You may have noticed that it's been quiet around here. We've spent the last few weeks following what's happening on the public stage, listening and learning about the experiences of the Black community. Created by Elsie B strives to be an inclusive company, and that has always been a part of our values. However, we haven't always been involved and aware of the issue of diversity in fiber. In fact, it really only came on to our radar within the last year. But, we want our customers and readers to know that we're focusing our energy in this area and are sorry that we haven't been more involved. The issue of the lack of diversity in our space has hit us hard, and our eyes are open. We have committed to doing better and being part of the solution. We will miss the mark. We will make mistakes. And, we will listen and learn and take accountability when that happens. If you follow Created by Elsie B on Instagram, that has been our main platform over the last few weeks to highlight the various resources that we have found invaluable to our education. If you are struggling with where to start, we have book lists, educational resources and blog posts there that we have found helpful. In addition, today's blog highlights a very personal and actionable step that any fiber artist can take to encourage, support and promote Black voices in fiber.
There is no doubt that we love color. (It's kind of our thing here at Created by Elsie B!) LeAndra spends a lot of time pairing and planning for the beauties that we send out the door every day, not to mention the actual process of mixing and applying the vibrant colors of our Elsie B fibers. And, while there's little doubt that our variegated colorways steal the proverbial show, we like to think that our semi solids are the hidden gems of the spinning world. They are stunning in their own right, but tonals really shine paired with our more colorful options for perfect plying and blending. There is so much you can do with semi solids, and adding them to your fiber repertoire will really kick it up a notch, so to speak. Today we're highlighting just a few of these beauties. While we often develop tonals to match a specific paired colorway, we release them independently as well, and also have several (such as Linen shown here) that have several matching colorways. However you use them, the creative possibilities are truly endless!
It's no secret that we love our customers! It really brings us a lot of joy and fulfillment to see our fibers going into the wild and being used, loved and coming to new life with your creativity. We are crazy excited today to give you inside look into our Created by Elsie B community and learn more about one of our much-loved customers, Kathleen McConnell, shown here exploring a stunning park in Maine last September. Kathleen has been an active participant in our Elsie B Facebook group for some time, and she is so encouraging, wise and creative! We have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Kathleen's spinning journey, and we hope you find it as inspiring and interesting as we have.
One of the most common misconceptions that we hear from people that don't craft (or new DIYers) is that we make things with our hands "to save money." While we definitely think that getting crafty is an excellent value, the hundreds to thousands of dollars in our respective craft stashes indicate that we've shelled out big bucks for the pretties that we create with. We are willing to bet that you get that in a big way as well! Still, budgeting matters, and it's not always possible to pick up every Elsie B fiber that catches your eye at any moment. It can also be difficult to add higher ticket supplies to your repertoire, even when they increase speed and productivity dramatically. (I'm looking at you, spinning wheels!) The good news is that Created by Elsie B offers a good dozen payment methods. One of our more budget-savvy options is Sezzle. Sezzle allows you to make Elsie B purchases using four easy installments. Here's how it works!
"Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue..." Now, if you aren't singing that in your head at this point, you must be way outside the culture we grew up in. (Is this a universal song of youth? We really have no idea.) We're deep into spring here at Created by Elsie B headquarters in Utah, so rainbows are on our mind. It's in the high 70s today, and we had snow just a few short weeks ago. It's all par for the course around here, but the warm weather is certainly very welcome! Flowers are popping up. We're starting to think about gardens, and we are just dying to wrap everything in color and brightness! Today's roundup is rainbow inspired, and we've chosen a variety of hues to share with you. (P.S. Fairy Dreams and its coordinating semi solid Peach Blush shown here are a beautiful burst of pink, purple and orange tones.)
One of our primary focuses for the last few years at Created by Elsie B has been building a sustainable infrastructure for the business. It takes a lot of pieces to create the lovely fibers that you all love, and most of those things carry on quietly behind the scenes. The most significant change for you, however, has probably been launching our very own Created by Elsie B shopping platform. We spent a lot of blood, sweat and fluffy love building it, and we want to make sure that you're getting the most out of our website every time you visit us. It's packed full of features and super easy to navigate. There are several ways to search our catalog, plus a few hidden gems that you may have missed during casual browsing.
