Meet Christina Fagan, “Chief Knitting Officer” of the Boston-based company, Sh*t That I Knit. The 25-year-old founder and self-described knitting nerd is making everything old, new again with her high-end knit accessories company.
“I knitted throughout high school and college, and my sisters would always make fun of me and the shit that I knit,” Fagan tells BostInno. “This spurred the idea to set up a website to share pictures of shit I had knit with my old lady knitting friends,” she adds.
Since launching her business last year, Fagan has managed to tap into a core group of creative millennials “looking to do something other than sitting on their phones,” she explains. Last October, the founder began selling her knitwear at SoWa and various other South End boutiques. But with the demand only rising, Fagan decided it was time to take her hobby to the next level.
“I couldn’t keep up with demand and I thought I would hire some old ladies to help me knit,” Fagan told us. “After posting an Instagram… I got a flood of applications and it turned out to all be 20-something-year-olds, who also had normal lives but just loved to knit and binge watch Netflix.”
In less than a year, Fagan has managed to grow her company from one to 24 contracted knitters in the Boston and Portland, ME areas. “I quit my day job on May 1 and am doing this shit full time now, which is frightening at times,” says Fagan.
Here, the Sh*t That I Knit founder tells BostInno how she manages to run a business and create pom-pom hats – all in a day’s work.
MW: How do you spend most mornings?
CF: 6:12 a.m. my internal alarm clock goes off and I wake up in the middle of sleep talking. By 6:15 a.m. my slippers are on and I am on my way to burn a pot of coffee. I swore off the $4 Starbucks latte when I quit my job, so learning how to make my own coffee has been a challenge. My mind is the sharpest in the morning, so I tend to crush emails for an hour or two, blasting music – I’m sure my neighbors love me. Around 9 a.m. I’ll put the computer away, do some knitting and eat my breakfast.
MW: What are the top priorities on your to-do list right now?
CF: Get wholesale orders from high-end stores, build an inventory, pick a charity to donate proceeds from Give-A-Shit, and continue to spread the word about this sh*t. But there are so many things that go along with accomplishing those big ticket items that I am learning how to do on the fly. Also need to go the gym more and get a boyfriend, but some things just have to be sidelined for now.
MW: What is the best part and the worst part about your day?
CF: The best part of my day is when I am being creative. That can mean designing and creating a new piece (this usually involves a Netflix show or two), coordinating partnerships with other makers or bloggers, or setting up a silly Instagram.
The worst part of my day is dealing with the un-fun details. I am not a type-A person. I’ve never been a perfectionist and doing really detail-oriented busy work is not my forte. At some point having someone on my team who can deal with that shit for me will be ideal.
MW: If you could impart one piece of advice to our readers, what would it be?
CF: BE WEIRD and if you’re not, just BE YOU – that is nearly as important.
MW: What are you working on right this minute?
CF: Right now, we are working on building up a huge inventory. Last Fall I did not have enough to get me through the holiday season and regardless of what traffic I drove to my site, I didn’t have anything to sell. The team is knitting up hats, cowls, and headbands that I designed. While they do that, I am working on marketing and PR.
MW: What’s the secret to your productivity?
CF: Knitting is INSANELY addicting. This might mean bringing it to a party, the beach, the nail salon, the movie theater; I may have brought mine to a bar…
MW: What does the future hold for your Sh*t That I Knit company?
CF: Well for one, I think your readers should be really excited about buying a perfect hat this winter. They can also feel good about that purchase because major proceeds of my sales will be going to a charity. I still have to finalize which group to go with, but my aim is to focus on a local charity where our team can make a real impact.
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed.
Image courtesy of Christina Fagan