We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Patterson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I did not intentionally learn how to macramé in order to start a business. It started as a hobby and once I got the hang of a few types of knots, I began making larger pieces to decorate my own home. A few friends asked if they could purchase one of my pieces and I realized that I loved the idea of people enjoying my work in their homes. This sparked the idea of turning my hobby into a business.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started The Little Knot Shoppe 3 1/2 years ago after learning how to macramé watching YouTube tutorials. I instantly fell in love with macramé and the concept of making beautiful, functional art using simple knots. Turning a hobby into a business was incredible and that passion is still there today! Each piece is made by hand, giving every piece a unique, one-of-a-kind charm. Utilizing social media was important, especially starting out to gain exposure and promote my business. Through Instagram, I connected with other fiber artists from around the world and gained a support system where I learned the ins and outs of having a successful small business. I’ve learned that it is important to make your clients and customers feel like they are buying a piece from the artist – (from a person) – not a mass produced brand. I make an effort to include a personalized, hand-written note in every order. If a customer likes the product and feels special, they will refer you to their friends and families. I have gained a lot of business from word of mouth and referrals and you can now find The Little Knot Shoppe pieces for sale in LA, Washington DC, and Seattle, WA! Growing the business was by no means easy, but it is definitely easier to work hard towards something that you are passionate about and enjoy doing. Macramé has become a popular medium and there are many macramé businesses around right now. It is important to stay true to your style and not compare yourself to other artists. Instead, support each other and lift one another up! I love macramé. I love learning new styles and being able to create pieces that people can enjoy in their homes. One of my favorite things as an artist is when a client comes to me with a space in their home or business in mind and a basic idea of what they are looking for and creating a piece that fulfills their vision. I am so grateful for this small business and am excited for what the future holds!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Diego has been my home for 10 years. It is the center for incredible food, interesting people and amazing scenery! How in the world can I choose!? I’ve broken down my favorite places by category! Food: Breakfast: Acai bowls from Swamis, Cronuts from Tasty Donuts in Tierrasanta, Snooze AM. Lunch: Soda & Swine meatballs, Hodads burgers, Lucha Libre Surf & Turf burrito, Fire Eater from The Deli Llama Dinner: Shrimp Po Boy from Bud’s Louisiana Cafe, Whitestone pie from Bronx Pizza, Sushi Deli. Dessert: The Baked Bear, Hammonds, The Cravory, Salt & Straw, Babycakes Coffee: Lavender Latte from Communal Coffee and enjoy all of the macramé decor! Coffee & Tea Collective, Pappalecco, James Coffee Co. Drinks: Ballast Point, Kettner Exchange, Bottlecraft, Aero Club, and Mister A’s, Places to Hang Out/Visit: Walk around Balboa Park or picnic in Presidio Park Sunset Cliffs Dog Beach in Ocean Beach Karaoke at Lamplighter Liberty Station Little Italy Farmer’s Market Hiking in Torrey Pines Botanica Home and Garden in OB to pick up a plant for your plant hanger 🙂 (Alyssa Stauble from Paradise Native is another macramé artist and her pieces are sold here!)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Before anyone, all glory to God for giving me the skills and the passion to create with my hands. I’d like to acknowledge my mom – she learned to macramé when she was a little girl, making plant hangers and small wall hangings. It was inspiring to be able to learn those same techniques, but put a modern twist on them. The second person who inspired my macramé journey is Cindy Bokser from Niroma Studio. She was the first fiber artist that I saw use cotton string, rather than rope or jute. Her attention to detail in small and large pieces are so inspiring! She has been my mentor since the beginning and is even my string/rope supplier! Finally, I need to give a giant shoutout to my husband, Brennan. He took on the role of CFO from the beginning, organizing the finances and allowing me to focus on making fiber art.
All photos taken by Lauren Patterson