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I also hope to do more travelling around the country and participating in yarn related events now my children are getting bigger and I have that extra freedom. There is also always room for learning new techniques!
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