Maker of the Month: knittykittybangbang


Carolyn from knittykittybangbang

How did you start?

I've always made stuff, I just have it in me. I started making and selling jewellery when I was 13 and then just went about acquiring skills to let me do more things.


Why did you start?

In all honesty someone I knew passed away quite young and she'd made it very clear before she died that she had a lot of very big regrets about her life. It kinda made me go ye know what I've always wanted to do this, I have the opportunity, so I just should. And I've never looked back!


I got involved with running Ministry when Amanda, who started it with Iona, had to step back and I was very lucky to be able to come in and fill that gap.


Who or what do you find inspiring?


OH MY GOD SO MANY PEOPLE AND THINGS!!!


Alexander McQueen (Lee himself, not the company as it now is), Beth Ditto, Rembrandt, music, film, photography, art, astrology, storytelling, poetry, space, forests, flowers, women, colour ALL THE COLOUR!! I find so many of the stallholders I've met through events so personally inspiring too, everyone has their own story and their own vision and take on life and I love that.



What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about running your business?

I love spreadsheets with all my heart. I love data and taking this intangible thing of creating and forming it into something measurable. Oof, love it. I also love all the different people I meet.


Least favourite – packing up after events. How do I still not have a method for it after nearly 8 years???


Have you had any particular highs and/or lows?

The first day I sold over £100's worth of stuff will always stick in my memory as a big high. It happened to be at AmoC, before I was on the management team, and I even remember where I was sitting. I like to remind myself on days when I'm not happy with my takings that there used to be days I'd have been delighted with them.


What are you proud of?

I'm proud of how much my photos have improved haha!


What’s your favourite thing about MoC?

The people. I've made some incredible friends who I love dearly.


What’s your favourite thing you make? Do you have anything you really don’t like making?

I really like making studs. I really dislike making anything that involves lots of jumprings.


Who are your favourite makers?

That's really hard because there are so many! I've worn Crafty Wee Birdie bracelets for about 6 years consistently, Little White Desk always makes me laugh, Paper Pine Tree's work is so beautiful and evocative and esoteric, Bee Struthers prints are so lovely, Fernweh hats and bags are so timeless and well made. I could go on for a while here!


How did you come up with your name?

I started out in textiles, and I still teach textiles, so knitty came from knitting, kitty was something my husband called me from being nicknamed Moggy because of my ginger hair, and bangbang just works!


What would be your absolute dream outcome for your business?

To be providing work for people I think. To give other people opportunities to work in the creative industries.


What’s new for 2019?

I dunno if I should say....it's a bit of a secret....but I'm working with a couple of American spokesmodels on producing some body jewellery (ooooh get me!)


What are your goals?

Happiness and security for myself and those around me.


If you could try your hand at another skill (craft or otherwise) what would it be?

Burlesque!!! Hopefully we'll have a burlesque class at Dundee MoC some time this year and I really want a go!



What are your hobbies?

Playing guitar and singing, watching films, reading books, astrology, eating with good friends.


What product would you like to see at events that you’ve never seen?

Clothes that fit me! And I don't just mean t-shirts! I love fashion and I would love love love to be able to buy clothes in my size at events. I've seen some incredible clothes at events in Glasgow but sadly they've always stopped at a size 14 and sorry loves but the average UK woman is a size 16 so you're missing a trick there. There's a real gap in the market for clothes over a size 16 so if anyone would like to collaborate with me (I am qualified!) please get in touch.


Which 5 people, alive or dead, would you have at your fantasy dinner party?

Brody Dalle, Anthony Bourdain, Alexander McQueen, Mhairi Black, Werner Herzog


Do you have any funny stories about your time crafting?

Someone once stole my ironing board from a sewing class I was teaching. How the heck do you steal and ironing board unnoticed???


What’s your favourite book/film/band?

My favourite book is Treasure Island with Beloved by Toni Morrison a close second, ooh and also Hera Lindsay Bird has given me a love for poetry


I'm really into film so that could be a long list but the best film I've seen recently was a Swedish film called Border.

My favourite band is The Distillers. I am completely in love with Brody Dalle and I do not care who knows it.


What’s your drink of choice?

Diet coke, preferably with lots of ice from McDonalds. Pink grapefruit gin a close second.


What’s your favourite food or best meal you’ve ever had?

In Amsterdam there is a restaurant called Aneka Rasa which does a mean rijsttafel! They bring I think it was 10 separate Indonesian dishes to your table at once and each one is just incredible. It was also one of the cheapest meals we had in Amsterdam that trip but was easily the best thing I've ever eaten. If you're in Amsterdam please seek them out!


What’s your cheapest and most expensive item?

My cheapest items are charm earrings for £5 and my current most expensive item is a large statement sterling silver necklace for £120.


If you had a dream client or model who would they be?

Lupita Nyong'o, Natasha Lyonne or Beth Ditto.


Do you have any advise for other crafters? Is there something you wish you’d known from the start?


I could write a whole blog on this!!!


In your first year you're probably not going to make any money. At your first event you will be lucky to sell anything and in that first year if you're covering your table costs you're doing just fine! And if you're not, that's normal too. JUST KEEP GOING! After that first year you'll have learnt so much and will have built your brand and rapport with customers that you'll do great.


There is no fast buck here or everyone would do it.


“People will never pay for your time” is a lie. Don't undersell yourself, ever.


Everything you see on social media is what people have chosen to show you, don't get upset about it and always remember that.


Don't listen to anyone else about what they think about your brand or business unless you have actually seen them prove they can walk the walk not just talk the talk. Often from stallholders and in the online support groups I'm in I'll hear people say 'my husband/mother/friends say I should do this or this should be happening' – if they're not in the industry, and they're not actually doing it, they don't know shit! Do your own research from reputable sources, know your own mind and make your own decisions.


Make a business plan now, it'll make it so much easier 5 or 6 years down the line!


Find knittykittybangbang on Etsy here


If you'd like to be a stallholder you can apply here for Aberdeen and here for Dundee. If you would like to be featured as maker of the month please email Ashley from our Marketing Team - Ashley_M_Morris@hotmail.co.uk

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© 2019 Aberdeen Ministry of Crafts