Featured Collaborator: Knit Knorth

Today we feature an interview with Heather Adle, owner of Knit Knorth a new yarn shop in Traverse City, MI.  We were thrilled that she wanted to include Love+Leche products in her opening inventory!  Here she talks about opening her store and becoming a small business owner.

How did you decide to open a yarn store?
I started knitting 15 years ago, and not long after that I knew that someday I wanted to own my yarn store. I’d always wanted to own a small business, and combining this dream with my new passion seemed natural. There are a few yarn stores in town, and after being a customer of one for a few years I approached the owner about coming to work for her. I worked at the store for five years which further fueled my dream to someday own a yarn shop myself.

I ended up leaving the store and returned to teaching elementary school until a few months ago. A great location downtown became available, I got some funding, and I made the quick decision to go for it. I’ve had the business plan and the name for a long time now, and it felt like I was just waiting for the right time!

What do you hope to bring to your local knitting community with your new store? 
We’ll be carrying mostly yarn, and a little spinning fiber. I’ve been thoughtful in curating a variety of items that aren’t available in our area. As a small business owner myself it’s important to me to support other entrepreneurs, so I strive to support these other small companies and introduce our local community to all the wonderful indie dyers and other makers out there.

knitknorth2What has been the biggest hurdle in realizing your dream of owning a small business? 
Making a break from what I had been doing. I became known in the community as the manager of another yarn store, so breaking that mold was uncomfortable. I had to ask myself, “image1Do I have the stomach to do what I really want to do?” I know it’s going to be a lot of work, and it has been a ton already just getting here. From deciding to start a yarn shop to our first day with doors open is just 6 weeks, so it’s been a mad rush to get everything done in time.

What are you looking forward to most after the doors open? 
Putting customers in exceptional product! I love yarn, I love knitting, and I love helping people knit beautiful items.

What scares you the most about opening your store?
The big questions like, “Did I get it right?” You spend all this time creating a business plan, and you put a lot on the line. The business model in the past has been buy a ton of yarn, and then people will buy it. But the market is changing, so you have to be selective. Packing the store floor to ceiling with yarn that you can’t sell isn’t going to work. There’s product everywhere, so it’s important to really curate your offerings.

knitknorth3And of course, we have to ask, why did you choose to carry Love+Leche products in your store?
It’s a great product. It’s one that I use, and love, and that’s what I want to sell here in my store. I love the packaging. It’s clean, modern, and reusable. I’m allergic to synthetic perfumes, so it was important to get something that was natural. I like that it goes on easily, dries quickly. There are other similar products available, but the clean natural scents and the packaging make it a cut above the rest.

 

Love-of-the-Month-Club

We’re excited to announce our first ever club! You’ve probably seen other clubs before – for chocolate, wine, books, craft kits, and more. With the Love+Leche Love-of-the-Month Club you’ll get our best selling skin care products delivered right to your door each month! Today we’re giving you all the info for our new club, but don’t wait to order a subscription to the club–sign ups close Dec 31st! 

So, how does it work, you ask? 

  • Each month you’ll get a curated package of our best selling products, including special holiday and limited edition items!
  • Every shipment is packaged and delivered on the 15th of the month.
  • You can save up to 25%.
  • Available in 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month subscriptions we have the perfect gift for your budget, and you can relax knowing you’ve given a gift that the recipient can enjoy for months to come!

What’s in each shipment? 

Well we wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise, but here’s an example of what you would get in the first shipment: 1 bar of Goat Milk Soap, and a sampler kit of 5 mini lotion bars including one in each of our scents.

Love+LecheSoapThree unnamed-1

Who should I give this to? 

The short answer: Anyone on your gift list that loves hand crafted quality soaps and lotion bars. But, here are some more ideas:

  • Your family – your mom, sister, daughter, wife, you get the idea!
  • Your loved ones who live far away – each month they’ll get a reminder that you’re thinking of them, even if you can’t spend as much time together as you’d like.
  • Professional contacts like clients and contractors.
  • Teachers.
  • New moms and soon to be moms – they often have dry skin from all the hormones of pregnancy and could use a monthly reminder to take some time for themselves.
  • Yourself! Don’t forget to treat yourself to some nurturing in the new year, each month when you get a new package you’ll be thanking your past self!

3 reasons to gift a subscription to the Love-of-the-Month-Club today! 

  1. This is the gift that keeps on giving, with shipments coming each month you’ll get a fun surprise long after the holidays have ended.
  2. You’ll get a discount on a high quality product that’s good for you and supports small businesses and local artisans.
  3. Time is limited – don’t miss the chance to sign up!

Introducing Love+Leche

I am excited to introduce our newest custom soap mold design, as well as share the news of our new name. Both are called Love+Leche.
 Love+LecheSoapThree
Our-Lady-of-Guadalupe-detail
The Virgin of Guadalupe

This beautiful new mold design harkens back to the very first year that I began my business.  Taken under the wing of a local goatherd/milkmaid and soap maker Francesca Oldani, she shared with me not only her secrets and techniques for making soap, but also this beautiful custom design she had created for her by local sculptor Stephanie Huerta. I loved (and coveted) this design the moment I saw it. It captured the sweetness of the Nubian goats I adored and was raising, and the human-like maternal feeling shared between these two reflected my own mothering with my then small children. The rays in the background not only add a great graphic depth to the design, but echo the holy rays that always surround the Virgin of Guadalupe, a ubiquitous figure we have here in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico. And the square shape and size is of course the perfect dimension for a bar of soap. Struck by an inspiration, we adapted the design into our signature round-shape for our lotion bars.

Fast forward a few years, and I have designed my own custom soap and lotion molds with Stephanie–but have never forgotten this one. I hang on to a bar of soap that Francesca made with her mold, and every so often take it out and gaze at it in appreciation. Then, last year, I received a call from Francesca. Her life changed shortly after she helped me get started in soap making, and her custom soap design never really came out into the world. Now she was sorting and cleaning out and found the original clay sculpture of this design, and would I like to buy it? Yes! And so here it is.
I have named it Love+Leche—for obvious reasons, no? Of course Leche (pronounced “lay-chay”) is the Spanish word for milk. It’s what babies ask their mothers for (when they can talk!) and what I get from the goats, and what makes your skin feel so good when you use my soap.
nursing
My daughter Roan enjoying her leche 17 years ago–she just got accepted to college!
And beginning today, Milk+Honey becomes Love+Leche. After ten amazing years as Milk+Honey, a perfect name if ever there was one, I discovered that this name has been registered as a Trademark by another company. My brilliant daughter came up with Love+Leche during a brainstorming evening (she is the namer of the family). And so it is! Giving us an opportunity to let you all know that other than the name, our business continues as it always has, run by myself (CEO and Milkmaid), as a family business here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with our values as strong as ever:
  • A belief in Mother Nature
  • An appreciation for things natural, handmade, sensual and beautiful
  • A passion to create a meaningful life that inspires others to do the same.


Love
+Leche.

This will be a transition . . . we can’t wait to hear what you think.