The Ja, Wol Manifesto
You have landed on the Ja, Wol platform where we support value driven Businesses and Makers in the fiber and Needlecraft industry.
My name is Saskia de Feijter.
I’ve been moving around the fiber and needle craft industry for the better part of two decades.
As a knitting pattern designer, a yarn dyer, a needle craft teacher, a product developer, an indie yarn shop and needle craft school owner.
Always an early adopter, super starter and trail blazer. Sounds cool but their are not the most useful traits for a classic entrepreneur, because that’s not where the money is. But trough the years I’ve harnessed my gifts and I’ve made them my super powers. they led me to this work and my mission. I’m a trained marketer and branding specialist, I studied photography and have learned every thing else on the job. repeating my motto over and over: kill perfectionism with forward energy, DO. IT. NOW!
Over the years I’ve seen people growing their skills and their stash. I’ve seen small businesses rise and fall on the backdrop of a sick world with people in pain.
What we need is a Pattern Shift. A different way of doing things. We all know that it’s time to make big changes. And it needs to happen Now!
The fast fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world and here we are sitting on a huge amount of talent, creativity and stash, not taking nearly enough advantage of it.
Research has found that we need to drastically stop buying clothes and go back to only 5 items a year and a wardrobe of 75 items, 18 outfits in total; 6 for work, 4 outdoor and 3 home outfits, 3 sports and 2 party outfits.
If our assignment is to make 5 garments a year… doesn’t that seem totally do-able?
When we shift from making what we WANT (the lastest cool shawl pattern, the 31st in your wardrobe) to what we NEED (some actual socks and T-shirts), we can re-direct our focus and say goodbye to Fast Fashion!
Making what you NEED is just as fun and has all the same benefits that making WHAT YOU WANT brings. It’s great for your mental health and the universe knows we need that right now. And it provides us with so many new learning and connecting opportunities. If you feel restricted by this idea, remember that restriction actually enhances creativity.
There is a lot of work to do. The ‘making garments, home textiles and accessories industry’ doesn’t even have a proper name, I’ve had to construct it myself. The fiber and needle craft industry consists of some big commercial brands and a gazillion small businesses that started from a passion usually without a formal education. Our space in this industry is the David to the Fast Fashion Goliath.
All those people that want to craft their own garments need the small businesses to provide them with steady support, great services and a collection of products that were curated from the hearts and values of their owners. That would be you!
We need to be able to rely on the small businesses because the big brands are usually profit driven instead of value driven.
Here’s where the paradox lies, in Kapitalism, businesses need to grow huge to compete and sustain themselves, and the need to grow often swallows even the best intentions.
I believe we need to shift to
- Shopping small and local
- learning and adapting to be happier with less and learning to make choices
- Building community around businesses and consumers so communication lines are short and the needs of the maker can be met by the businesses within a value system that supports the community
I bet you didn’t get a business education when you started to dye or sell yarns, fiber and fabrics. And you did not necessarily think you would be saving the world with your pattern sales.
Well I’m here to tell you that professionalizing, organising, planning, marketing, branding and selling aren’t dirty words but necessary to sustain your business and yourself. Not just for your own benefit, not just for the benefit of the makers that need you but for the benefit of this Pattern Shift.
These are all great and big ideas you say… But… The reality is that you are stuck in the day-to-day swamp of running your enterprise, it’s hard to get out of the daily grind and hover above it forming a vision and start working on moving your business forward instead of just (barely) managing the daily tasks. And save some time for your family and god forbid, yourself.
We need change makers like you to simultaneously create and become part of a solid and healthy industry AND love doing it.
So I have made it my business to support this change.
Ja, Wol offers a support platform for makers and sellers alike.
The Ja, Wol Community (.com) connects them in a safe space that welcomes al.
The Ja, Wol Business Circle is a community based holistic business program that helps organise, plan and strategise growth from your personal needs as a business owner so you can solidify and sustain your business and be part of a more sustainable industry.
The Pattern Shift podcast (is part of the helpful podcast network and) offers insights, information and inspiration through stories and experiences from business owners like you. See it as a bi-weekly motivational lesson to start your pattern shift and move the needle!
THE JA, WOL MINI MANIFESTO
(please share and inspire others to join our movement)
The Ja, Wol mission is to inspire makers to make what they need, and show them that it’s even more fulfilling and just as fun as making what you want.
To then connect the motivated makers to value driven businesses. Teaching them in turn how to solidify and sustain their businesses without burning out.
Together, Crafting a healthier and forward facing industry of people that care about our world and her inhabitants.
Ja, Wol leads change through craft and community!