Monday, April 5, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: Knits by Jo

Jolén Sindelir, of Knits by Jo, loves to knit. She is young and enthusiastic about her craft. She opened her shop in October of 2008 to share her work with the world.

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
I originally opened it after trying to sell my knits on Ebay. I didn’t like that I had to price so low to get a sale there. I felt like they were worth more. A parent of one of the students I was teaching saw me knitting one day on a break and told me about Etsy. I signed up the next day! Truth be told, there was a long period of time that I didn’t attend to my shop, and in November 2009, I got more serious and considered it a sort of “re-opening”.

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
Yes, when I first opened it, I had only two items. I now realize I need to add more to my inventory to attract different types of customers for different price points. I didn’t add coffee cozies until late 2009 and I’m glad I did! The one craft show I did got people talking about them, and many more sales have come from word of mouth than online. They are also something I can knit up faster than a scarf, especially the entrelac versions. I also hope to start making fingerless gloves, wash cloths, and to get some patterns up as well to increase my diversity.

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
So far, the majority of my customers have found me either through a craft fair I did and then word of mouth thereafter, or through showcases I’ve done. I do get many views through listing on forum threads but have not received sales there so far. I’m looking forward to do doing more showcases!

What inspires you to create?
It’s typically either color or challenge. Colors I see together in all kinds of situations inspire me to look for them in a yarn and find a way to incorporate them. I also love looking around at objects and seeing patterns in them that I think might look good in my next project. I remember loving winter in Minneapolis because I would always be checking out other people’s hats and scarves and thinking “I could probably make that”.

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
My personal favorite is my Raspberry Mocha Entrelac Scarf. It’s one of those projects you take on because you are so excited about it, but you knit it to sell. Knitting for profit can be so conflicting!

As for most popular, it depends on what the terms are. In sales, my most popular is the Cabled Moss Green Coffee Cozy, but in comments and hearts, my most popular is The Cranberry Waves Entrelac Scarf.

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful?
I currently have few sales online, so I am always looking for ways to make it as successful as is possible. I have gotten quite a bit of traffic when doing showcases, but look into new ways to spread the word each day. I truly have been sweeping the country by sending out business cards to family and friends that live in each corner of the U.S. and asking them to help me hand them out to people they think might be interested. I will continue to take part in the shop critiques in the virtual classrooms on Etsy in hopes that mine gets picked! I do find that even if mine is not picked, I learn so much each time. Etsy does a great job of supporting its sellers.

Ultimately, I think my strongest move was to get involved in teams. I find so much support in each of them, and can’t imagine doing this all on my own!

Any changes coming to your shop in the future?
I would love to get some patterns in my shop as soon as possible! Possible patterns I would like to add are for the Cranberry Waves Entrelac Purse, for my coffee cozies, for my entrelac scarves, and for a custom scarf that I knit in the round. I will most likely post my NY Yankees pattern in this round scarf as well as opening it up as a custom order option. It can be seen on my Facebook fan page. I am currently working on a set of cotton wash cloths, would love to do fingerless mittens, projects made out of “plarn” (a yarn made out of upcycled plastic bags), and will continue to expand my inventory as well as my creative abilities along the way!

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?

I have a blog through Blogspot
I also have a Facebook fanpage, join me!
I am a proud member of these Street Teams:
Etsy Knitters
Crafting in Color
SC Etsy

Pick a coffee cozy :)
Here's how to enter:
Go to Knits by Jo and heart her shop then come back and comment about it. Be sure to let us know which one is your favorite!

Want to be featured? email me for details


  1. Cute Cranberry Waves Clutch Purse!

  2. Love the cabled espresso cozy!
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

  3. Not entering the giveaway ... just wanted to compliment you on your cozies -- I just knitted a bunch for charity recently -- what a fun project:

  4. could they be used as soda cozies? they could keep your soda a little colder on a day at the beach!

  5. lovely to 'meet' another EtsyKnitter team member! :)

  6. Thanks for all the great comments!

    redlinc, absolutely! the coffee cozies fit soda bottles but I'm thinking they would be a little big for a soda can. I also do "beer cozies" and those fit beer bottles and soda cans. You'll see just one of those in my shop for now but I'm always able to do more :)

    It's completely possible to do nalgene size cozies as well! Something I just haven't gotten in my shop yet

  7. nobaddays: What a great project! And you make very cute cozies as well. I'm inspired :) You may notice from my profile that I'm looking for a good charity to knit for. Once I get moved and settled I'd like to pursue more of that.

  8. Love spring mix cozy!

    duhnellecarter [at] yahoo . com
    get this giveaway free exposure too at

  9. cute!!! go gamecocks!!!

  10. The spring mix cozy is my favorite! I hearted Knits by Jo (rammay)