Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Neighborhood Fiber Co.


My name is Rachel Wheeler and I’m a Junior Fiber major. Over the 2012 fall semester I was the fiber intern for Neighborhood Fiber Co. a small business that hand dyes yarn for wholesale and retail. I found the internship through the Mica Network website and submitted a letter of intent to the owner Karida Collins. She scheduled an interview that week and let me know that I was hired the very next
day.


The Neighborhood Fiber Co. opened it’s doors in Station North in October of
this year and up to that point had been run from the owners apartment as an online
store. They now have one retail day a month and spend the rest of the time dyeing
yarn in the studio to ship out to their wholesale buyers. My supervisor was Karida
Collins who owns the company and does all of the dyeing and color development.
My responsibility in the studio was to assist in dyeing the yarn for order. I
helped with all the prep work including mixing, rinsing, and winding, as well as the
actual dyeing. Karida was involved in a collaboration with pattern maker Anne
Weaver selling mystery knit along kits and I was responsible for developing six new
colors for the kit based on the story of Jonah and the Whale. I think the most
important thing I learned while working with Karida was how to both mix specific
color for a client and how to create something new within a specific parameter.
Although I don’t see myself continuing in the yarn dyeing business I do think this
opportunity gave me some valuable insight to the life of running a small business
and how to satisfy costumers to make a profit while still staying true to your artistic
practice.