Meet AFCI Member, Kari Capone. Kari is the owner of Kari’s Kits and the founder of Knitters Unwind.
We interviewed Kari about her business endeavors for an article in the Summer issue of Gradient, AFCI’s quarterly magazine. Below is a portion of the interview.
Tell us about yourself.
I balance life as a single mom, and as a full-time manager at a publishing house, with the joys and demands of growing a creative business. My career path until now can best be described as circuitous. I’ve taught elementary school music; worked at a talent agency; processed invoices for a chocolate import company; and owned and operated a coffee shop – before I embarked on a career in publishing.
Tell us about your businesses.
Several years ago, as my (now 15-year-old) son grew more independent, I found myself with abundant free time outside of working hours. I often taught knitting at the local yarn shop. To assist with teaching brand-new beginners, I designed a garter stitch buttoned cowl kit, complete with knitting needles, yarn, the pattern, the button, and a tapestry needle. The shop owner asked for a few extra kits to stock her shelves, and a business was born!
At first, I sold Kari’s Kits through Etsy and at craft shows. (That’s how I met Jason Baum, Director of Membership for AFCI – at Maker Faire in Queens!) In 2016, I enrolled in a website building course and built kariskits.com. Having creative control and the ability to make updates whenever I like is very important to me.
I’m proud of the product development we do at Kari’s Kits. In 2017, I started the Insider’s Club: a core group of customers who review products. They test patterns, rate and review the yarn and the project itself, and provide feedback via surveys and e-mails. My Insiders love the special treatment and the chance to try products before they go to market.
This year, I’m introducing a subscription community called Knitters Unwind. I’ve heard again and again that women knit for relaxation, for meditation, for therapeutic benefits. They expressed a strong desire for deeper, more meaningful connections in their lives; a consistent creative outlet; and a safe space to share their struggles and successes in knitting and in life.
My dream is to build Kari’s Kits and Knitters Unwind to the point where I can step back from my day job and dive into the creative businesses full-time. I feel so lucky to be able to build a business around my full-time day job. AFCI has really expanded my idea of what is possible.
Learn more about Kari and how to connect with her at kariskits.com.
Read the full interview in the Summer issue of Gradient. The digital version is available to all AFCI members upon logging into your online account. Visit gradient.afci.global.