Even though you don't "see" the way a project bag or yarn is made, I believe the way a business operates adds something intangible and important to the final product.
I'd like to tell you about the values that drive my art and business and how they show up in the project bag or kit that arrives on your doorstep.
Making things by hand is powerful. Making things by hand is slow and deliberate, and I believe it is both a form of art and an act of resistance. When you make something by hand, whether it is a knitted or crocheted garment, or something sewn on your home machine, or a meal made to nourish your family, you are saying that your time matters. That your enjoyment of making matters. That every other maker, and for whatever reason they make, matters. It is a tiny chip away at an unchecked culture of consumption and at systems of inequality and racism.
Everyone should earn a living wage. It's important to me that creative work is valued and compensated as the centrally important and irreplaceable work that it is. I live and work in San Francisco, and so do my sewist and studio colleague. Everyone who works for Little Skein earns a wage that is competitive and meets living wage standards, which is more than what minimum wage law requires.
Go beyond what's required. I believe that business can do good in the world and thrive financially. My desire for all of us to be well extends from myself as the chief maker to the like-minded creatives with whom I work and, most importantly, to you, the maker who uses the yarn, kit or project bag I've made. It's important to me that we all do well together and I set my policies and practices accordingly.
I aspire to lead by example. I care a lot about what’s happening in my community, both large and small. I am on a lifelong journey of becoming anti-racist. I am passionate about economics and in particular ending systems of inequality. I believe that art and hand-making can change the world for the better.
If my values resonate for you and you're just starting out on your own journey of putting them into greater action, I can recommend a few first steps:
No discussion of values would be complete without acknowledging Ravelry's momentous decision in summer 2019 to ban discussion of the current president and his administration on its large social networking site. This excellent article, published on Vox, discusses the impact. Publications worldwide, including The New York Times, covered the story.
I am proud to have been a prominent voice in the campaign to persuade Ravelry to create protections for knitters who were being harassed on its site, and I did so in solidarity with my preview knitter who was a target of racial hatred. I share the story in depth on this episode of the Knitmore Girls podcast.