ThankfulKnits is a small business located in Columbus, Ohio. Owner, Abby, creates macramé and crochet products by hand. We love her design style and sophisticated product line. She donates a portion of all sales to local non-profits. We interviewed ThankfulKnits to learn more about her craft. Meet ThankfulKnits on June 3 at our Summer Maker Mart!
Tell us about your local business.
The name of my business is ThankfulKnits and I’m based out of Columbus Ohio. What began as a side hustle with only knit and crochet products has expanded to include macramé and I couldn’t be more thrilled! The mission of ThankfulKnits is to provide a way for people to purchase handcrafted quality fiber art products for their home and wardrobe while extending a “thank you” to non-profits, charities who are getting it right in the local community and around the world. A portion of every sale of ThankfulKnits products goes out in support.
I do this because in my own life I have experienced the radical positive impact that having a heart posture of gratitude has and I want to create more ways for folks to live with and express a thankful spirit. Through this business, my customers and I have been able to donate and say “thank you” to Blessings in a Backpack, Hospice of Central Ohio, and we are currently supporting the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
What drew you to your craft?
My entire life I have loved working with my hands. I am always down for crafty adventures, I play the piano, guitar and a few other instruments and I love to garden. There is an aspect of macramé, knitting and crochet that is very repetitive. I’d go so far as to say it is somewhat meditative. I have two very young children (a 2 year old and a 9 month old) so life can be busy, loud and messy. It is very soothing to zone out when I’m in my creative work space and making things. Being able to create items that make someone’s home more beautiful or keep their head warm in the winter brings me an incredible joy and is such an honor.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
Definitely my first multi-layered macramé on a branch. No pattern or plan, it just flowed so naturally- t was like a hug for my boho heart. A close second is the chunky knit hats I make in the winter.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher. That happened too- I went to school for it and taught preschool and elementary school for several years.
What is your creative process?
Since I stay home full time with my two kiddos. I work when they sleep basically. I always have my dream book around where I’ll jot down or sketch ideas…then when its go time, I get to creating. I’m inspired by nature, past pieces I’ve created or a new technique I want to try out. Sometimes the design I start out with doesn’t end up being what happens, but I love the flexibility of being a creative and having a style that can handle a change of mind. I usually listen to either music or podcasts while I create and work through things in my head while my hands are busy knotting and knitting.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Stop telling yourself no! Oh the limitations were just ridiculous. Thank goodness for wisdom from good people and experiences that helped me recognize that I have something unique to offer. When people are pouring positivity, wisdom and encouragement into you…listen. Let those things help you grow and don’t brush it off thinking it doesn’t apply to you or your situation.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
There is something so incredible about community. Our local community is where life happens! Time, energy, love and resources went into creating something and when you shop local you become a part of that person’s story and they become a part of yours. Technology is great, but we are running the risk of losing face to face community and really knowing people. Supporting local connects us.
Why do you love doing what you do?
It gives me a chance to express my creativity with my hands, I can help others make purposeful purchases by donating to various causes and organizations, and I can work while raising my babies at home!
What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?
DO IT! We live in a time when the threshold for starting is really quite low. Access to the internet, your creativity and a little time can get you going! Also, grow slow. I’ve committed to growing my business without debt and it brings such a sense of freedom with it!
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
Ohio- the heart shaped state. Oh how I love it. I was born and raised here, moved to the west coast after college then over several years worked my way back. I appreciate it so much more now that I’ve seen other places. It has such a variety of landscapes, cultures, and access to so much nature. Also you can get anywhere in 3-ish hours. That’s a cool idea- two very different places in half a day! Hocking Hills, Amish Country, and did you know there is a national park?! Just south of CLE! Lets not forget this part- where else can you live and get all four seasons in the span of one week? Hahaha! :) Anyways, yeah just getting outside is probably my favorite thing- camping, nature and exploring!