One of my goals for 2012 is to connect with, learn about and share various vendors in the Twin Cities wedding industry. In order to do this, I have decided to feature some vendors that I feel you would enjoy getting to know as much as I have. Late in 2011 I joined a networking group called the Twin Cities Wedding Professionals. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent there. Every meeting brings together different people that I want to connect with. When I leave, I am always inspired with new ideas and new friends. ;I met Jules, owner of Knit-n-Jules, ;at the last meeting I attended in January. I was immediately drawn to her because I’ve recently taken to knitting (I’m still learning but I love it!). ;After talking with Jules, I just knew that I had to invite her to be my first vendor spotlight. Read her interview below and then make sure you sign up for the giveaway to win of one of her saucy String-along thongs! ;
Q: Tell me about your background.
A: ;I ;began to knit before I could write…learning to use needles before age five. ;I was fascinated seeing older women at church knitting. I begged them to teach me how to knit, and every week would ask to learn a new stitch. I continued to knit throughout my childhood, finishing my first sweater out of Red Heart acrylic yarn in third grade. In home economics in high school, students were required to learn basic knitting. Since I already knew the subject beyond my years, I fought off boredom by helping ;my friends learn to knit. During 10th grade, I injured my knee. Unable to take part in my other hobbies, knitting provided entertainment and a source of comfort.
In college I started a degree in Sales and Marketing, but found my real passion was still knitting. I left school and worked a series of jobs that allowed plenty of time ;to follow my passion. In my 20s, I began to support myself with a combination of commissioned knitting work and life guarding. When I met the love of my life, I knit him several sweaters. While our years together have brought a lovely family of six children, I have found knitting to be a great passion and art form that can be taken any where they need me to go. ;I have a love for weddings and a passion for fine clothing that keeps me thrilled with every piece I hand knit.
Q: What inspired you to start your business?
A: ;I was inspired by seeing the need of many a cold Minnesotan Bride in little strapless dress needing something special to wear. ;”No one left out this cold, and a life time treasure” ;I want my hand knit creations to be worn and worn and passed down to the next generation.
Q: What’s the best part about running your business?
A: ;The best part of running my business is flexibility of taking it every where and I love love love to knit fine fibers.
Q: Where do you find your inspiration?
A: Many places, I love the fine vintage looks of the 1940′s to a good hike up along the North Shore to bring on ideas.
Q: What makes your products unique?
A: ;My fibers are the best, hand made in South Africa as a job creation program, Be Sweet Products the Boucle’ is what royalty 100 years ago wore and it feels like your favorite childhood pajamas. I work towards making my wraps stunning and so full of creature comforts you want to wear in again and again. ;Each wrap or sweater is hand knit and most often by me. I work all the time to bring you the warm comforts of hand knits you’ll wand to wear over and over.
Q: Do you have any fun client stories you’d like to share?
A: ; ;Oh which one to tell? Last spring I was knitting for a Bride that was getting married in the fall, she had found me on the internet and longed to have me knit a wrap for her, this was a week before the Royal wedding of William and Kate Middleton. She came and had me measure her up and while she was trying samples on she was rather giddy and said, this is like what Kate wore for her second dress to the reception, had I seen it? ;In looking at the picture online I saw a soft lovely angora sweater, thus inspiring me to knit infinity scarfs that woud also serve as thank you gifts of angora for the brides daughters to wear, I loved seeing her wedding photo’s, Knit-N-Jules was just the soft touch for the party.
Q: Did you have a moment where you really felt you had achieved some of the goals you had set for yourself?
A: ;To be honest I am still working toward that. I have items created that I want to yet take farther, like the String-along thong, the unraveling to nothing bridal wear, ;I would like to see them in many stores. ;I am grateful to have many happy brides and I have made the front cover of Minnesota bride.
Q: Who has ;been an inspiration or support to you?
A: ;My husband is always inspiring and supportive as well as my family of 11 siblings. ;I have many good friends such as Amy Jane Staria and Jada Baure who helped get a brake and find my way when I first set out to do Knit-N-Jules. ;Dawn Felice Warneke and Fred Warneke are always a phone call away when I need graphics or computer help. I have a dozen of closed friends to tap when I get a large order to knit that are amazing knitters, Anne, Audrey, Debbie, Amy, Alexia, Johanna, Mary, and Theresa to name a few. I find Linda Froiland a wonderful side kick always willing to yeah or nay an idea. ;Edward Summers has kept me from throwing in the towel when I am down, and Kevin Kramp and Seven B have been nothing but inspiring and encouraging, ;after naming off this list I think, “Wow, I am a blessed lady.”
Q: Do you have any advice for brides?
A: ;Think on what lasts, your relationship, your ring, photos, and perhaps a hand knit wrap to wear over and over.
I am grateful to use what calms and connects me to a happy place is used to warm and comfort a bride on her wedding day. ;My wish is that the warmth and goodness she feels as my hand created fibers snuggle her, will be remember every time she place it on herself, it will cause her to reflect on the love and support that came together to unit her with her husband, ;many take on this journey of marriage and as hard as it may get, ;it is worth working towards togetherness that brings out the best in each other.
Jules has provided some images of her wedding wraps. Don’t they just look so cozy and warm?! Perfect for the Minnesota bride! See more of Jules creations at ;http://knit-n-jules.com
Now, as I mentioned earlier, I’m giving away one of Jules String-along Thongs. It’s perfect for your boudoir shoot!
Entering is easy! Just add your email address in the entry box below to join the giveaway. This is the only step you need to do in order to qualify so please make sure there aren’t typos (the winner will be contacted by email). You can earn additional entries by Tweeting, sharing and liking Jessica Hannon Photography on Facebook. Just follow the steps in the boxes for more chances to win! Continue to spread the word for the duration of the giveaway and you’ll earn even more entries. But don’t worry, I am anti-spam and won’t share your address with anyone else. This giveaway will end on Saturday February 4th at 9:00 pm (CST) and is open to all residents of the US and Canada. Feel free to email me with any questions and good luck!
Congratulations to M.N. for being the winner of my first giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered. Keep your eyes posted for my next giveaway. I’ve got a very talented jewelry artist crafting something special!