Recently, I have had the pleasure of getting to know an amazing knit designer, Jackie of ” Lively Loops”. She is a spirited, intelligent, and vibrant designer. She designs and knits scarves, cowls, finger less hand-warmers and more.
Handmade is a booming trend that seems to be taking over the commercial, manufactured overseas items that were once so popular. The love, care, and ultimately the detail that goes into constructing a handmade item is astounding. As a designer myself, I know that I am a big supporter of hand constructed items.
The quality of Jackie’s knit line is truly a force to be reckoned with. She uses only the best materials , and takes time to construct items that she is passionate about sharing with the world. So without further adieu I would like to welcome to the handmade stage, Jackie of “Lively Loops
1.) How did the concept of ” Lively Loops” come to fruition?
I was knitting as a hobby for a few years and decided that I would learn so much more by making it a business. I just decided to jump in.
2.)What/who inspires your knit products?
I try to find a new inspiration for each collection. Obviously for my last collection, Winter Has Come, I was inspired by Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. Typically my inspiration isn’t that specific though. I normally am inspired by color, emotions, textures, and things like that.
3.) What are several marketing strategies you feel that every business should have to be successful?
I really think every business should have a social media presence of some kind. Utilized correctly, social media holds a lot of free marketing potential, and the best part is that you can customize your profiles to completely represent your brand. There’s no losing with it!
4.) share a small story behind any of the products you’ve worked on that readers may find interesting:
First, I want to say that my philosophy with making mistakes is that they’re only a bad thing if you want them to be.
When I first opened my shop, my goal was to make a rainbow of headbands, gloves and bracelets. Those were my collection concepts. I wanted every item to be different in its own way, but it needed to fit in that color spectrum and be a headband, a pair of gloves or a bracelet.
You might be able to tell from looking at my shop that I did finish the rainbow of headbands and gloves, but I got so bored with the idea that I never got to bracelets. Anyway, I made a pair of gloves that fastened with a button at the top of the hand and at the bottom.
Despite them looking great in my head, I hated the final result.
It sat in my shop for nearly a year when I decided that I need to stay true to my goal of only selling products I would wear myself. So, I ripped apart the gloves (keeping the yarn in a few small little balls) and turned it into new orange gloves for my fall collection, Falling Hard.
5.) What do you feel appeals to the masses in the sense of fashion, and how do you intend to bring them to you?
I think everyone fundamentally wants to fit in, yet be truly unique. That’s why I try to make products that are fitting with the current fashion accessory trends, but have their own, often colorful,unique touch.
6.)What materials do you use to create your pieces? Describe your art style and/or philosophy:
I use acrylic wool, and occasionally buttons or lace. My aim or my artistic style for Lively Loops aligns with my comedy troupe’s aim: brighten your mood.
This is my overall philosophy, which is also a Conan O’Brien quote, “if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” It’s just true. It’s something I apply to everything I do, and in turn, has brought me many amazing things. It’s a quote I like printing off and putting my my work space for positive vibes.
7.) What is your favorite piece you’ve designed, and why?
My current favorite is my cat ear hat. I actually made one for myself before making it for my line and I love that I can pull up or down the cuff to better suit my ears. I’m also a proud cat owner, so needless to say, I’m a little mad about any sort of cat related thing.
8.) What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists or designers?
Just start. It’s what I tell myself all the time. Don’t know if you should start an Etsy shop? Just start. Should you create profiles on social media? Just start. Do you have enough experience? Just start, and you’ll get that experience. It’s as simple as that. If you start something you find you dislike, great! You’ve learned something about yourself, and know you should be proud for jumping outside of your comfort zone.
9.) What does the future hold for you and what business aspirations do you have?
My goal for 2014 is to make more of an effort collaborating and less of an effort on the collections. I have a lot of product in my store and this is going to be the year to hold contests, create discounted packages, and start getting more creative with other people in the community. I will also continue to add to my store, but just in a different way.
Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LivelyLoops
Find Lively loops on facebook: www.facebook.com/LivelyLoops?ref=hl
And remember to support handmade this holiday season, it is the best way to go!