As mentioned in my post to launch this series we are reminded: our community is awesome because of its members. And man we have some great ones in this maker community who CONSTANTLY blow me away. And to say I am excited about this week's takeover maker is an understatement.
I first "discovered" Alexandra when I featured maker Katie of The Queen Stitch and she mentioned her. I INSTANTLY fell in love with everything about her, her brand Two Of Wands, her vibe. All of it. After some chats on IG, we quickly found out we had so much in common. Especially her current 'hood is my old stomping grounds and so much more. Ah... good times! I knew she would be the perfect maker to wrap up our Maker Takeover Month. Follow along with Alexandra's takeover here and get to know Alexandra more below when I asked her the Stitch & Hustle Maker Five: Questions:
1. Tell us your name and a little about your craft and business.
Hi! I am Alexandra Tavel of Two of Wands :) I call my company a "modern approach to a timeless art form" because I am always striving to design chic and sophisticated knits that are both cozy and functional. I offer all of my designs as patterns and finished pieces and try to design for modern makers who are looking for somewhat simple, somewhat speedy, somewhat statement-making projects. The resurgence of yarn crafts in recent years has opened up a younger more fashionable audience to the benefits of knitting and crocheting but in today's fast-paced world we only have a limited amount of time and we like to see quick results. I keep this in mind with all of my designs. Since I launched the company in 2013 it's been a whirlwind of amazingness and I'm so happy to be part of such an incredible community of makers!
2. What inspired you to start your handmade adventure?
I've been making things since birth because of my talented artist mom, so I've always had a bit of the creative bug. I even studied fashion design and costume construction technology in college! When I moved to NYC right after school I started working in the non-profit world and stayed there for eight years. It wasn't until 2013 when I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with a friend that I got back on the artistic path. After coming back down from the mountain I met a women who read my tarot cards and when I drew the Two of Wands card she explained to me that I had two options in front of me - the first was the stable but unfulfilling choice of staying put, and the second was the more risky but empowering choice of taking a leap into something more creative that spoke to my soul. It took me about 9 months to finally make the decision, and I named my company after that tarot card. Now I have people asking me all the time if the two wands represent knitting needles, which I hadn't thought of originally, but now makes it even more meaningful!
3. What is your one favorite thing about what you do?
I'd love to say "I get to work from home and make my own hours!" but the truth is I am constantly working - from home, from the street, from the subway, from my studio, in the grocery store, at the movies .... you get the picture. It's so much work and can be exhausting, but the best part about it is that I wake up every single morning excited to start the day and get back to my latest project. It's been so fulfilling getting to connect with my customers and followers and see them use my patterns to create their own handmade treasures.
4. What is one goal you have for this year? How are you doing with that goal? How can we, me, the community help you with that goal?
This year I've decided to branch out into a home collection and I'm SO excited about it. I'm the kind of person who has endless ideas and dozens of sketchbooks in my bag at any given time with drawings and notes exploding from the pages. Sometimes it's hard for me to edit down and I am almost always trying to catch up with my goals and deadlines. This is one of those scenarios as I thought I'd have this collection ready to launch in February. It's now almost April and I'm about 10% there, haha. I am also trying to get back into jewelry making, something I was doing for a few years before I started Two of Wands and have had on the back burner for a while.
5. Since this is about community, what other makers inspire you (can be any maker field, does not have to be fiber arts of course)?
I am endlessly in awe of the creativity of Katie Jagel from The Queen Stitch. I met her at last year's Our Maker Life conference and basically stalked her instagram and forced her to be my friend, haha. She is a crocheting genius and makes the most unique pieces!
Last but not least… Link us up baby! How can people connect with you: