Business of Craft Episode 34 Kelbourne Woolens


My guests today are both accomplished authors and knitwear designers. Kate, Courtney and I have all been friends and colleagues for a long time. I first met them in 2008 at the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival. At the time, they were telling me about a brand new business they were going to start called Kelbourne Woolens and they were going to distribute yarns by The Fibre Company. Fast forward to today, so much has changed and their evolution story is a great tale about managing change and just good old fashioned entrepreneurial chutzpah. 

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#1 Can you start by telling a little bit about your origins and how you got into the fiber world, to begin with? [2:58]

#2 Did the opportunity with the Fibre Co. come first or did you decide to start working together and then go looking for the opportunity? [5:56]

#3 It seems like you took that opportunity and turned it into something incredibly quickly. [8:58]

#4 OK, so I know in working with you guys, you’ve done some incredible things for the Fiber Co brand. Without divulging sensitive information,  you share with us some of your accomplishments in terms of growth for the brand? [10:30]

#5 Can you give us a sense of growth with numbers over the last ten years? [12:48]

#6 I talk a lot about fear on this show because I think it can be a blessing and a curse, but for you guys, I’m sure that the first reaction to that news (Fibre Co would take over distributorship) was paralyzing fear?  How do manage to balance between this is over and there is still work to be done? [16:07]

#7 What do you think you’d do differently if you had to do it over again? [19:11]

#8 I know you’re both environmentally conscientious and one of the things you’ve pursued is GOTS certification for the BC Garn Yarns. Can you tell us more about that? [20:49]

#9 What would you each put up on a billboard in downtown Philly if given the chance and why? [26:04]