New Year New Focus: 2019 Edition
The Queen Stitch starts another year!
I love the period between Christmas and New Year because no one knows what time it is, and therefore it’s a great time for reflection. Sitting here in the ether between too much chocolate and the dawning of salad season, I am ruminating on The Queen Stitch.
I wrote a blog post this time last year about everything I had accomplished, and everything I hoped to accomplish in 2018. I thought it would be fun to show the two years side by side. So below is the year on year comparison, a review of my goals - what I managed and what I didn’t, and finishing off with the 2019 goals for The Queen Stitch!
2017 vs 2018
In 2017 I broke even on my investment with the Queen Stitch, meaning I hadn’t made any money, but I gained back everything I had lost in start up costs. In 2018 I started making a profit!
In 2017 I partnered for the first time with a major yarn company, Paintbox Yarns, to release the Bralette Bonanza. In 2018 I partnered again with Paintbox Yarns, but this year we released two entire collections - both a Summer and Fall collection! Including my first ever men's collection. This men's collection is special to me, because my sweater design, the Pine Crew, has outsold every other pattern I've ever released!
In 2017 I learned to knit and released my first knit pattern! This year I released an entire knit collection with the Holiday Hats, 8 new designs - I can't believe it's only been a year since I learned to knit! Also worth mentioning, I learned to knit socks. There’s a lot of shaping in socks, my first pair took me two months! Ahhh time well spent though. Peter wears them all the time!
In 2017 I launched my website. Wheeeew I am glad I didn’t have to do that again. However, I am planning a major overhaul to the site in 2019 so stay tuned for more fun and new content!
In 2017 I collaborated on a NYFW fashion line - with AnneJamesNewYork! Ugh that whole experience was unreal! Though I didn't put anything down the runway this year, I did get some designs into magazines! Like below in Happily Hooked! It was so fun and exciting to see my designs pop up in a real publication, and I have a few more designs on the way to you in 2019. If you've ever thought about taking the plunge I recommend my 3-post Magazine Module. Several big knit+crochet names have found it helpful for crossing the gap - including my crochet bae @nomadstitches!
In 2017 I started teaching crochet courses at CraftJam in NYC. Since I moved to Ireland this year, I'm still getting a handle on things, so I haven't started teaching again yet, but who knows what we'll have in store for 2019!
Now for the numbers: In 2017 I released 16 patterns, in 2018 I released a whopping 32 patterns! 32! This has been a hugely productive year for The Queen Stitch in part because I’ve been working at it full time for the last 6 months, and I’m so proud of everything that’s been released this year <3.
In the social media realm, in 2017 I broke 4,000 instagram fans. As of this post we've just cleared 7,500 instagram fans and I adore each and every one of you (except for you three trolls who keep trying to get me down, ha!)
2018 Goals - What I managed… and what I didn’t
I set these goals for myself in the beginning of 2018, throughout the year my focus shifted a bit, but I did manage to complete some of the things I set out to.
Get more organized - this is more in terms of planning my months ahead of time, sending out newsletters on time, and making sure to post to my blog once a month. Overall, I posted to my blog much more this year, and managed to send out 11 out of 12 monthly newsletters. In 2017 I didn’t even have a newsletter, so we’re doing pretty good!
Release the Bralette Bonzanza 2 - I didn’t do this, and I didn’t do it on purpose. This year I wanted my summer collection to include more than just bralettes. The summer Seaside Collection with Paintbox yarns featured 2 dresses, 2 tank tops, a cover up, and an off-the-shoulder tee. I love them all and have #noregrets.
Meet some new makers. Hell yeah I did! Some of the highlights of the year were meeting Toni from TLYarnCrafts, Stephanie from AllAboutAmi, and Vanessa from VanessaKnits just to name a few! And of course I still have my OG fiber friends to be thankful for Alexi from Two of Wands and Niree from Niree_knits! I can’t wait to meet even more in the new year.
Learn to knit a top down sweater, learn to knit cables. I did neither of these things… but I did a lot of other things, so you know what? I’ll just move this to next year, how about that?
Okay, here we are, the next steps, what do I want the Queen Stitch to do this year? This may surprise some of you, but I’m actually interested in doing a bit less this year.
Spending more time on each pattern, making it in a couple colors, bringing more people in, maybe a CAL? Would you guys be interested in a Queen Stitch CAL?
Get into video. I’ve had a lot of requests for tutorials and pattern aids, and so it’s one of my main goals for the new year. I’ve already got some equipment so now it’s really a matter of me sitting down and just DOING IT.
Making more sweaters and accessories for myself. I know, selfish! But there are so many beautiful patterns out there and I really want to spend the time learning for myself how others construct garments and make a few things to my selfish tastes!
Learn more about knitting. I’ve started my shapework journey, but still can’t read a knitting sweater pattern from a lot of makers, I want to learn what all these insane abbreviations mean!
Meet makers in Europe. I have yet to meet and make some fiber friends on this side of the pond so I would like to do so in the new year!
You’ll notice I don’t have anything about sales. Really, for me, the whole point of small business is the creativity, the community, and the development you get from it. Obviously I’d like to make more money next year than I did this year, but I find that when I’m focusing on things like the community, or developing new fiber skills, the money follows, because people are more interested, and care about, what you’re doing.
So to end, I just want to say thank you again, to everyone who has followed along this hugely transitional year for The Queen Stitch, and as always, if you want to see something new, or need some help, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org <3
Happy new year!