Week 2 Challenge: Snap a pic of 3 things that represent you within your business. These are things that will remind people of you when they see them! They could be colors, objects, favorite foods, books, movies, or activities!
Prize: Branding Workbook + DIY Knitting Pattern & Yarn
How to Enter: Post your challenge photo and tag @smeenybeanieknits + @knitbrooks, using hashtags #CreativeRootsChallenge + #CreativeRootsWeek2. You have until Monday, September 14th @ 1pm EST!
A strong brand identity will dictate all other aspects of your business. From how you are marketing, to who you are marketing to, to how you write your copy and what you share on social media. Crafting a unique and memorable brand is what sets your business apart. You are uniquely you and have your own passions, quirks, childhood favorites, and things that will remind people of you that may have nothing to do with your business. These unique things create a connection between you and your audience.
Hi friends! I’m Chereen...owner, designer, and maker of Smeeny Beanie Knits. As a California native turned Colorado mountain girl, I’ve always loved and cherished time spent in the great outdoors. I loved hiking and camping as a kid, and after college, spent two seasons working and living in Yellowstone National Park.
I’d always wanted to learn how to knit and found a couple of knitting needles at the local thrift store. I taught myself how to knit watching YouTube videos, and what started off as a fleeting fancy became a passion. I LOVED seeing my stitches become something more. I was obsessed with figuring out new patterns and new techniques. After several years of making things for close friends and family,
I decided to start Smeeny Beanie Knits in 2018, and opened my shop in January 2019.
Like most of us, knitting for me began as a hobby that soon became an obsession! From there, I started my side hustle and got more and more excited about starting my own Etsy shop. When I was first starting out on my maker journey, I listened to hours and hours of podcasts, googled everything under the sun, and read tons of blogs to try to figure out how I could take my little hobby to a successful, meaningful business. I first started off thinking I would only sell my items, then started selling my patterns, and have now discovered that I really love helping others start on their maker journeys too! The maker community has been so inspirational and supportive and I want to give back by sharing some of that knowledge with you!
As of 2020, I am fully self-employed with Smeeny Beanie Knits and my farm-to-table private chef business, Wilderbean Provisions.
Thank you for being a part of my story.
Smeeny Beanie Knits Q&A
When you first started your maker journey, what was your goal? How has it changed?
When I first started on my maker journey, I thought it would be a cool side hustle selling finished beanies and my goal was to have my own website to sell them on. As I’ve gone along on the journey, I discovered how amazing the knitting community was and started selling my patterns. This year, I discovered how much I loved talking business and sharing things I’ve learned and would love to do more to help other makers on their business journey’s too!
What is your favourite inspirational (or creativity-related) quote?
“Your life doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else, as long as it makes sense to you.”
What is your main creative struggle, and how do you work through it?
My biggest creative struggle right now is shiny object syndrome. I have so many ideas and things I want to accomplish, but I keep getting distracted and feel like I’m not actually getting anything done!
Tell us about a total maker FAIL. What did you learn from it, and how did that failure help you grow?
A total maker fail was not being prepared enough for my first winter selling beanies. I started stocking a local shop and thought that what I brought in would get them through the season. WRONG! I ended up panic ordering more yarn, pom poms, tags, etc right in the middle of the busiest time. I kept running out of things and waiting on shipments and knitting until 2am for nights in a row because I wasn’t prepared.
What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment?
I feel that my biggest accomplishment has been writing and releasing my Creating Your Brand workbook. It was such a labor of love and something I discovered I was very passionate about, so getting it out there and actually selling some workbooks has felt amazing!
What is one goal you’re working towards right now?
A big goal for me right now is to successfully sell on my ecommerce website and really reach my target market for my products. I feel like I’ve been putting most of my energy into cultivating my audience in the maker community, but want to do more for my audience that is buying the actual hats!
Who are three creative people who inspire you, and why?
Valley Knits - Her photography and knitwear is beautiful and I so admire her outdoorsy vibes and spirit! @valleyknits
Cedarwood Ceramics - I am a huge ceramics fan and Jenny makes the most beautiful pottery! Her style is totally my vibe and I love how she presents her products. @cedarwoodceramics
Powers Provisions - Gretchen has become a close maker friend to me and I admire how she has seamlessly combined all of her different creative hobbies into one successful platform. I love how much outreach and activism she does through the shop and strive to be more of an activist in my own shop as well! @powersprovisions
What is your best piece of advice for someone who has lost their creative mojo?
My best piece of advice for someone who has lost their creative mojo is to take a break! And don’t feel guilty about it. Sometimes, stepping away, getting outside, and doing other activities is the best way to get over a creative rut.
Share five fun non-maker-related facts:
- I’m a chef! I have a food science background, so worked in food manufacturing for a little while before going back to school for culinary arts. I worked in and managed kitchens for 10 years before taking the leap to work on a small local farm and now have a farm-to-table focused private chef business in addition to SBK!
- My husband and I were in the same major in college and have been together for 11 years.
- I feel very fortunate and grateful to have travelled to 26 countries so far! I LOVE to travel and can’t wait until we’re able to do it again.
- I’ve now seen my 3 favorite childhood bands in concert...the B52’s, FleetwoodMac, and AC/DC
- I’ve played rugby since college and still play for our small local team. It’s been said that I’m the team’s best tackler ;)