On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast, we’re talking about collaborations with my guest Angela Smith and Liz Gipson.
Angela founded Purl & Loop in 2012 after realizing her “ladder was against the wrong wall” in her sales career and she was determined to find a calling that brought joy and creativity to the world. Purl & Loop was originally a fiber related e-commerce site. Upon discovering the world of laser cutters in 2014, Purl & Loop moved into the business of creating portable weaving looms and accessories.
Liz Gipson has an educational background in community development, wool science, and adult education, and a lifetime of exuberance for introducing beginners to the art and craft of weaving. She hosts a community-funded, online weaving school for rigid-heddle weavers and a resource-rich website. Having spent nearly 20 years in the yarn industry and more than 30 as a weaver, she really enjoys collaborating with yarn makers, tool suppliers, and fellow makers to create unique learning experiences.
This episode is sponsored by GourmetQuilter.
Because quilting is delicious.
This episode is brought to you by GourmetQuilter. GourmetQuilter has been bringing original quilt patterns to the quilt world for the last 20 years, as well as many quilting tips and techniques video tutorials via GourmetQuilter on YouTube. 0nline projects are a specialty such as Block of the Day, what’s in the Box Mystery quilts, Sew Alongs as well as many other delicious items. Go to www.gourmetquilter.com to learn more and use code CIA20 to receive a 20% discount on the GourmetQuilter book, That Town and Country Quilt, through Feb 29th 2020.
We begin this episode by hearing about Angela’s background founding Purl & Loop. Liz talks about finding success in her job selling real estate, only to realize that she wasn’t happy with the lifestyle required to continue to achieve in that field. After spending time in a local yarn shop she set out to find a creative career. It took some searching, but eventually Angela began selling weaving looms online.
When she moved into a studio outside her home and took a laser cutting class at another studio nearby, she realized she could take control of the production of her looms herself and Purl & Loop was born.
Next we hear from Liz about her long career teaching rigid heddle weaving. Liz has worked in publishing and loom production and she’s taught in-person and online. At heart she’s a community builder and her devotion to the artform of weaving runs deep.
The reason I invited Liz and Angela to come on the show together is their unique and highly successful product collaborations. Purl & Loop produces a series of Yarnworker looms and other accessories. Liz and Angela explain how they first began working together, and their various doubts at the beginning. They emphasize the importance of mutual trust and follow-through. And they detail the financial arrangement they’ve worked out, including some of the nuts and bolts that make the whole thing work.
If you’re at all considering entering into a collaborative partnership with another business owner, this episode is for you! It’s clear from talking to Angela and Liz that working together has been beneficial for both of them.
In this conversation we reference:
And, of course, I ask Liz and Angela to recommend great stuff their enjoying right now.
- Raw Material: Working Wool in the West by Stephany Wilkes
- Country Music by Ken Burns and Hip Hop Evolution on Netflix
- Cold brew coffee with Premier Protein Shakes