On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast, we’re talking about creating a knitting magazine with my guests Hanna Lisa Haferkamp and Claire Walls.
Hanna Lisa is the CEO and owner of Making Stories, an independent, knitwear design publisher focusing on the intersection of sustainability and knitting. The cornerstone of her work at Making Stories is the biannual Making Stories Magazine, filled with modern knitwear patterns and sustainable yarns, which is complemented by the Making Stories blog and podcast, both relaunched in 2020. Implementing sustainability, transparency, fairness, and equity in all parts of her work is incredibly important to Hanna Lisa. She lives with her 18-month-old and her partner in Berlin is fueled by coffee and sunshine and loves taking her knitting out to the playground, park, or balcony.
And Clarie Walls is a maker and designer of nice things originally from the UK, but now living in Nova Scotia. In 2017 she published her first knitting pattern and completely fell in love with designing knitwear and over time became increasingly interested in working with natural fibers and exploring sustainability. When Claire discovered Making Stories, she was instantly excited and intrigued by the work they were doing, so she jumped at the chance to work for them when a job opportunity came up.
This episode is sponsored by Appalachian Baby Design.
Offering organic cotton and designs.
Appalachian Baby Design offers U.S. organic cotton and designs to create heirloom baby and family gifts for the knitter, crocheter and weaver. See their selection of yarn, patterns and kits at appalachianbaby.com and use code CIA421 for a 20% discount between April 5-30, 2021.
We begin this conversation with Hanna Lisa explaining her career trajectory from working in the corporate world to shifting into the crafts industry, eventually finding her way to create knitting publications, first books than magazines. Hanna Lisa talks about her first craft business making project bags and how motherhood helped her to zero in on what she was truly passionate about which was publishing. Next, Claire talks about her previous craft businesses and the path that led her to join the Making Stories team.
Hanna Lisa talks about the ins and out of creating a print magazine, including the costs involved and why consumers are more willing to pay for a print magazine over a digital publication, even though Making Stories offers both. Making Stories has stockists all over the world. Hanna Lisa and Claire explain how they went about establishing relationships with retail shops and how they foster those relationships over time.
Next, we discuss the content of the magazine and its focus on sustainability. Claire explains the types of knitting patterns they’re looking for (those that create timeless garments that will last). Making Stories has open calls for submissions and Claire talks about how they determine which patterns make it into the magazine.
We also discuss the tech behind Making Stories. The site is built with Squarespace and Hanna Lisa talks about some of the challenges they’ve faced offering and managing subscriptions over time.
We refer to:
- this post which describes what makes for a good submission to the magazine
- The Wooly Thistle which distributes Making Stories in the US market
- Canadian distributor for the magazine, Julie Asselin
- the first Making Stories publication, Woods
And, of course, I ask Hanna Lisa and Claire to recommend great stuff they’re enjoying right now.
Hanna Lisa recommends:
And Claire recommends: