Interview: Ulla Cronin of Finesse Knits

Ulla Cronin of Finesse Knits started her own knitting business after closing down her fair-trade clothing and gift shop in London, “I was looking for permanent part-time work, but didn’t find anything suitable so I gave up and started to do what I love, knitting. I’m a practical person, so what I make has to be useful. Therefore, I knit ponchos, scarves, hats, fingerless gloves, cushions and throws.”

Ulla gets her inspiration from her surroundings. “It could be a stone wall, fence, window or even a manhole cover pattern, being a Scandinavian I find that very often the simplicity of the Scandinavian design and colourways take over my designs.”

Running her own business she enjoys “the freedom to explore all aspects of a design from start to finish, the satisfaction of making an item and the enjoyment of selling and seeing the item in use! But in the beginning the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome was putting the items on display – I thought that my work wasn’t good enough to sell. However, I applied for a few local craft fairs and each time I nearly sold out of my knitted accessories.” Ulla’s advice to those starting out is, “Don’t give up!”

Within five years she hopes to have a regular customer base and would like to explore the wholesale side of the business.

Ulla is just one of the many sellers you can meet at the Cambridge Made Summer Fair on the 11th of June at St. Andrew’s Street Baptist Church.

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