Saturday, January 9, 2010

Defining My Mission

I joined the 52 Weeks of Blogging Your Passion program headed by ScoutieGirl last week, and figured it's about time to finally hit the nail on the head for week one--defining my mission for my blog and Etsy Shop.  Can't really think of a creative way to do this, so I'll just pretend I'm doing this interview-style...

aquamarine adventures handknit scarf by susanneedlehands

Susan, what fuels your passion for creating handknit and crocheted items?

Originally taught to knit and crochet by my mom, aunt, and grandmother, I came to appreciate the idea that making things by hand is an act of love. This skill has been passed down from generation to generation through the ages, engaging my love of history and "the way things used to be." (Which is why I teach knitting and crocheting as part of my afterschool Arts & Crafts Club at work, but THAT's another story altogether...). I am also a very tactile/kinesthetic person (can you say "used to be a dance major"?) and love the different textures and feeling of soft, luscious yarn sliding over my fingers. Add to that the visual factor of being able to mix and match various vivid, dazzling, brilliant colors, and logical activity of pattern, repetition, and numbers and you get my total and utter addiction to creating things with yarn.

enhanced colors candyland shoulderette by susanneedlehands


My inspiration usually comes from handling the yarn itself. Each yarn has a different personality, feel, texture, look and is good for a different purpose. I try to figure out what that is--the possibilities are endless!!!

What do you create?

My passion for making scarves in particular evolved from the following: the desire to start and finish a project quickly leaving more time to experiment with other new yarns, the fact that if a project takes too long to complete or involves sewing parts together, I will mostly likely not finish it (unless it’s a special request or gift for a friend), and the fact that I experience chronic sore throats and I personally like to wear scarves to keep my neck warm.

Although I have made more complex items (I used to work for a knit shop in Glendale called Soft Wear, making custom ordered knit sweaters), I find that scarves are what I always return to. There is nothing so comforting and relaxing as coming home from a long day at work (teaching 6th grade/middle school) and being able to sit down and curl up with a few balls of yarn and transform them into something gorgeous and wearable.

I remember finding my wooden 35 knitting needles at Unwind in Burbank, CA a few years ago. I absolutely love the feel of them in my hands--no finger cramping whatsoever, like smaller needles sometimes produce.

That said, I would like to share a bit of myself as well as my creative process with you. There is no straightforward path to creating in my house. I am pretty much all over the place and like the freedom and spontaneity to investigate different topics, activities, and musings. I hope that my readers can bear with me on that and come along with me for the twisty-turny, rickety-rockety ride.

A customer may just be interested in “getting the goods", which can easily be done at my Etsy shop, and will hopefully be a nice, satisfactory experience both in the ordering and receiving of their items. I do hope that my customers receive the handmade “vibes” that go into every item I make, and how different that makes them from the machine manufactured goods available in most stores.

But for those who like the “whole story”, or at least a peek through the window into the world of the person who is creating these items, I share more aspects of myself and my life here.


So, now that I've finally got that out there, it's time to ask for your comments. (Oh no, feedback, and...possible criticism!) Please help me out by checking out my shop (how many times can one plug their own business in a single blog post???) and my products and letting me know what you think about my "brand" (not too clear on that myself) and my blog as a tool for communicating to my customers.

Whew! That one's over. Let's hope the next 51 weeks are somewhat easier!!!


  1. love the interview- style! very personalized! :)
    your work is beautiful!
    (i'm a fellow 52 wk. blogger)

  2. Thanks a lot for the comment. It's nice to know people are reading this!

  3. Ivy! ~ Yes, I love the interview style of your mission statement, too! I'm looking forward to reading more about your "twisty-turny, rickety-rockety" knitting and creative adventures! Your blog sounds like it's going to be a fun ride! :)

    {from 52! and your scarves are pretty!}

  4. Did I just call you Ivy?! SUSAN! :)

  5. Great blog! I think I will try this interview-style as well! I love your Etsy Shop - beautiful work!

  6. Wow! Your story is wonderful...You have tremendous energy and it is reflected in your work. The idea of the mission statement as an interview makes the statement interesting to read. I look forward to reading more!

  7. I have to agree - the interview-style is great!

    As far as branding goes, I can only say that it evolves as you and your buyers grow together. When I first started selling, my brand/style was much different than it is now. Over time, as I felt more familiar with Etsy and just selling online in general, my own personal style came through more and more.

    What I would do is maybe think about what you personally respond to as far as logos and designs go. Don't be afraid to pick something - it's okay to change your mind later.

  8. A very fresh take on the mission statement. I like it a lot!