This has been a strange and challenging couple of months! While we are blessed here at Created by Elsie B to still be able to operate our small business, we're also distinctly aware that the world is a bit upside down. I'm sure that most of you have heard this quote attributed to Mr. Rogers many times, but it is such a good reminder for all of us. "When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." We have been amazed in our area at how we've seen this play out. People are reaching out, stepping up and giving back, and it is downright inspiring. Maybe we're biased, but it really seems that creative people are showing up to the table in a big way, and it makes our hearts swell. Today, we'd like to highlight a few hands-on ways that you can contribute to your local communities in a very immediate and actionable way. Reach out! We can all make a difference in the world!
Playing with fiber is what we do here at Created by Elsie B. From picking palettes to dyeing to braiding and packaging, it's kind of our thing. And, while LeAndra definitely does her fair share of spinning and creating finished projects, we don't always get to see all our colorways in their full glory, so to speak. A few months ago, we did a colorway roundup and, on a whim, I searched in our Facebook group to see if anyone had spun up some of our featured braids. (They had!) Suffice it to say that I was blown away. While we linked to the group and encouraged you to all go take a look, it didn't work to actually include the spun yarns in the post. (Boo!) So, today, we're going to rectify that. We put out a call in our Facebook group for spun yarns from Elsie B fibers and were, frankly, a bit overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response. You guys are ridiculously talented! I wish I could include everyone's beautiful work, but there just isn't enough room. I've tried to select a broad variety and include as many people as I can in this feature. Settle in and enjoy - you're sure to be inspired by these stunning transformations!
Wow, what an absolutely change-filled week this has been! Just seven days ago, we were gearing up for the March Year of Fiber orders (they're coming and are SO good!) and reminiscing about how awesome Alt. Summit was. Today, we're all fully versed in quarantine, virtual schooling, social distancing and how to navigate toilet paper shortages. (I'm looking at you, Costco shoppers!) On top of all that, northern Utah experienced an earthquake. (Wait. Are we supposed to shelter in place or run outside? Sheesh!) Still, we're holding it together here at Created by Elsie B and practicing self care, largely due to the perks of being creative people. While the cliche about idle hands is distinctly old fashioned, it comes from a place of truth - keeping yourself busy, occupied and productive is good for you. If you find yourself peeking out from between your blinds and seeing a whole lot of loopy out there, take a deep breath and grab your knitting needles; creative people have measurable advantages - we've got this!
I hope everyone had an inspiring International Women's Day! This last week, I had the awesome opportunity to attend Altitude Summit in Palm Springs, California! Alt. Summit is a conference and community designed to educate and empower women in creative spaces. While it was awesome, it was overwhelming. The people who convinced me to take the leap mentioned that it's like drinking from a fire hose, and they weren't wrong! I knew it was going to be good, but a lot for me. Imposter syndrome hit hard a few weeks before the event. In talking through it with Sam, I realized that the only reason I wouldn't show up was because I was scared not because there wasn't going to be valuable things to learn.
As most of our readers know, Created by Elsie B is headquartered in Utah, and we have long, cold winters. (The state is famous for its great skiing!) Lately, however, we've been peeking our heads out from under the covers and seeing sunshiny skies and warm temperatures (this weekend is supposed to hit 60 degrees,) and it's making us dream of all things spring! While we expect several more cold snaps before we get an actual seasonal shift, the onset of March is always an exciting time with grass and tulips tentatively peeking out from snow-covered ground. Spring is in the air here, even if just for a moment, and we couldn't resist riffling through our bins to showcase some of our spring-worthy braids in all our favorite pastel hues. Whether you're already well into spring or still have a ways to go like we do, we're sure you'll find something in the mix to brighten your day!
While having creative freedom and full control are the primary benefits of running a small business like Created by Elsie B, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes! Created by Elsie B began as a one-woman show, but today a team of skilled professionals assists LeAndra to keep it all running like a well-oiled machine. Over time, tasks like photography, management, shipping and content have been outsourced to free up our fearless leader to focus on the creative, hands-on aspects of the business such as dyeing, product development and design. In fact, Elsie B currently employs five women who work remotely in various parts of the business, as well as LeAndra's husband Sam who supports her in different ways as needed. We'd like to pull the curtain back and introduce you to the people who help Created by Elsie B grow and succeed, starting with myself (because I'm the easiest to reach!)