Did you know that LN Knits exists for almost ten years? How time flies. When I was 15 years old, I was a snowboard chick. And in the snowboard culture, there was nothing cooler than making your own headwear and to race down the slopes wearing it.
Crocheting was my very first love, my way of relaxing, my meditation. I even used it to get over a bad break up. Losing myself completely into creating beautiful things is how I kept my mind and myself happy. And even though today I don’t really have the time to crochet myself (because I’m a professional toddler wrestler now, hehe!), I put all of my focus and love into creating beautiful designs for our wonderful ladies in Peru to knit for you.
I couldn’t have done it without the people I have met along the way, the team that surrounds me now and the support of all of you early (and not so early) adopters. Thanks to you I can keep on doing what I love every day. So, thank you! I invite you to join me on a little trip down memory lane…
Crocheting beanies, a little addiction
There was this time where I would crochet about six beanies a day. That’s six hours every day of working that needle, in between classes, dinner and other events. In one hour, I could finish a complete beanie: from crocheting to sowing in the fleece lining and adding a little LN label.
Almost every evening you could find me at my work bench, finalizing the beanies and headbands I had made that day. At a certain moment, there was so much interest in my handiwork, that I had to find some extra help. Meet the knitting grannies, a team of women that helped me create my stock.
The next step: local and creative markets
During the summer, me and my team of knitting grannies worked very hard to create a stock that could be sold at creative fairs. Me and my little sister Charlotte would pack up all of the baby alpaca goodies and head out for a whole day of getting to know customers, selling knitwear and laying down the fundaments for LN Knits.
Oh, how I loved the atmosphere at these little markets! It’s here that I met some people who are still the biggest fans of the brand, even after all these years.
Peru, a dream come true
Very soon the complete stock was sold out and I realized that with the money we had made, I could make one of my biggest dreams come true. I could go to Peru, homeland of the alpacas! I met Lyn from Solid International, who had a fair-trade knitting atelier in Ayacucho. She was looking for clients, and there I was! A 23-year old rookie that just gave up her promising job in advertising to found her own business. Even though I didn’t have a lot of experience, I was ambitious and passionate. I was in love with Peru, baby alpaca knitwear and sustainable fashion and couldn’t wait to share this love with the rest of the world.
Slow but steady
Back in Antwerp one of my other dreams came true as well: we started growing! People had learned about my story and wanted to get to know the products. Beanies and headbands were flying out the door. At the time, I was still bringing all orders to the post office myself in big and heavy garbage bags. It must have been quite a sight!
Even today, all knitwear is made by hand or on the hand knitting machine by the lovely ladies in Peru. Thanks to your support we are able to give them a steady and honest income, as well as health care and daycare for their children.
First delivery from Peru
Finally the big moment was there! Solid’s knitting ladies had been working steadily on my very first Peruvian originated knitwear stock. It was so exciting when those boxes finally arrived! Thirteen of them. It’s a bit funny, because by now a delivery from Peru consists of almost a hundred boxes per collection, but you can’t imagine how happy I was with those very first ones. Even though I also remember being bankrupt and only eating crackers for a while, because I was too proud to ask my parents for extra money. This was something I needed to do on my own.
A little flash forward
The next few years were a whirlwind: the team grew, we opened pop-up store after pop-up store, had open showroom days, grew even bigger and finally we were able to open our very own LN Knits Flagshipstore located in the Leopoldstraat in Antwerp! It’s been a wonderful journey and hopefully one that I can carry on for lots of years to come. Stay tuned, because this year we have some very cool things coming up, such as a new knitting book! I can’t wait!
Pssst! Did you know that with every yarn order over €50, we give you a free copy of our DIY book Goed Gemutst?! Use the code STARTKNITTING during check out!* Free shipping on all orders!