Welcome back to Yarn Store of the Month, featuring one of our awesome retailers in South Africa - Be Inspired! We’ve been speaking to Chantal there to find out more about the knitting scene in South Africa.
What was the inspiration for opening Be Inspired?
I have always been an avid knitter and crocheter, and just got tired of the limited array on offer in South Africa, especially with social media and seeing what was available elsewhere in the world. So out of a passion and a need, Be Inspired was born.
How popular is knitting/crochet in the Durban area?
It is definitely on the increase, especially since COVID lockdowns. A lot of younger people who have just never had the time to learn, are now without their usual pursuits for joy, and they are turning to crafts they can do at home. South Africans are very creative people, and craft has always featured in our lifestyles.
Since opening, how far has the business developed?
From a couple of balls of yarn and teaching a few people to crochet, to a full online store stocking imported and local brands, with a large following here in South Africa, its grown exponentially in the past 6 years.
What is the secret to your success?
Passion. I love what I do and it shows! My biggest joy is teaching people to create beautiful things with their hands, and enabling them to do so with great yarns, and accessories and tools.
How has HiyaHiya helped your business to flourish?
HiyaHiya knitting needles are in my opinion the best I have ever used. So much so that I am now heading to exclusively stocking only the HiyaHiya range of needles in my store. People not only need great yarns, but great tools are essential. HiyaHiya ordering process is quick and easy, and the free shipping option really helps me with the exchange rate and freight charges. Being the only store to offer HiyaHiya in South Africa is a huge bonus for me and allows me to focus all of my energy on this one brand. Be Inspired is about being unique, and being able to offer a high quality brand like HiyaHiya for knitters (and crocheters) is very important to me.
What do you love most about your line of work?
Seeing the joy people get creating - when they say I made this - that is my biggest joy. I also love helping choose colours for a new project, and giving advice on projects. Being creative is one of my favourite things, since I was a little girl, to be able to make something with my hands made me content.
What trends do you see happening in the craft industry in the future?
A lot more online classes and inspiration. People want to be together, to craft together, but in the comfort and safety of their own homes. We need people to inspire us, to motivate us to continue going with projects, so to craft together is important. Together, but alone. As for other trends, one I have seen here is that a lot of crocheters are starting to knit!
What are your plans for Be Inspired in the future?
Be Inspired has surpassed my greatest wishes and dreams so for now I am living my dream today and as for the future, well, that’s the future! Be Inspired will continue to innovate, to be leaders in the industry and to adapt to this changing world.
And there we have it! Be Inspired love HiyaHiya needles, and your customers will too. To check out Be Inspired online , take a look at their website and follow @be_inspiredtocreate