Hello, I'm Joey a.k.a The Yarn Artist, but it wasn't always this way. In my first blog I want to tell you a little bit about who I am and how I got here.
Rebranding to The Yarn Artist took a bit of persuading. I first entertained the idea about a year ago when my husband - and resident website guru - Thom, was doing some SEO work on my old website site, Joanna Wood Paint... "you do realise people keep searching for Ronseal fence paint and finding your website?"... okay but I am Joanna Wood and I paint yarn...what am I meant to do about it? "You need a name that clearly says what YOU do on it's tin!" Thom said, in reference to the famous paint advert. Having the surname Wood and being a painter clearly had it's disadvantages.
So how did I get the 'paint'? Well I'd studied fine art at University in 2010 and had set up the account Joanna Wood Paint on Instagram to showcase my artwork, I LOVE painting, my style was abstract and involved pouring colourful paint onto the canvas. I enjoyed experimenting with different processes and the way the paint swirled and tessellated with the other colours I would throw into the mix fascinated me; it was almost like a dance as the colours combined on the canvas.
After graduation, I joined an arts-collective in my native Chester. I would work one day a week in the art shop in exchange for a studio space: a safe space for me to get messy and be creative: Heaven! My paintings would sell in the shop and I'd take a commission, this showed me that I could make some money from my hobby. Being around other talented artists was amazing and opened my eyes to so many different ways of crafting and creating: including weaving and my lost-love of knitting and textiles, something my Grandma had taught me as a little girl; Since becoming a Mum myself I've realised that it's really important to pass on skills like knitting to the next generation, and when Callie is old enough to learn to knit I will definitely teach her.
So off I went to makers markets and craft fayres around the county selling a combination of my colourful artwork and colourful woven scarves, knitted teddys, watercolour cards, brooches, scrunchies and other gifts all created by me. It was so much fun, but really hard work and I felt very vulnerable opening myself up to customers for the first time, what if they didn't like my products? Luckily I seemed to go down well!
In 2016 I started working for an online yarn retailer and wholesaler, whilst working there - they also sell a lot of white yarn - I discovered dyeing: something that allowed me to combine my love of colour and painting with my newly rekindled love of yarn and knitting. I'd go along to yarn shows with my day job, and take along bundles of my own skeins of hand dyed yarn to sell - this gave me my first taste of selling my own yarn to customers and the reaction was so positive! I'd found my calling. So as the years went by, and painting canvases turned into painting yarn, the name kind of just stuck and when I set up my hand-dyed yarn business in 2017 I was Joanna Wood Paint.
Don't get me wrong, I had a great time being Joanna Wood Paint and I loved building up a following for my colourful, art themed hand-dyed yarn on Instagram... but I'd started dyeing yarn as a hobby, and now it had turned into a viable business and I needed to make a change: enter The Yarn Artist.
It. Just. Made. Sense. I am am an artist... who dyes yarn... based on art! IT DOES WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN!!! To say I was a tiny bit nervous of making the change was an understatement - I was terrified... but excited. I'd spent years building up a loyal customer base, and making genuine friends with fans of my yarn... Would they still know who I was? Would they still like me? The questions ran through my mind like hundreds of woolly sheep being herded into a pen by a sheepdog! But it just felt right. So I set about planning my rebrand last Autumn.
If you want to find out more about how I went about the rebrand and what considerations I made whilst setting up my new business then you'll have to wait for my next blog which will follow soon!