Hi! Since I have not formally introduced myself on here yet, I thought I would do a quick introduction and Q&A post. I shared a question box on Instagram and had you submit questions, so I’ll be answering some of those here!
A little about me first – I’m Kalley! I’m 27 and live in Roanoke, Virginia. I grew up in VA but lived away for a couple years after college. It’s so nice to be back where it feels like home again and close to both my family and my husband’s family. Last spring we welcomed our daughter, Madeline, into the world and she will be turning 1 in a few weeks. We also have a 2 year old Goldendoodle named Winston. I love reading (fav genre is thriller), watching tv, knitting and crocheting, cooking, and going for walks in my neighborhood. I also love shopping, traveling, brunch, and spending time with family! My favorite color is mustard yellow and my favorite food is pizza.
A few random fun facts – I was homeschooled my whole life, I have a music degree and taught elementary school for 2 years, and I have had lasik eye surgery!
Let me know in the comments if we have anything in common! Now onto the questions. Thank you everyone who submitted one, they were super fun to answer! 🙂
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. This means if you shop through one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Where do you find inspiration?
This is always a hard question for me because I’m not really sure. I usually don’t look for inspiration, I just let it come to me and it can be from anywhere! Family, friends, a tree, an experience, a need for something in my home, etc!
What was your favorite part about pregnancy?
I honestly didn’t love pregnancy that much. There were no complications, but I just didn’t feel like myself and was very uncomfortable. Something I miss is carrying Maddie inside of me and having her with me 24/7. But I much prefer having her on the outside. I remember crying myself to sleep every night for the last few weeks because I just wanted to hold her and know her so much!
What is the hardest thing about running a business?
The hardest thing for me is not being able to do it all. There’s only so many hours in a day to get things done, especially when you’re a mom and homemaker, so I have to say “no” to myself and others a lot which can be hard. Balance in my business is something I struggle with literally every single day.
Do you still play your violin?
Sadly, no. But I want to again.
How do you get so much work done with a baby around?
Thank you! I’m glad it seems that way because most days I feel wildly unproductive. I have about an hour in the morning, 2 in the afternoon, and then 7:30 until I go to bed at 10 to get everything (including housework, hygiene, working out, etc.) done. It’s definitely a hustle but I just take each day at a time. If something doesn’t get done it’s not the end of the world. My husband is a huge help with the baby and house, as well.
Fave easy mom and baby meals?
Right now we’ve been eating a lot of scrambled eggs and peanut butter toast (sandwich for me). Usually with a side of fruit like blueberries, raspberries, apples, and steamed apples/pears and some cottage cheese for Maddie too. Sweet potatoes and black beans are another good food we can both eat on together. Oh and cut up cheese sticks. Cheese is always a winner.
What is your favorite type of fiber to work with?
I don’t discriminate – I love it all haha! I love a good wool for hats, acrylic for literally anything, and cotton for spring and home items.
What are you favorite knitting needles? Preferably interchangeables.
My absolute favorite needles are the Knitter’s Pride Ginger Deluxe Special Interchangeable Set. The reason this set is “special” is because the tips are short. You can easy knit beanies in the round with these needles, or knit garments. I use them for literally everything! They are also gorgeous, and go up to size US 17/12mm which is hard to find.
You can purchase the set from Amazon by clicking here.
How did you grow your business?
Patience, consistency, and building relationship. I grew it completely on instagram, advertising for myself and making friends along the way!
How long have you been doing this business and is it full time?
This is year 4 for me. It started with just selling hats and scarves while I was still teaching. Then I did it while nannying, and now it is full time while I also stay home with my daughter.
What’s your least favorite thing about being a mom?
First, I love the honesty of this question so much. It’s ok to not like certain parts of motherhood. For me, I think it’s the weight of the responsibility of being 200% responsible for raising another human being into a kind and well adjusted person. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an absolute blessing, but it’s also scary and sometimes suffocating. All of a sudden you’re laying in bed at night and thinking about how you didn’t serve your kid any veggies today and wondering if that’s going to impact what kind of adult they turn into LOL. Craziness. And society, social media, and mommy blogs only add to that pressure.
How do you get inspiration for your patterns?
Most of my patterns come from a stitch I see that I want to create into something more! Pinterest is your best friend for new stitches.
What is your favorite brand of hand dyed yarn?
Okay I pretty love any kind of hand dyed yarn LOL. But my two favorite dyers would have to Katie from A Handmade Journey, and Gina from The Little Foxes. Gina usually always has yarn listed while Katie does updates, so you may need to check back or follow her on Instagram.
What is your experience with imposter syndrome, if any?
I had to google this because I honestly wasn’t sure what it was. I don’t think I’ve experienced this, especially on a clinical level. If you don’t know what it is either, I’ll let you do your own research. I think something I do experience often, and it may be a version of imposter syndrome, is the need to prove to others how hard I work. I often assume that other people think I just got “lucky” and ended up where I am today. I irrationally feel the need for them to know that I actually work really hard for everything I achieve, whether that’s in my business, motherhood, health, etc. So, yeah! I don’t have any tips for how to overcome it, that’s just my experience.
What do you have in your diaper bag these days now that babe is bigger?
This is such a fun question! I use a backpack for my diaper bag and I always have the following:
- Diapers – one for each hours we plan to be gone
- Small pack of wipes
- Changing pad
- Extra bodysuit
- Bottle with water and formula powder
- Chapstick, lotion, hand sanitizer, and gum for myself
- About 3 of her favorite small toys
- Cup of puffs
- Baby hand wipes
- Muslin blanket
- Food if we’re going somewhere at a mealtime
How do you get people to see/purchase a pattern you release?
Once you have a few patterns under your belt and in the hands of others, makers start to trust you more as a designer. Most of my pattern customers are repeat buyers. Testers also help get the word out when they share about your pattern!
As your IG account grows, how do you manage to keep up with it?
Boundaries. I have notifications turned off and only get on IG when it is convenient for me. Also know you can’t respond to every single comment or DM, but you can do your best. Followers can tell if you are genuine or not.
What are some of the first steps needed to start a side business?
Decide what it is you want to sell and start sharing about it! There is a lot of trial and error, so you can figure out the logistics later once you figure out if what you have to offer is what people want.
Advice for starting asking for collabs? Inviting guest blog posts?
Just get out there and ask! Present yourself very professionally, compliment the other person, and let them know a few things about yourself. Basically you don’t want to email them and say “hey, I’m Kalley, want to collaborate?” Always remember the worst that can happen is they say no, but they may say yes later so don’t be discouraged! And if they do say yes, you would’ve never known if you hadn’t asked!
What is your favorite weight of yarn to work with?
Right now probably worsted and bulky. I’ve also come to appreciate the process of working with fingering weight! The outcome is so beautiful.
What are your biggest frustrations on the business/maker side?
Working really hard on something and have no one see it. Whether it’s a pattern that didn’t really take off, or a photo you worked really hard on that got lost in the algorithm. I think we can all relate!
What are your future dreams for your business?
Dreams are always changing and transitioning, but right now I’d love to turn my business into more of a lifestyle community of moms and makers. My dream it to eventually be 100% online and not sell any finished products. That’s my first time admitting that!
Thank you sooo much if you got this far! If you have any more questions feel free to drop them in the comment section and I’ll answer!
Want more posts like this? Click here to check out my post on how to ship on a budget!