Tag Archives: hobbies

Shop Spotlight: Susan Knittman on Etsy

knit-8 copy

Susan and I officially met in the spring of 2012. She was hired to be the newest Assistant General Manager at my job, which meant she would be my direct supervisor. From day 1, we immediately connected and really hit it off. We both eventually said our goodbyes to the ice rink and embarked on new professional journeys. We have always kept in touch and still remain friends.

In January, Susan decided to open up an Etsy shop, Susan Knittman, and sell handmade knitted goods. While in between jobs, it was a great way for her to keep up with her long-time hobby and also make some extra money in the meantime. From scarves, to headbands, to napkin rings, her shop has it all. With business booming and her shop on the rise, I wanted to share Susan’s shop with all of you.

Susan and I talked over coffee and got to catch up last week. I purchased custom napkin rings from her and I was super excited to see the finished products. They were absolutely adorable and incredibly creative! You don’t see knitted napkin rings every day!

knit-5
I love the buttons on these! So adorable! (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)
knit-10
These remind me of Christmas time! They look like a pair of elves socks! (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)

Joanna: “When did you first learn to knit?”
Susan: “I was probably around 12 years old and my mom taught me. First it was needlepoint, then knitting.”

J: “When did you open your Etsy shop? What prompted you to do so?”
S: “January of this year. So 2015. It sounds funny, but every winter I would keep my hands busy by knitting. I would start a new scarf every year. First I started with arm knitting and then needle.”

J: “What types of products do you typically make and sell in the shop?”
S: “Scarves, baby bonnets, blankets, napkin rings, hats, headbands. A little of everything. My best selling items are scarves. I have these really cool asymmetrical scarves that have a few buttons on the side and wraps around. It’s my best seller. “

J: “Have you considered making this a full-time thing (expanding beyond Etsy), or is this just a hobby? Would you eventually like to turn this into a standalone business?”
S: “Personally, I don’t think I have the stamina to do this full time. I did it while I was in between jobs. I am looking to expand and attend craft shows in the fall. There’s some local ones I want to look into. I’ll start small at first. Knitting will stay a side business for now.”

J: “What products are you hoping to add to the store, if any, in the future? Is there something you are hoping to perfect and offer to your customers?”
S: “I want to do a lot more, but I’m not sure of the demand for certain items. I have these antique Parisian buttons that I would like to do more with. They are actually from Paris and they were purchased by a family friend in the 70s. She gave them to me. I would love to do more baby bonnets. I did a custom Batman hat for a friend. It looks like there is a lot of superhero-type items in demand. I’m going to start working on Harley Quinn and the Joker hats too. I am very open to custom orders. It’s just about finding the patterns. My brother wants to add some items to his comic book shop too. I did a Batman baby headband so far. It looks like I’ll be doing a lot of superhero items, but I will do whatever is asked of me, and with little turnaround time of course.”

knit-7
                         Custom Red & White Striped Napkin Rings (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)
knit-1
             Custom Pale Blue & Ivory Chevron Stripe Napkin Rings (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)

The possibilities are endless. Susan was kind enough to make our napkin rings as a custom order. I was able to choose the colors, styles, & buttons that I wanted. She is willing to do whatever necessary to meet your specific needs. There is a warm knitted gift for everyone! All items are proudly made by Susan in the USA and can be hand washed. I wish her all the best as her business continues to grow! Susan’s products will soon be available for purchase at her brother’s comic book store, East Side Mags, as well. Be sure to check them out if you’re in the Montclair, NJ neighborhood!

You can browse Susan’s full collection of custom handmade creations at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SusanKnittman.

Warm Regards Always,

Joanna

Fabric Textile Products, Inc.

A Special Post : Mental Health and Crafting

bad day meme

This morning while sipping on my coffee and checking my emails I came across an article on Yahoo that caught my attention. The article was titled “Ditch the Prozac, Take Up Crafting?” by Anne Miller. Before starting my work here at Fabric Textile Products, Inc. I earned my B.A. in Psychology at Montclair State University. The overall well-being of individuals is something I have always felt a deep connection to, so when I came across this article I thought it would be the perfect topic to focus on for today’s blog post.

We’ve all heard that famous line, “Quilting is cheaper than a psychiatrist.” and certainly had a good giggle. They may be some truth in it after all. Although the article focuses mostly on knitting, the information can be related to other crafting activity as well. In the article, Betsan Corkhill (a licensed physiotherapist) explains that “the more capacity you take up being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.” Knitting involves the use of both hands, two needles, and a series of continuous, repetitive movements. This keeps the brain active and focused on the task at hand, leaving more room for the positive thoughts. Corkhill also established a knitting therapy group at a local hospital. This type of group activity is becoming increasingly common and popular among care facilities. A similar group in Washington, D.C., Project Knitwell, is working to get patients, their caregivers, and their loved ones involved in the craft as well.

Many women (and men!) have decided to take up these types of hobbies because of the positive influence it has on them. Some say it helps relieve stress and anxiety, while others claim it helps them cope with their inability to focus due to ADHD. No matter what the craft or issue at hand, the overall feeling of “good” is a common thread throughout.

Get your needles, thread, and group of friends together because “socializing while crafting…boosts overall satisfaction and happiness” (OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health journal).

keep calm

Interested in reading the full Yahoo article? Check it out here.

I hope you found this information as insightful and eye-opening as I did. Quilting is a good thing! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

– Joanna, Fabric Textile Products, Inc.

All research information mentioned in this post is taken from the above stated article and its contributors.

Photograph disclaimer: Please note photos credited to Fabric Textile Products, Inc. belong to myself and our company. All others images belong to the owners/businesses that have been credited and/or directly linked. I do not own those images. They belong to their rightful owners. Thank you.

A fresh start seams like fun!

It’s hard to believe that we are already half way into the first month of the new year! As each new year begins we make promises to ourselves to make better choices, get healthy, rid ourselves of negativity, and start fresh. Why do these resolutions need to focus on the negatives? Instead, why not focus on the positives and promise to do more of something we enjoy? It’s not too late to get going on those resolutions!

If your resolution is to sew more, why not take a stab at a new quilting project? They are a great group activity and make a beautiful gift for family, friends, and loved ones. Get the girls together for a quiet night in – complete with wine, snacks, and quilting! Take all of those college t-shirts your son has stocked his closet with and turn them into a special graduation gift. Is there a new baby on the way? A personalized baby blanket is the warmest of welcomes. The options and possibilities are endless.

Not sure where to begin? We are here to help! One of our favorite fabric companies is Quilting Treasures. They have a wide range of fabrics from licensed characters, florals, basics, novelty prints, and so much more. They offer FREE project sheets on their site featuring their prints. It’s an excellent tool and we suggest checking it out. We absolutely love their Seams Like Fun collection by Denise Urban. The complete project sheet with step-by-step instructions can be downloaded at the Quilting Treasures website or by clicking on the photo below. Also featured in the project is their Lola Textures blender collection.

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.51.35 PM

blender

Download your free project sheets and gather your fabrics today! Prints from the Seams Like Fun and Lola Textures collections can be purchased from our web store at http://www.fabrictextileproducts.com. Also be sure to visit http://www.qtfabrics.com and check out all that our friends at Quilting Treasures have to offer! We offer free standard shipping on all orders over $100 and are happy to assist with all of your fabrics and textile needs!

Happy shopping and happy quilting from The Staff at Fabric Textile Products, Inc.!

Photograph disclaimer: Please note photos credited to Fabric Textile Products, Inc. belong to myself and our company. All others images belong to the owners/businesses that have been credited and/or directly linked. I do not own those images. They belong to their rightful owners. Thank you.