Making the Maker, an Interview with Veronica Shaver
Happy Monday! And Labor Day! We hope everyone has been having a lovely long weekend. I have been in Chicago for the past couple of days visiting a dear friend, and it was such a nice treat to get away for a few days! All mamas need some time to themselves to recoup, don't you think?
As you know, it's time for Making the Maker, the series where we interview small businesses and brands about how their business began, design process, and anything behind-the-scenes in their lives! Today we are talking with Veronica Shaver of A Little Sweater Shop! Veronica lives in a tiny town called Yarker, Ontario in Canada. She has four children, two cats, and a Great Dane! So excited to let you all know a little more about Veronica...
Kayla: How did your business begin? How did you learn to knit?
Veronica: A love for knitting, beautiful yarn, and tiny sweaters. The internet taught me to knit. I'm not sure it has [helped me become the knitter I am today]; I'm kind of stubborn so if I couldn't figure it out, I kept looking. But I'm also flaky, so if the searching didn't help, I moved on.
Kayla: Why do you make handmade?
Veronica: It's the best! Quality over quantity.
Kayla: What inspires your products/business/designs?
Veronica: Simplicity. I love a piece of clothing that will go with everything.
Kayla: What is your design process?
Veronica: I don't really have one. I sit in my favourite chair with my favourite people and knit.
Kayla: What is your typical day-to-day life like?
Veronica: [I] get home from work, hang out with the kids, knit, make food, knit, [answer] emails and other office-type stuff, knit, visit with my husband, knit, say goodnight, and then go back to work.
Kayla: What is your day job like? How do you juggle that with running a small, handmade business?
Veronica: I actually work 15 overnights a month as a PSW in a private home. And just recently (grand Opening on Sept.10) opening a store front for handcrafted artisans. I have lists with numbered priority. The most wonderful part of my craft is it's portable; I can work on orders anywhere :)
Kayla: What are some of your favorite things to do with your children? Do they get involved with the business at all?
Veronica: Baking. We all love to bake, and for those who don't, they never balk at eating it. Walking the lake in the winter. It's like an additional 100 acres in our back yard once it freezes. They do [get involved];they are more than happy to help pick colours, as well let me know if my design stinks. Kids are brutally honest.
Kayla: Where do you source your materials from?
Veronica: I try very hard to source from here in Canada, however I'm quite happy if I can source no further than the US.
Kayla: What opportunities has making by hand opened for you?
Veronica: Meet people from all over the world. Seeing their beautiful babes wrapped in wool that I made.
Kayla: Do you have any regrets or have you made any mistakes when it comes to running a small business?
Veronica: So many mistakes, but all were well worth it. No regrets. It's amazing what you learn as you go!
Kayla: What is the hardest part about running a small, handmade business? What are some of the lessons you have learned while building your business?
Veronica: To be honest, it's wondering how my product will be received. I know the quality is there, but with the constant change in trends, it's hard to keep up. There are so many [lessons], and I'm still new and learning all the time. My only tip for someone wanting to start a hand knit business is to do it! Don't fear it. Follow your dreams because life is too short not to.
Thank you so much for that lovely interview, Veronica! We loved learning all about your business and how you make your designs come to life. I also learned to knit off of the internet! We just received the most gorgeous little sweater for Tad from Veronica, which I will be sharing quite soon, so keep an eye out for it!! If you would like to shop Veronica's sweet store, A Little Sweater Shop, click here. Follow along with her on Instagram (@alittlesweatershop) for updates and store promotions!