A Match Made in Heaven: Mondschaf Yarns and Julia’s Shawl Designs
Have you seen the fabulous yarns by Das Mondschaf yet? I’m more than happy to announce the cooperation of Mondschaf Yarns with me (Julia Riede) and knitting.today. We’re working together on eight new shawl designs coming this December (Unicorn Knits, more on that tomorrow) and January (Unicorn Knits 2). Both collections will be released as single patterns and books (ebooks, Kindle and paperback editions) and be available in both English and German.
But first, let’s introduce Sabrina and Das Mondschaf (*)!
(*) [“Mondschaf” is a German phrase connecting the words “Moon” and “Sheep”.]
Meet Sabrina From Mondschaf Yarns
Sabrina is a trained designer with a lot of working experience as an art director in German advertising agencies. To get to know here better I asked her about her background and how she became so successful as a yarn dyer selling her creations online at Mondschaf Yarns.
“I enjoyed working as art director but to be honest, it’s a short lived business. You create websites, newsletter, teaser and banner campaigns but at the end of the day it all doesn’t really last. Mostly it’s gone after a few days and no longer matters. If you’re lucky you end up with a few screenshots for your portfolio, but that’s pretty much it.”
During that time she discovered knitting as her new hobby.
“When I discovered knitting I suddenly had the opportunity to create something that lasts. And the biggest advantage: I could do it however I wanted, there were no strict rules.”
Soon she was looking for better quality hand dyed yarns.
“I started dyeing after reading blog articles and watching Youtube videos. I started with cheap yarn and easter egg dyes and quickly proceeded to precious materials and professional dyes. It got bigger and bigger! When I realised I had dyed more yarn I could possible knit in a lifetime I decided to start selling it at the usual places like Etsy and Dawanda [the German version of Etsy]. People liked my work and it took off quite quickly.”
Sabrina started by working at home as a side business, dyeing her yarns in the house she shares with her husband.
“He soon found it annoying to have to navigate around my dye pots in our kitchen when he wanted to have breakfast.”
Her business grew further when she started to exhibit at yarn festivals. Then she was forced to take a decision about her future when the agency she worked for went out of business.
“In the end of 2014 the advertising agency I was working for went out of business. I suddenly had to decide what to do with my life and how to proceed in my career: Taking the next unfulfilling, stressful job, or becoming an entrepreneur? I used the opportunity to become self employed and never looked back since.
I have to work hard and long hours in my new job too, but I get up ever morning with the joyful feeling of doing something I really enjoy. Okay … maybe everything except accounting.”
In 2016 the house became too small for her venture and she moved to a studio.
“My experience as designer helps me a lot with the management of my own shop. I am able to do much myself and I am much more flexible now, without having to rely on platforms like Etsy anymore.
It looks like I need to start looking for potential employees in 2018 – I need help with skeining, packaging and labelling. Although I have workflow optimisation processes in place it started to become impossible to handle everything on my own. I’m looking forward to where this path may take me in the future.”
We’re more than curious too, Sabrina!
You can find Sabrina and her yarns at www.das-mondschaf.de. She has a Facebook page, a blog and is on Instagram as @dasmondschaf.