Erin Doherty | DET Member Spotlight
1. What is the name of your business and can you tell us a little bit more about it?
TheKnittervention started 6 years ago as a side business for me, about a year after I learned how to knit. The name, TheKnittervention, originated because knitting was the intervention that helped me quit smoking, a habit I had picked up while serving in the Navy. My business started with selling crocheted beards and comic book character dolls at comic-cons, craft shows, and through ETSY https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheKnittervention. It expanded to other knit and crocheted items such as scarves, mittens, sweaters, bags, etc., as well as hand-spun yarn. I did take a 3 year hiatus to step back and reassess my business as I found I was suffering from burn-out between my job with the government and knitting to keep up with orders and found the I was not enjoying what I was doing, and that scared me. I've recently shifted to knit and crochet pattern design over selling hand knit products, though I still work on commissioned hand knit items as well as hand spun yarn. I’ve also created http://TheKnittervention.com to post about the design process, new and upcoming patterns, and to work towards educating visitors on knitting, crocheting, and spinning.
2. What has been your biggest win as an entrepreneur thus far?
My biggest win is finally knowing the direction I want to take my business, and being very excited by it! It’s thrilling to think of all the beautiful knit projects that can be created, and watching those patterns be used by my customers and having them be as happy as I am with the finished pieces.
3. Where do you find daily motivation and inspiration?
As cliché as it sounds, I get inspiration, or knitspiration, everywhere. I love the idea of finding a texture or pattern out in the world and challenging myself to recreate it in a knit piece, or picking up a beautiful skein of yarn and figuring out what it wants to be when it grows up.
The motivation is easy as these inspired ideas are begging to be made. The difficulty comes with prioritizing what patterns and objects to create first and scheduling the time to get those done.
4. What is the best piece of advice you have received and who was it from?
DPTL – Discipline, Patience, Tradition, and Love. -Dr. Timothy Lentz, Detroit Opera House Historian and formerly the Choir and Theater Director at Rochester Adams High School.
I learned that mantra back in 1994 when I started High School, and I’ve applied it while serving in the Navy, and every job and project I’ve worked since.
5. What is your morning routine?
Week day – Alarm goes off at 5:30am. Feed our dog, Rosie, and let her out. Make sure my husband is getting up and turn on the Keurig. Shower. Make sure my daughter is up. Get the first cup of coffee and work on that while doing hair, fixing makeup, and getting dressed. Spend 20 minutes either knitting or scheduling my day in my planner while waiting for my daughter to finish getting ready, and I drop her off at 7am on my way to my “day job”. (I work as a government employee for the Army in CyberSecurity)
Weekend – Alarm goes off at 6:30am. Start coffee, feed and let Rosie out, take a shower. Spend 20 minutes with my planner scheduling out my day. Then I spend an hour on my current knitting WIP (Work In Progress), the next hour with one of the patterns that is being worked on, and no later than 10am I’ll work on house chores that need to get done (Saturday) or make sure everyone gets ready for church (Sunday).
Knitting and pattern making are my equivalent to yoga or meditation, and I use that time to mentally go over what I have in my planner and what big things are happening the upcoming week.
6. Favorite podcast?
Shinybees, a podcast for those who like their knitting, yarn, and comedy in equally large measures.
7. Something that most people wouldn’t know about you:
I am a sucker for anything Shakespeare related.
8. If you could go back to when you started your company what would you say to yourself?
It seems daunting and exciting, but take your time and don’t rush.