Tell me why you started your company.
Jordana: I'm a knitter. I'd heard many
comments and read several articles about the
increasing popularity of knitting. I've always
been one to sew and had just recently made my
mom a knitting bag. It suddenly dawned on me
that there was a need for a more stylish and
sophisticated purse. Especially one that allowed
the knitter to be very organized instead of
having just a "hole", as my mom calls
purses with no pockets.
Knitty: Your product is very professionally
produced. That means manufacturing and complicated
processes the average person has no access to.
What made you make the big leap into full production?
Jordana: I was originally going to start
small and make the purses myself. I went to
a textile tradeshow in LA, researched materials,
considered having an artist create custom fabric
and then discovered that there was no way I
could make the purses myself...at least not
with the look I was after. It took about 7 months
to realize it wouldn't work. Very frustrated,
I searched the net for a manufacturer who could
create my purse. I found two, one in NY and
one in California. I decided to contact the
one in California (they're physically closer).
Originally I was just looking into the whole
process, cost and what was required. I sent
sketches to the company and told them approximately
how much I wanted to pay for each purse. They
said they could do it for my price. I paid for
a prototype to be done (quite a process) and
went from there. I guess I chose to take the
big leap because I felt that I had a product
that could sell. I figured it was worth it.
Knitty: How did you come up with the
design for the prototype?
priority was function. I wanted a good-sized knitting
project to fit as well as a pattern book. The most
logical shape was the shape that it is. A book can
easily slide in and out. Also, it was important for
any size needles to fit and not stick out. Those two
factors are what determined the size. Next I wanted
lots of pockets. Usually my tools end up falling out
everywhere. I wanted the knitter to be able to just
pull the tools out she needed easily. Jordana:
Knitty: What kind of response have you had
from your website? And how are you getting the
word out about your product?
Jordana: Response has been very good. For the
consumer, I am spreading the word through advertisements
(the most response coming from my ad on Google). Of
course, I don't have a huge amount to spend on advertising,
but I know it is crucial to making my product sell.
I benefit a lot from articles like this one. I've
contacted several knitting magazines and hope to see
my purse in future "what's new" portions
of their magazines. I have sent numerous promotional
materials out to hundreds of stores. Then I follow
up with a phone call. If they like the purse, they
Knitty: What are purchasers saying about the product?
Jordana: I love hearing all the comments
because it allows me to make my product better.
The comments vary. They range from people absolutely
loving it -- they really understand what I am
trying to do. They like that the purse has a
sophisticated look and can hold so much. I received
several comments saying, "I've been looking
for a great knitting bag. This is great!"
Others don't grasp the concept as well.
I stress that the purse will coordinate with
whatever you're wearing so you can always carry
it with you. Some feel that the price is too
much for their customers to afford. But others
like the price and think it is very reasonable.
I do have plans for more styles of purses and
hope to be able to offer a range of prices.
Knitty: You're still in college, correct?
Knitty: I'm wondering
how you were able to secure funding for the
business at your age.
Jordana: I worked through high school and
my first two years of college. Rather than spending
this money, I saved it. I had enough saved to
put toward my venture. I asked my parents to
help me pay for my new idea. This they did.
In fact, my family has been a tremendous support.
I could never have gotten this going without
them. They encourage me and keep me going when
I get down. They're always there for me.
Knitty: What's your major and are you planning
to make this a full-time business when you graduate?
Jordana: Marketing. My hope is that by the
time I graduate, I will have a growing business
that I can focus on full time
Knitty: Now some quickies. How long have
you been knitting and who taught you
Jordana: My grandmother taught me when
I was in elementary school. I got halfway through
a dish cloth and gave it up. When I was a sophomore
in high school, I got interested again. My mom
reminded me how.
Knitty: What are your favorite types of
projects to knit?
Jordana: I enjoy children's clothing, although
I don't know very many kids to knit for. I mostly
stick to sweaters/tops.
Knitty: You designed a cap for the last
issue of Knitty. Was that your first original
design or have you created others
Jordana: I've done others. Very simple
ones. I am working on creating more complicated
patterns, but it does take time to get the hang
Knitty: Why do you knit?
Jordana: I think it is very relaxing. It's
also a great way to feel that you're accomplishing
something, such as when traveling or watching
TV. You're not just wasting time.
Knitty: What's on your needles right now?
Jordana: An alpaca boat neck top I designed.
Knitty: And what's up next?
a tank I designed and submitted to Vogue Knitting/Family
Circle Easy Knitting.