Innovating on frequent merchandise — Knotwork LA

Making the frequent unusual

For Linda Hsiao, constructing off of an industrial design background has launched a complete enterprise revolving round innovating on the objects that folks work together with every day. Learn her story about Knotwork LA under.

Q&A with Linda Hsiao, proprietor and creator of Knotwork LA

This interview has been gently edited for size and readability.

GoDaddy: Inform us a bit about how Knotwork LA got here to be.

Linda Hsiao: Initially, Knotwork was sort of a pet challenge that my now-husband, Kagan, and I had began and we determined that it wasn’t a part of our common work, but it surely ought to by no means really feel like work as a result of all the merchandise that got here from it had been issues that we had been captivated with.

It was coined as “not work”, utilizing the spelling Ok-N-O-T.


On the weekends, my husband and I’d work collectively within the woodshop, making spoons and utensils on the facet. However it truly ended up really turning into Knotwork after we made a child rattle collectively on the facet. We determined that it wasn’t a part of our common work, and it ought to by no means really feel like work as a result of all the merchandise that resulted from our collaboration within the woodshop had been issues that we had been captivated with.

From there, we developed courses to show individuals tips on how to make these objects themselves. Though the enterprise has turn into way more of my ceramics, Knotwork nonetheless doesn’t really feel like work. I hope that it by no means will.

GD: What particularly drew you to collaborative artistic tasks?

LH: After we initially made the child rattle, we realized that we needed to essentially get that design honed in and promote it. However on the identical time, we had been a younger couple and we didn’t wish to begin a complete whole assortment of child merchandise.

I had already been doing ceramics by myself for some time, taking neighborhood school courses and being in several studios, to get my fingers engaged on an actual product. As a result of a lot of my work was on the pc on the time, ceramics was my outlet to simply be artistic with no restrictions. And after we began promoting the child rattle, I began excited about the merchandise that I made in ceramics very in a different way.

Products organized onto shelves

I began excited about the issues that I needed to supply and replicate and create into precise objects for individuals’s houses. And in order that simply began taking by itself life. In some unspecified time in the future, like possibly two years into the corporate, the ceramics have fully taken over. The child rattle continues to be going robust, however the ceramics have undoubtedly had a lifetime of their very own.

GD: How did you initially promote your merchandise?

LH: A big a part of it was doing craft reveals and the timing couldn’t have been higher. Instagram was actually, actually vital as a result of I’m not likely any person that speaks about my product a lot, however I like displaying individuals pictures of them since every little thing’s so visible. I used to be in a position to make use of Instagram as a software after which later went on to construct an internet site.

I used to be in a position to present sufficient of the skin world what I used to be doing with no need to say a lot. However the important thing a part of regionally with the ability to go to small craft occasions and getting suggestions from prospects, suggestions from the general public, and simply additionally seeing how issues did was a good way to develop what we had been doing and what I used to be attempting to do myself.

GD: How else has expertise influenced what you are promoting?

LH: It has helped me attain out to prospects immediately. Once I was doing wholesale primarily I might depend on these shoppers to market me inside their networks, however now that I’m primarily direct gross sales I’m having to achieve new prospects and preserve my current prospects engaged.

Linda Hsiao working in her studio

GD: What does the day-to-day for what you are promoting seem like?

LH: It has modified a lot this previous 12 months. With our son Saben residence for a lot of it and me being pregnant once more, some days I’ve been fortunate to get an hour to myself within the studio. However extra just lately now we have settled right into a rhythm the place we stand up and eat breakfast all collectively, Kagen takes Saben to daycare and I work within the studio till it’s time to select him up within the early afternoon. Then I attempt to spend some good time with him earlier than dinner. Between Saben and the brand new one who could be very a lot making her presence recognized, I’ve by no means had much less time to dedicate to work.

Proper now my studio is cut up between one the main bedroom of the home and the storage so there’s not a lot separation as there was within the previous place when it was in my yard but it surely has been good having a rest room so shut!

GD: Do you’ve gotten any plans to broaden what you are promoting?

LH: I’m undecided. I’ve thought of that. I’ve thought of growth fairly a bit. And I feel there are two methods to go. Both I might make my studio develop right into a a lot bigger entity after which want to rent possibly one other three, 4 individuals, or I determine a strategy to preserve it small and preserve it at residence, however nonetheless simply taking over as a lot work as I can deal with.

Proper now, I’m hoping to maintain my studio small, however do as a lot direct promoting as I can. I’d wish to make efforts to immediately attain extra prospects subsequent 12 months and have the ability to work from home and likewise be a mother on the identical time. It’s that bizarre stability of being small however large.

Linda Hsiao working on ceramic pitchers

GD: Do you’ve gotten a favourite product that you just make?

LH: The child rattle continues to be most likely probably the most particular factor we might make out of this small piece of wooden. And it’s troublesome to make.

Though Kagan takes on a lot of the manufacturing, each time you see a younger child or toddler maintain onto it, you understand that it’s a treasure that they’ll hopefully have the ability to go on to their subsequent sibling.

It’s such an heirloom piece that some other designs out of wooden have simply sort of fallen away in our minds.

GD: What has been your greatest enterprise problem?

LH: We now have been so lucky, and but this final 12 months has nonetheless been an enormous problem. Like most individuals, we misplaced our childcare at the start of the Pandemic. We had been additionally within the means of shifting and re-setting up my studio. A lot of issues that we thought can be performed rapidly are nonetheless solely half manner accomplished (Together with a rest room transform that is happening a 12 months and a half and continues to be not completed, and my studio just isn’t absolutely arrange but not to mention the addition/growth that we had deliberate) every little thing has taken a lot longer than anticipated. My wholesale accounts had been hurting and plenty of had been pressured to cancel or delay orders. I in flip pivoted to concentrate on direct sale which helped me survive financially and emotionally. It was such an surprising pleasure to listen to encouragement immediately from my prospects in the midst of a very scary time.

GD: How do you measure success?

LH: Though the enterprise has turn into way more of my ceramics currently, Knotwork nonetheless doesn’t really feel like work day by day, and I hope that it by no means will. In the event you might get up each morning and simply be completely satisfied that you just get to go to work, I feel that’s a fairly great way of measuring success, I’d say.

Linda Hsiao of Knotwork LA

Thanks to Linda for talking with us! You possibly can go to her web site for Knotwork LA right here, in addition to her Instagram account right here

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