Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Louise Robert, owner of Les Laines Biscotte, located in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Biscotte Yarns specializes in hand-dyed yarns and knitting designs. We first offered our yarns and patterns online, and we quickly realized that the demand for our products was growing. The interest of knitsters and knitters was especially triggered by our self-striping (also known as Autorayante™) yarns. This is a yarn that produces a stripe effect in an automatic and completely unique way! Since 2007, we have developed and marketed Autorayante™ yarns, and we are proud to count now more than 80 original colors in this collection!
For the last decade, we have worked very hard to make our mark in the knitting industry. We have now three local yarn stores in Canada Canada, and a fourth will soon open in the United States! Our hand-dyed yarn is now produced in a dyeing workshop located in Saint-Bruno, not far from our first yarn store. It is also from this site that we manage our website and ship our yarns to our customers. Biscotte Yarns is proud to have nearly 30 employees, and we are pleased to say that our team is "knitted tightly"!
Tell us about yourself
You will probably be surprised to discover that our yarn and knitwear shop is called "Biscotte"! It is certainly not because we sell cookies!!
The history of Biscotte Yarns actually started with a blog called "Biscotte & Cie" in honour of a small all-gray oriental kitten that I had at home. Originally, I was far from suspecting that this blog would one day turn into a knitting and hand-dyed yarn shop!
I started dyeing the yarns because I wanted to knit a Harry Potter "Gryffindor" scarf, and I couldn't get the right golden yellow and red within the same yarn collection. Therefore, I dyed my first yarn using Jello for pure pleasure. After a few dye lot with Hello, I ordered real dyes, and my husband joined me in this project. I shared the photos of my knittings on this blog, and I started to arouse the interest of knitters who had asked how to obtain our yarns...
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My greatest accomplishment is to see how far we have come, knowing that we started from nothing and that today we are at the head of a respected company in our field of expertise.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The most difficult thing for me is the management of human resources. I'm an introvert (it probably comes with my artistic sense!), and human relations do not come naturally to me. In addition, finding competent employees to rely on is not always easy. Fortunately, it is my husband and partner who takes care of this aspect.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Be passionate, be curious and never take NO for an answer. Be careful: I don't mean to nag someone until they say yes; I mean that by being passionate and curious, you will always find a way to get where you want to go, even if someone said no to you along the way.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Don't try to do everything perfectly: you will have to pick your battles. Remember that "Perfection is the enemy of the good," and have fun!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.