This last Monday (07/27/2020) my guest was Jennifer Wenger-Turchen from Jennifer Knits. Jennifer joined me from her office in Los Angels. Jennifer's pronouns are she and her.
This interview lasted about an hour and twenty minutes. Most of our conversation revolved around business.
Jennifer told us her story... how she had been working in an LYS since she was 15. She talked about eventually getting her own shop and figuring out how she wanted her business and her life to work.
We talked about the economy, the challenges of COVID-19, and the fear of the uncertainty of how business is going to work in the next year.
Jennifer did share with us her Top 10 things she'd advise a small business to do right now. But you'll have to listen to the show to hear them. (smile).
Jennifer Wenger-Turchen's Biography: Jennifer has worked in the knitting industry since 1985. This year she is celebrating her 20th anniversary as the owner of Jennifer Knits, a fabulous, one-of-a-kind knit shop located in Brentwood Village, Los Angeles. She is known for her custom patterns—from her imagination, or inspired by your favorite ready-to-wear designer, and tailored to your gauge and measurements. Over the years, she has developed relationships with textile mills in Italy and imports the finest cashmere and merino directly to her shop.
In 2005, she authored “Teen Knitting Club”, with Maureen Lasher and Carol Abrams, and embarked on a nationwide book tour, inspiring the creation of more than 500 knitting clubs in colleges and high schools across the country. She also offers a “How to Make a Profit” seminar, teaching women how to run successful small businesses (not just knit shops). Jennifer believes that anyone can have their dreams come true with hard work, integrity, and determination.
Jennifer was president of the Brentwood Village Chamber of Commerce for eight years and served four years on the Brentwood Community Council. Her efforts helped bring local businesses together with the West LA VA to raise money for veteran’s housing, services, and job building. Working with government, the local community, and individuals, she was instrumental in helping to pass the HR3484 bill in 2017, helping to house previously homeless veterans on VA property—and made sure they had housewares, linens, and handknit potholders for their new homes.
Jennifer was raised in the South Bay and resides there with her husband and their youngest daughter. She is also a favored aunt and knitwear supplier to her two darling nephews.
Jennifer Knits sells across the country and beyond, with loyal longtime customers of all ages. With tons of Instagram instructional videos and a website full of beautiful yarns & accessories & kits, Jennifer Knits can be your “local yarn shop” no matter where you live!
Here are the resource links to some of the things we talked about on the show...
Laura Zander joined us on the first episode of the return of Fiber Hooligan. We talked about how she came to the fiber arts community. We talked about all the things she and her company are up to as well as many of the challenges that businesses and creatives face in the world of the COVID-19 virus.
Laura Zander's Bio: Laura Zander, is the co-owner of LYS & market leading online retailer of yarn, Jimmy Beans Wool. Laura, along with her husband Doug, worked as software engineers during the dot-com era in the San Francisco area. When they saw the dot-com boom turning to a bust, they decided to leave their jobs, move to their second home in the Lake Tahoe area, and begin a new adventure by opening Jimmy Beans Wool.
They started the business, which has been named four times to the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the U.S. list, with a $30,000 personal investment and have since grown it debt free to a booming operation. Laura is one of Ernst & Young's Entrepreneurial Winning Women and was invited to the White House for a forum addressing the American Jobs Act where Jimmy Beans Wool was recognized as a notable Nevada business.
An innovator in the Needlearts industry, Laura has created successful national high-profile campaigns such as Stitch Red, Stitch Mountain, & Beans for Brains. She authored and launched her first installment of a three-book series drawing awareness to heart disease, Knit Red. When not knitting or working, Laura spends most of her time on the ski hill, running, playing tennis, or relaxing with Doug and their ten-year-old son, Huck.
Jimmy Beans recently acquiried Namaste, della Q, and Madelinetosh—three beloved companies amongst knitters, crocheters, and makers. Jimmy Beans will continue to develop products under their patent pending Jimmy’s SmartStix, plus hooks, needles, and notions.
During the show we talked about a lot of things. Here are the resource links to some of those things...
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