Making No. 3 / DOTS Sponsor Feature: Woolfolk
As an independent publisher, we are grateful to all of our sponsors! Enjoy an interview with No. 3 DOTS sponsor, Woolfolk founder & creative director Kristin Ford.
What’s unique about your company or brand?
I think three things set Woolfolk apart. First, the wool. I have the exclusive for hand-knitting with Ovis 21, a co op in Patagonia that is humanely raising sheep, focusing on genetics and the restoration of the grassland. With a micron count of 17.5, it's incredibly fine yarn, and is further set apart by the scale patterns on the individual fibers, which resemble the scale pattern on cashmere. The second element that makes us unique is our focus on design. We have a very focused, strong minimal viewpoint; I think my experience as an architect taught me to develop a concept, and carry it through in every detail of a project. We also respect the very hard work of the hand-knitting design community, and try to reward them fairly. Finally, we try very hard to support our retail partners. We handpicked our partners, and will not sell to online only or discounters. We also try to support them geographically; we have a limited amount of product, and are trying to make it accessible in as many communities as possible without overlap.
Tell us about a challenge you’ve had to overcome.
The biggest challenge I had was taking the initial step. I originally committed to a ton of fiber, and kept my fingers crossed that I would be able to sell it. It arrived in late August; I was out of most qualities and colors by October. Since the harvest in Patagonia is our Fall, I was unable to get more until it was processed in the Spring.
What project of yours are you especially excited about, either current or forthcoming?
Right now, I'm obsessed with Luft; our organic cotton/Ultimate Merino yarn. It's such a great yarn for transitional seasons, and has a very unique construction. It's novel, (as opposed to novelty and very interesting to work with. I also love what we are doing for Fall; new colors, and working with some new designers. We are also bringing in a new yarn.... details to follow.
What's your favorite color?
Can't you guess? We have 5 shades of gray, and I could easily develop another 5. I really love all non-colors, for adult clothing, anyway.
Tell us how your company got started!
I learned about Ovis 21 from their American representative, who is from Oregon. I fell in love with it, and got a big push from my extremely entrepreneurial and supportive husband. Closed my eyes and jumped.
If you were going to create something just for fun today, what would it be?
Knitting-wise, a colorwork oversized sweater to replace one I have that's falling apart. Non knitting, I'm obsessed with making Sami bracelets from reindeer leather. Needless to say, my homemaking skills are taking a backseat.
Which project of yours are you most proud of?
My kids. Oh, wait. Did you mean knitting? Vidje for sure. I called it the monster when I was knitting and designing it (which was in the very warm month of July) but I'm knitting one for just me, which I know I'll wear to death.
Share a funny story about something that's happened with your work.
We recently moved to a "real" warehouse, but for the first three years, I was using the former cider making room in our barn. We have 5000 apple trees and contract grow for a local hard cider company; jockeying for space for my pallets of yarn among the apple bins at harvest time has been pretty funny at times. Needless to say, our farm manager, Javier, does not miss Woolfolk.....
Describe your perfect day.
Hiking and mushroom hunting followed by knitting and Netflix, preferably in a place that requires no cleaning.
Where do you see your company in 5 years?
I want to continue to slowly expand our network of retail partners, and would like to give them more product options. I'd like to be able to better reward everyone who has helped make Woolfolk what it is today.
Thank you Kristin!