A NEW business capitalising on the resurgence of knitting as a hobby has been launched by a Huddersfield woman.
Jadwiga Bialkowska and her York-based sister Anna have set up web-based business Serenity Knitting to supply a wide range of natural yarns, cottons and wools for the growing army of UK hobby knitters.
Holmfirth-based Rowan Yarns and Designer Yarns, of Keighley, have been contracted to supply Serenity Knitting, which also offers knitting patterns, a product search service, accessories, advice and a blog.
Latest fashion tips and knitting ideas are also available from Serenity Knitting. The website also promotes the production, sale and use of natural, low-environmental-impact fibres – from cotton plants to silk worms.
And it offers an e-mail response service in French and Polish to cater for overseas customers.
Jadwiga, who has been a knitter since the age of 10, worked in financial services before deciding to strike out as an internet entrepreneur.
She said: “Knitting is undergoing a massive resurgence because it is a great, practical hobby for the current economic climate and taps into the creative impulse.
“It is also very fashionable, with celebrities including Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz becoming avid knitters as well as millions of ordinary people from all walks of life.”
Said Jadwiga: “One stimulus for this has been some of the UK fashion chains importing clothes from the Far East. These are often knitted from synthetic yarns.
“Shoppers are inspired by the design of the clothes and want to create their own garments out of high quality natural wool, which is fairly traded and coupled with premium quality patterns.”
Serenity Knitting reckons that 4m women in the UK – and 448,000 men – knit or sew. More than 93,000 balls of yarn were sold at one UK store chain in a single week before last Christmas and the UK now has its own National Knitting Week in October, which is growing in popularity.
The development of the online business used York-based ecommerce specialists Purenet and web designer Tara Smith, of Pure Azure.
Anna, Serenity Knitting’s marketing and business development manager, said: “We wanted the best of both design and e-commerce.
“This has worked well for us with a strong ecommerce platform and content accompanied by high-quality design which will constantly be updated with news and ideas as we develop an online following.
“Online businesses are more confident than traditional retailers about the recession and we are already experiencing a high level of interest.”
Rowan Yarns national sales manager Emma Mychajlowskyj said: “It is wonderful to see all Jadwiga and Anna’s hard work pay off as www.serenityknitting.co.uk is a credit to them both and a welcome addition to the online knitting community.”