Homework Therapy

This month I am taking a course from a fellow MilSpouse (Military Spouse) called, “Kitchen Table Marketing – 4 weeks to a stronger small business.” Would you believe that this marketing consultant had the nerve to give us homework on the first week? What kind of a course have I signed up for??

I did my homework and I actually found it therapeutic. I was asked to brainstorm every last thing I can think of that is true about my brand. Since I kind of am my brand – it became a brainstorm about who I am as a knitter/designer. After I was done I thought it was so interesting that I decided it would make a good blog. So here it is. Bad punctuation and all. And like my favorite Stephen King novel – it is just one big long rambling chapter from a singular viewpoint. Enjoy!

Brand Basics: Facts of the Matter. What is TRUE about Yellow Ribbon Knits? 
I knit, I crochet, I like to teach others to knit/crochet, I made lots of mistakes when I started, I like things to be right, I work from my home, I started knitting when I was a kid but never liked it. I tried again in college but tried to make a sweater and stopped half way. Both my grandmothers knit, my mom knows how to knit but doesn’t, my Aunt used to knit during my cousin’s skating practices and everyone got a sweater from 1993-1996, my cousins knit, I love the blankets my grandmothers made for me and my son. I like to make patterns out of pixelated photos using Excel, I am a military spouse, I have taught people to knit at almost every location I’ve been at, I am a patient knitting instructor, I have a yellow ribbon logo, I made some patterns when I first started that are kind of embarrassing now. I love Stephen King books and named my most recent patterns after his characters, I am from Canada and have lived in: Montana, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, South Korea and Germany. My husband is in the Army. My boy swims and loves Lego, I have a BA in Broadcast Production/Public Relations and Advertising and a BS in Geosciences – Broadcast Meteorology. I am working on a certification in Financial Counseling. I cannot spin yarn but I’d love to learn. I used to be a Realtor, I used to be a weather anchor/feature reporter and won awards, I used to be the Assistant Manager of a NFCU branch. I have one child and he keeps me BUSY. I have a Facebook page. I have a Pinterest account but don’t understand how Pinterest works. I have Twitter but I never tweet. I have a blog. I own a website name but don’t use it. I own real estate website names too (but don’t use them either) I have an Etsy store but need help marketing on this site. I have a Ravelry account but don’t like to post my experiments there. I want to make videos to explain some of the techniques in my patterns but don’t know how to videotape myself. I don’t like needing help from anybody else. I am independent, I think best in the shower, I don’t have very good punctuation. I took photography classes in college and loved black room work but barely know what a pixel is. I am 36 years old. I love Entrelac because I can knit forwards and backwards. I use the continental method because it is so much faster but most use the English method. My purl stitches are always seated backwards. I just adjust as I knit. Continental Method makes me knit very loosely. I have trouble knitting very small items as my hands give me trouble. I love ribbon yarns. I love yarns that change color very slowly over time. I made a sweater once but I can’t fit into it so It sits on a dress form and I can’t enjoy it. I like to make things I (and others) can wear no matter what size they are (or will be). I have a problem with sizes and I think it is psychological because I don’t feel comfortable with my own size. I collect yarn like some ladies collect purses. II keep buying more yarn and I can’t knit fast enough to keep up. At Christmas – I use my money to buy display pieces for my someday store. Yellow Ribbon Knits has this name because I started knitting when my husband was deployed and when he got back I had a new obsession. My son is sick of hearing, “one more row” but when he started knitting he said the same thing and I laughed. I cannot sell my pieces on Etsy because of SOFA regulations. I can only sell items 2x/year at HCSC craft fairs. I do not like taking orders. I want to WANT to knit. I don’t want to dread knitting something that has been ordered. When someone asks me to make something for them – I offer to teach them how instead. I have so many techniques I want to try and projects I want to tackle – I don’t have time in my knitting-time-budget for mermaid blankets (sorry friends) but I’ll teach you how to make it! I am a very fast learner. I can become frustrated with others who don’t learn as fast but I’m surprisingly patient with knitters. I have problems with my neck and can’t lean over someone to teach them. They have to sit beside me so I can only really teach 2 at a time unless I have a way to rotate around. Sometimes kids learn faster than adults and I think it is because they are not afraid to fail. I love batik and I think it would be fun to apply that to yarn some day. Some days I think I want to have a sheep farm and then I remind myself how much work it would be. Unwashed sheep’s wool is disgusting. I have some. I love Martina Behm’s designs because they are COOL, EASY and DIFFERENT. I want mine to be the same but mine aren’t so easy. I love knitting patterns that explore a DIFFERENT way to make something like knitty.com’s Helix Heel socks. I have a Pinterest board called: Wow Who Thinks of These Things and it is full of innovative ideas. I would hope that someday someone would pin one of my designs on a page like that. I am an only child. I am ego driven. On personality tests I come out equal between data/organizationally oriented and creativity/ingenuity. I think that bodes well to knitting and knit design. I can follow a pattern but I can also create my own and I’m organized enough to make directions for others to follow. I an nervous to spend money on my business because I don’t want to be wasteful and I’ve wasted money on 2 degrees I’m not using right now. As a military spouse, sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up because the military is so limiting on a spouse’s career aspirations. I want my family to be proud of my knitting. I want to make a business of knitting so I can do what I love and feel economically productive when I do it. People that have an employer and a W-2 think that I don’t have a “job”. Ha Ha – I don’t. I have a passion and I’m figuring out a way to do what I love and report only to myself.
Sounds like a great exercise right? Melissa Shaw will soon offer the same course online so visit her at http://www.MelissaGilliamShaw.com to see how you can sign up. 

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