Who doesn’t like the long-lasting Olympic theme track, with its motivating catchy beat, making one really feel like they may win an Olympic gold medal themselves? Right this moment the 2021 Winter Olympics are kicking off in Beijing, China and for the subsequent seventeen days, athletes will compete for gold, silver, and bronze in numerous sport classes. For america 224 athletes are competing and Sh*t That I Knit (STIK), a US knitwear model, began by Christina Pardy, has beanies and mittens prepared for the Individuals because the nation cheers on its athletes.
The Olympics assortment that Christina and her crew of knitters in Peru created got here from a gusto thought she had, in addition to persistence in 2018. “I met somebody in merchandising at america Olympic and Paralympic Properties (USOPP) again in 2018, and requested him if we may create a beanie particularly for the Winter Olympics in 2022. Regardless of not getting a “sure” then, I began working with our crew of knitters in Peru to design a pink, white, and blue Workforce USA beanie. As soon as I acquired the samples, I shared them with my contact at USOPP and adopted up each few months to “verify in.” This persistence led to the largest collaboration and accomplishment for STIK up to now – turning into an official licensee of Workforce USA.”
The gathering includes of a beanie set with mittens, of navy blue and white coloration themes. The navy beanie dons “USA” on the entrance with an American flag patch and the Olympic rings image, and “TEAM” on the again ($150), with matching mittens ($105) in the identical coloration scheme and respective “USA” and “TEAM” as nicely. The white beanie ($135) simply has the American flag patch and the Olympic rings image with matching gloves ($95).
An enormous Olympics fan, Pardy has been watching the video games since she was a toddler, pretending to be an ice skater together with her sisters on their kitchen ground. Snowboarding is her favourite sport to observe, with Mikaela Shiffrin being an athlete she admires. “To have the official Olympic and Paralympic Workforce marks on my designs is one thing I solely dreamt about. It’s the greatest honor to see Olympians sporting our assortment – and one thing I’ll always remember.”
Persevering with, Pardy notes, “this previous summer time we finalized the gathering – two beanies, two mittens, all with the official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Workforce Marks. We launched in October, and have seen an amazing response from retired Olympians, present athletes, celebrities, and followers alike. In reality, we despatched our beanies to many Olympians who at the moment are in Beijing! Whereas they can not put on them when competing or coaching, they’ve been seen sporting them whereas lounging between occasions!”
Pardy realized knitting from her mother in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Although she’s not Canadian, she spent her childhood summers on the scenic Canadian island. “My mother took me to a yarn retailer in Cape Breton and taught me methods to knit. My first challenge was a purple sweater (I nonetheless have it!) and from there, I used to be hooked.” Discover the craft therapeutic, she could be discovered watching Netflix on a Friday night time whereas knitting.
But it surely was Pardy’s sister who teased her into beginning STIK, which began off as a weblog first and has develop into what it’s immediately. However earlier than going full time together with her enterprise, she labored in gross sales for a tech firm in Boston, knitting in convention rooms whereas as she states, “making an attempt to promote retargeting software program.” Going social in 2014, Pardy started to garner a neighborhood of followers who needed to buy STIK merchandise. So, she and her mother spent the summer time of 2014 knitting STIK stock to promote at an area winter market of their native Boston. Promoting out in two weekends, Pardy remembers: “we completed one thing much more significant – we made everybody who walked by our sales space cease and snigger at our title. This gave me the boldness that my aspect weblog may actually flip right into a model and a enterprise. I ended up quitting my gross sales job in 2015 to pursue STIK full time.”
The model is sustainable, making its merchandise from prime quality supplies like 100% merino wool, or a mix of merino and alpaca wool, and are additionally ethically sourced. “We supply all-natural supplies from merino sheep and alpacas in Arequipa, Peru. And, the prime quality and handknit nature of our items is what units us aside. Not many merchandise are handcrafted nowadays, and understanding the effort and time that goes into creating our items make them actually particular,” she explains.
However, it was trial and error of studying that having her manufacturing within the US wasn’t going to work and that she needed to outsource. When Pardy began to work full time with STIK she employed 30 ladies in Boston to be knitters. “This was a good way for me to study manufacturing in a bigger capability (past simply my mother and me!) however I shortly realized that it wasn’t scalable,” she shares.
“As the corporate continued to develop, I made the choice in 2016 to outsource manufacturing to a feminine artisan group in Lima, Peru. This was completely important in maintaining with orders and high quality management, decreasing prices, and rising the enterprise. We have been already buying our merino wool in Peru, so it made sense from a provide chain and carbon footprint standpoint to outsource manufacturing to Peru as nicely. Peru additionally has a longstanding custom with knitting – it’s ingrained of their tradition and is handed down from technology to technology.”
On this approach STIK is empowering these ladies knitting artisans. Pardy has employed over 200 ladies in Lima and the corporate predicts that it’ll rent 450 ladies by the tip of the 12 months. “It is a distinctive and great alternative for these ladies, permitting them to remain near their households, knit from house, deal with their kids, and herald an actual earnings. It’s extremely rewarding for me to see how a lot our firm is making a distinction of their lives. These ladies are extremely expert knitters, and likewise assist us design our merchandise.”
The way it works is that Pardy and her crew sends the knitters preliminary concepts and the ladies in Lima carry them to life. “We’re continuously on WhatsApp chatting with our crew in Lima and I consider these ladies as an important extension of our small however mighty crew of eight ladies in our Boston HQ,” she beams.
Along with creating jobs for girls, STIK teaches most cancers sufferers methods to knit as a strategy to cross time. “I used to be impressed to create our Give-A-Sh*t Knit Kits after instructing a good friend methods to knit when she was identified with Leukemia on the age of 25. At such a chaotic time in her journey, she needed a glimpse of normalcy, and studying to knit with a bunch of her girlfriends appeared like the right answer. By the tip of the night time, it was clear that knitting was extraordinarily therapeutic. My good friend’s mother remarked that for the primary time in weeks, she had spent the night time fascinated by one thing aside from most cancers.”
So Pardy created the initiative to assist share the numerous advantages of knitting with most cancers sufferers. Partnering instantly with hospitals permits people to request kits for themselves.
So, for those who’re desirous to cheer on Workforce USA from immediately till February 20th, you should buy the limited-edition knitwear on STIK’s web site. And you’ll catch the opening ceremony tonight beginning at 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM on NBC and Peacock.