Biography: I started the scarf business about twelve years ago based on the positive feedback I got from my daughters and friends when I hand knitted scarves for them. Initially, I attended several local craft shows. From these shows, I learned the craft business. I also started to explore different types of yarns and develop several techniques in creating new styles. This allows me to make and sell scarves year round. Besides hand crafting the scarves, I spent considerable amount of time in researching and experimenting new types of yarns, fabrics, beads and other materials as well as developing new patterns and techniques. Business aspects aside, it is especially gratifying when customers let me know (at the craft shows, phone calls, email) they get many compliments when using the scarves and referring me to their friends and relatives, and yet they are so affordable.
Terry’s Boutique Work Process
My work process in producing scarves is as follow:
1. Sourcing and selection of materials
2. Develop prototypes and patterns
3. Refine techniques and material selection
4. Manufacture scarves
1. Sourcing and Selection of Materials
The sourcing and selection of yarns are one of the most critical things in putting together a scarf. I purchase yarns from many different places, mostly yarn wholesalers and manufacturers. Most of them have a large variety of yarns. To make one scarf I use many different yarns based on colors and texture. So my inventory consists of hundreds of yarn rolls and fabric types, colors, and large quantities for the most popular ones. Examples of the types of yarns (generically) I use include: eyelash, sequins, confetti, fur, feathery, lacy leather, ribbon, krinkel, and many other novelty yarns. In addition to yarns and fabrics, I also use beads, laces, and other materials.
2. Develop Prototypes and Patterns
I spend a lot of time developing new scarf ideas through trial and error. I also develop my own patterns by experimenting with different techniques and applying them with varieties of yarns, fabrics, beads, laces, and other materials. The results are prototype scarves and shawls with a distinctive personal touch. Developing my own patterns result in new knitting, crocheting, sewing, tying, and other techniques required for “manufacturing”.
3. Refine Techniques and Materials
Once a prototype is determined to be viable, I need to refine the techniques and narrow down the set of yarns/fabrics that I will use in manufacturing. During this process, I develop tools as needed, e.g., frame(s) in producing my string scarf. Also, I often need to purchase additional large quantity of yarns.
4. Manufacture Scarves
This is the manual effort of making quantities of scarves and shawls after the materials have been purchased, patterns, tools and techniques are finalized. For example, I use certain needle types, size, and technique to make the “ruffle scarf” and “scarflet.” I develop a frame as well as certain techniques to make the “string scarf”. The “ruffle”, “string”, fabric scarves, and “scarflet” are all my creations.