Monday, 4 January 2016

Day One of Knit It - Hook It - Craft It

Normally my alarm would go off at 6.10am and I would grudgingly get out of bed to start the day. This morning I woke at about 4am and grudgingly had to count sheep to try to get back to sleep.  I had all sorts of ideas pinging through my head, ready for my first day of being the owner of Knit It - Hook It - Craft It.

I managed to get a wee bit more sleep, and got up at 6.30am. Our household has to get up early because our daughter has to be at work for 7am on a Monday and Tuesday and my husband drops her off and that kind of sets the pattern for the rest of the week.

Over the years through being predominantly office based my weight has creeped up and I am currently a curvy size 16.  I have no issues with being a curvy 16 but I am knocking on 40 (I will be 39 in July) and want to be fit and healthy as part of my new way of living and working.  So, on my first morning I hit the treadmill and did a good 45 minutes whilst listening to a KnitBritish podcast (

This also gave me the time to set out how I wanted my day to unfold and what I wanted to achieve by the end of it.  I will be trying to keep this routine up.  ***UPDATE***  I managed it this morning also!

By the end of February I am hoping to have a new office space.  Two tradesmen were working on splitting down our garage today.

The soon to be KIHICI HQ

It will take them a month or so as they have to work on other jobs simultaneously and then I will have a fully functioning 'garoffice' that will be fully insulated and kitted out as my office/manufacturing/distribution space.  This set up is key to the what I am trying to achieve because:

1 - Running a business from our home property massively reduces my operating costs and will allow me to keep the cost of my goods down.
2 - I have spent many a day commuting to work.  At its worst it would take me an hour to get to work and and an hour and a half to get back.  The commute time has fluctuated depending job, location and mode of transport.  The job that I have done for the last 8.5 years has also involved a lot of UK travel and occasional European trips.  Whilst I fully expect to still have to travel to shows and to check on suppliers it will not be at the same level, thankfully.
3 - I look forward to commuting through my garden every morning.  It would have made far more sense for me to use the right side of the garage but I have taken the left because that means that I can walk through the garden to get to the garoffice and in the summer I can open the window and door and look out to the plants and wildlife.  This stuff is really important to me.

Our lovely but quite chilly dining room

So, until the garoffice is ready (in my head it is going to be functional and beautiful) I am going to work from the dining table or my Stash Palace.

My even colder Stash Palace

Both require a gilet and fingerless gloves to work in because I refuse to put the heating on during the day.  Many cups of tea are required instead.

Today I am working from the dining room table.  I started at 8.15am, took a short break to go to the Post Office and now continue to work.  My new boss is a bit of a task master!

***UPDATE*** I was enthusiastic from the first minute to the last (10.15pm) and what really helped was having done the strategy session with my husband Matthew, I had firmed up in my mind exactly what I wanted to do and how I was going to achieve it.  The path has been defined, there may be some potholes along the way, but I have long legs and attitude.  I am sure I can jump over them.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

If you have to have a strategy session...

 If you have to have a strategy session then I find it best to do this with someone that you respect (in my case this was Matthew my husband), in a place that inspires you (the Yorkshire Sculpture Park) and with the right attitude.

Having looked at the weather forecast on the 31st December we were sizing up which would be the best of the bad weather days to head over to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (  As it turns out we could choose from either one drop of rain moving up to two drops of rain on the 1st January or two drops of raining moving on to one drop of rain on the 2nd.  We decided to have a lazy day on the 1st and head over to the YSP on the second.

We got a wee bit wet.

Since about May/June 2015 I started to mull over what my company could look like and what the ethics should be behind it.   I had handwritten notes and ideas in my trusty turquoise folder A4 notebook.  It was time to pull it all into something cohesive and deliverable.

The weather was definitely more two drops than one drop in the morning and so there would be no chance of an open air strategy writing session.  Instead we spoke about the vision, mission, aims and objectives for the company during the journey there, over lunch and on the way back.  All logged carefully in my notebook.  

Here is the vision for Knit It - Hook It - Craft It:

"To sell carefully sourced, practical, beautiful, quality products for the knitting, crocheting and crafting community."

If I had to pull everything into one word, that word would be 'provenance'.  I don't know the provenance of an item, I won't use it/sell it.   

I now need to pull all of the work from the strategy session into a set of PowerPoint slides so that I can always refer back to them and remember what I wanted the company to look like and adhere to from the outset.