I started Woolly Originals in June 2015. Never in my sanest dreams, let alone the wild ones, did I expect the success that has materialised. After the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March, I realised that I was struggling to meet demand. I love making my Woolly bags, from machine knitting the outer fabric, to sewing the wool and linen components together, to labelling the bag with its Woolly swing-tag. I make every bag as though it was for my own use. But, in order to make my bags, I was close to making myself ill.
So, I decided in April that I needed more help. Many of you have met, either personally or through social media, Jo @angleoftheforth. She knits up some of my Woolly fabric and attends yarn festivals either with me or more recently on her own! We both love our knitting machines and I wanted us to continue to make the outer fabric. So, that left the sewing up. Could I find someone who valued the environment, who felt the importance of community, who understood that people were more important than profit? And, the answer is yes!
The Kalopsia Collective is an amazing company. Established in 2012 by British/Swedish duo, Robertson & Falk, Kalopsia began as a textiles and design organisation to challenge the way textiles were seen. Today, Kalopsia operates as a Social Enterprise in Edinburgh’s busy creative and cultural port, Leith, with the aim to batch manufacture textiles products in Britain. Waste management, micro manufacturing, ethical production, sustainability, the love of textiles, and combining innovation with tradition all play an important part in Kalopsia’s business ethos.
So, Jo and I will continue to knit up our Woolly fabric and Kalopsia will now sew this in Edinburgh into a Woolly Originals bag with a beautiful linen or cotton lining from Scottish Linen with the same Opti zips. And, with the free time that I’ll now have, I can design new patterns and make my hand-decorated larger bags.
The only remaining question is, why didn’t I do this sooner!