Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! I can’t believe its 2015 already. Time is sure going by quickly. I hope this year is your best yet.

-Ashley

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It’s Our Anniversary!

Today is a great day! French Soul Knittery turns 1 year old today. I’m so happy and I’m still at awe that I started this business one year ago today. This time last year, I was just working with a dream and a prayer and now I have been able to sell across the United States and internationally. I had the amazing opportunity to be on local television talking about my business and I have had the opportunity to teach children the wonderful art of knitting.

It still amazes me.

I want to thank you. The supporters, the customers, even the people that would look at my product at a craft fair and say “I can make that” and walk away (yes, that has happened.)

I want to thank you for your continued support, your business and your admiration.  I also want to thank those for their criticism for it made me stronger in this competitive world.

I’m having a blast today and everyday. I get to share my love of handmade creations with you.

So thank you and I hope you would consider me and French Soul Knittery as an option for holiday gifts this year.

French Soul Knittery last year:

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French Soul Knittery this year:

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My Time As A Vendor at Artists and Fleas in Brooklyn NY

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I had the pleasure of vending at my very first show at Artists and Fleas in Brooklyn NY.  It has been a learning experience – to say the least.

I had so much fun, I got to make friends with other vendors and I had the opportunity to learn what customers like and dislike.

All in all – I didn’t sell one thing. Instead of running home with my tail between my legs, I have decided to learn from the day and make the next time I vend even better.

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I have learned that I need more items in my area. My booth consisted of a 6 foot table but I had more space around me that I could have utilized. 

I need to make more items. I had hats and earwarmers but I needed scarves, a lot of scarves. It was pretty chilly and I could have sold items if I had a range of scarves for customers to choose from.  I didn’t make a lot of scarves because this was my first market and I didn’t want to have too much inventory and no sales. That may have been my mistake.

I need to learn the art of selling. This was my first show and I had no idea what I was getting into. I have to learn the art of selling so my next market can be successful. 

I had a great time and I can cross this off my “30 before 30” list. 

Here’s to an awesome show next time!

-Ashley

Me and My Yarnbomb!

This summer was extremely memorable to say the least. I was a teaching artist-in-residence, teaching high school students how to knit. At first I was a bit apprehensive because I never taught children before, especially high school students. I was expecting resistance to the knitting movement but instead I got a group of students who were actually interested in public art and creating something of their own.

Due to the time-frame we had, I taught the students how to knit with a loom. This method was much easier for them and it allowed them to create pieces at a faster pace. Over time, the students were taking their looms home and knitting in their free time – how amazing is that?

During the summer, after we put up Phase 1 we celebrated by showcasing their creations at the local music festival that was going on in that very location of the install. They were excited to show patrons their creations.

For Phase 2, we took a different approach. We allowed them to have their very own trees and be more creative. The slogan for Phase 2 was BE MORE CREATIVE! And boy, did they show their true colors.

I also created a special French Soul Knittery/Ashley Leonard yarnbomb with the theme: SunRISE/SunSET. My theme was about rising to the occasion like the sun and making your dreams and goals come to fruition. I had such a great time and I hope to continue to teach children and adults the art of traditional knitting and loom knitting.

Here are a few photos of our experience:

Me, Ashley Leonard, teaching the students the art of loom knitting.

Me, Ashley Leonard, teaching the students the art of loom knitting.

 

Me, weaving with the students

Me, weaving with the students

 

Here I am showing a patron at the Lincoln Park Music Festival how to knit on a loom

Here I am showing a patron at the Lincoln Park Music Festival how to knit on a loom

 

Phase 2 of the Yarn City Project. The students' public art

Phase 2 of the Yarn City Project. The students’ public art

 

Phase 2 of the Yarn City Project. The students' public art

Phase 2 of the Yarn City Project. The students’ public art

 

My yarnbomb for Phase 2. The theme is SunRise/SunSet

My yarnbomb for Phase 2. The theme is SunRise/SunSet

 

Last day of the program. That's me, organizing the awards for the students

Last day of the program. That’s me, organizing the awards for the students

 

Here I am with my fellow teaching artist in residence, handing out the awards to the students on the last day of the program

Here I am with my fellow teaching artist in residence, handing out the awards to the students on the last day of the program

Striking Things Off My ’30 Before 30′ List

29. Teach knitting to children

 

I’m checking things off of my list, slowly but surely. Here I am, teaching high school students how to loom knit for City Without Walls’ Yarn City Project. I am one of the teaching artist in residence at art gallery City Without Walls teaching students how to knit and create pieces to yarnbomb Newark’s Lincoln Park.

This is a great initiative and I’m so excited and so proud to be apart of it.

We are teaching the students how to loom knit as opposed to traditional knitting because it is faster and we have to create a certain amount of knitted pieces in a specific time-frame. Once the first phase of the project is completed, I will get them started on the traditional method of knitting.

Click here for more information on the initiative.

 

30 Before 30

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Today, on this somewhat cloudy yet warm Thursday, a list of things I want to do before I turn 30 comes to mind. I am three years from the big 3-0 and I want to do certain things that I’ve never done before. I like to think that I’m an adventurer but the more items I put on the list, the more I realized that I have to get my butt in gear and accomplish some “stuff.” (Who lives in the Tri-state area and has never been to the top of the Empire State Building?! – Me, that’s who!)

I realized that starting my business was a huge accomplishment and to hear my mother tell it, “it’s the greatest thing in the world.” But I want to do more – I need to do more.

At 27, I look back and realize that there were times when I let years pass me by. I cannot continue on that path. So this is my list, 30 before 30.

As I accomplish something on the list, I will put a line through it and share the experience with you all. Granted, I have approximately 3 years to complete everything on this list, so be patient and hopefully stick around for the ride.

Some things on the list are things I am currently doing or have done within the past 8 months, such as “open a business” (which will be scratched off).

So here is part of the list (to see the complete list, click on the “30 before 30” page at the top of this blog):

 

  1. Travel to 5 different countries
  2. Start a family
  3. Open a pop up shop
  4. Sell French Soul Knittery knitwear in Brick and Mortar Stores
  5. Live in a different state
  6. Completely work for my self
  7. Direct a movie
  8. Cook a four-course meal
  9. Learn French
  10. Sell at a craft fair
  11. Open a business
  12. Start a youtube channel

………….

So what do you think about the list? (Remember to go the page to see list numbers

13-30).

Here’s to accomplishing our goals! 🙂

 

Do you have a list of things you want to do before you turn a certain age?

 

All the best,

 

-Ashley

We Have a Winner!

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We have a WINNER!

Seven awesome people entered the giveaway. Many might say that is a very small number but for someone like myself who is building a business, I am extremely grateful for the interest and the excitement of any kind.

THANK YOU!

Thank you for entering the giveaway. I had a blast.

Congrats to the winner! I will be notifying you in order to send this beautiful knitted cotton necklace your way!

#winner #trendy #giveaway #knittedjewelry #knit #knitting

(Names blurred for privacy reasons)

 

French Soul Knittery Giveaway Winner