Every business has an "About Us" page, but that does not really give the whole background, trials & errors and nitty gritty, does it?
Everybody loves a good story, so make yourself a cup of coffee, snuggle up and get ready to hear the full story of how KNUS started...
KNUS started with a classic case of a corporate employee deciding at the age of 29 that surely there must be more to life than a 9 – 5 existence willingly wasting her potential and creativity by being a paper pusher and decided to take back her power in her own hands to look at ways to do something creative that she loves and turning that into a full-time career.
At the time chunky Merino blankets were all the Pinterest rage, but were still mostly unavailable to purchase in South Africa. After a few phone calls and emails I quickly got in touch with the exporters of merino wool in South Africa and sourced the wool to start knitting the first blanket.
Now let me tell you something, knitting with chunky wool you find in a store versus knitting with strands of unprocessed merino wool roving as thick as your arm is something completely different! From creating knitting “needles”from 40mm PVC pipes to arm knitting, we did it all!
Some of our Arm-knitting Pinspiration:
Photo credit: Greg Scheidemann
After hours of Youtube tutorials and even getting Mom and her wool expertise to step in we made our first handmade Merino Wool blanket!
The name KNUS was chosen which is an Afrikaans word means snug, cosy, comfy or cuddly. This was the perfect name for a blanket business and we went straight ahead and with the help of my better half we created an Online Store!
Our excitement for this beautiful new online store grew so quickly that we decided to get other local artisans and handmade designers on board and create an online store where customers can find numerous locally handmade products in one place. We quickly found out that splitting your focus between running an online store with various designers and making your own products at the same time with a small team of 2 people simply does not roll. We sadly dropped the idea of making our own blankets but quickly found a replacement - Mooo Wool who we still sell today and her blankets are absolutely breathtaking!
Image credit: Mooo Wool
The online store launched in South Africa on 15 May 2017 with about 500 products from 20 South African designers!
What the brand new online store looked like in May 2017 when we first opened our "doors":
The first day was spent sitting in our home office literally scrutinizing Google Analytics to see how many visitors we had. We clocked about 1000 visitors by 5pm the afternoon and still not 1 sale...
We almost thought we made a mistake and I considered calling my previous employer and asking to “freelance”for a while when “cha-ching!”the first sale came in!
R800 bucks for a leather handbag and here’s the best part – we made a loss! It turns out, out of all the items listed in our store we only had the price of 1 item wrong – the one that we sold for our very first KNUS sale!
The very first product we sold:
Image credit: Love Milo
But we quickly learned from our mistakes, persevered and today we have almost 3000 products listed on KNUS, 70 local designers on board and have shipped almost 1000 packages since we “opened”our doors!
Our most popular collections:
We like to think of our business as an ADventure rather than a venture. Every adventure has its smooth roads, then some with stumbleblocks and even some narrow and lonely roads and you never really know what is coming around the next corner. But with the right people to accompany you on your adventure every day is a possibility to explore something new and unfound and bring it to the market! It’s never really about the destination is it? It is about the journey and what you learn along the way.
Thank you to all my fellow adventurers on this journey, you know who you are…And thanks to YOU our amazing followers and customers for supporting the local market and allowing us to do what we love and are passionate about and bring you new local design every week!