Etsy Love: Woolmint

Hey there! Tell us a little about yourself and your shop
My name is Anniki, but most of my friends call me Ann. I’m 25 years old and I was raised in very creative Estonian family – my father did woodwork and my mother has been knitting and crocheting as long as I remember.
Mom actually is the reason why I probably started my knitting business – she taught me the basics about this technique while I was preschooler. I didn’t knit much while I was a teenager (because then it wasn’t very popular to do something by yourself), but started again when I expected my son Oliver 7 years ago.
When I broke up with his father, I didn’t have job or a home, so I started to crochet baby hats to make some living. That’s how a hobby soon became a business and although I’m now more focused on knitting accessories and clothing for women, I occasionally still crochet baby hats.

I still have a full time marketing job in entertainment sector which I enjoy, but deep inside my heart my dream is to do knitting full time.
What is your inspiration?
I’m inspired by all my previous customers, who think that my creations are nice and they want one for themselves too. It’s fascinating to know that there are people somewhere in USA, Australia, Singapore, France, UK and many other countries, who wear my knits. There can’t be a bigger compliment for a designer.

Besides them, my biggest inspiration is my family. I can’t imagine myself doing it without a supportive partner, who truly believes that my work is important and doesn’t consider it just as a hobby.
Have you always wanted to have a creative career?
Probably, yes! When I was a child, my father’s clients often visited our home atelier to buy his work. Tourism companies took them to our place with big busses (we lived about an hour drive from the city, in a place where regular customers don’t know how come without good directions).
I and my best friend made up a business plan – I think we were round 6 or 7 years – we started to crochet blank squares with no function and sold them to my father’s visitors. Boy, making money is so easy when you’re a little cute girl with big brown eyes
Now, 20 years later, it’s not that easy at all and I finally understand how hard he really worked for supporting his family. But I appreciate every aspect I learned from him.

Describe a typical day in your life
Months before Christmas can be pretty stressful. I usually wake up 7am, make coffee and prepare orders for shipping.
An hour later I take Oliver to school and go post office before going to work.
I’m usually in the office until 4pm (luckily I can both do my full time work and manage Etsy shop at the same time) and then it’s time to pick up Oliver again.
Depending on the day, we have different duties in the evening – twice a week Oliver goes to football practice and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays I have a school until 8pm – I study mathematical economics.
When Oliver goes to bed, it’s my time to knit and create – usually I won’t go to sleep before midnight.
Weekends are more fun and we spend a lot of time with our family: cooking together, swimming, hiking, spending time with friends. But if you have your own business, there will be never a day off: even if you’re not creating something, you think about how and what to do.

What are you currently obsessed with?
At the moment I find it very challenging to write knitting patterns. About a year ago I was asked to work with Koigu Magazine and make some designs for them, but English is not my first language and writing patterns in foreign language is tough, especially because I haven’t followed many patterns myself – I usually knit what I have in mind.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I want to manage my creative business full time. Maybe we live in countryside and I even have my own sheep. I definitely dream of more children – at least one, but two would be perfect.

Woolmint are offering free shipping (includes a tracking number) until the end of November with coupon w00lm1n4

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