Meridian Industrial

ME, MY HOOKS & YARN

12/27/2018 | Stephanie Trombley

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A peek into Nikki Loud’s Longmeadow home would show that someone with a passion for creating and crocheting lives there. Nikki describes herself on Facebook as “a New England girl who loves hooks and yarn,” and it’s clear. Shelves and tables are lined with skeins of yarn and handcrafted items in a vast array of popping colors including ear warmers, scarves, fingerless gloves and hats. Night Owl Knots, her business, began with one how-to kit.

While shopping at a BJ’s warehouse store in January 2016, Nikki stumbled upon a how-to kit on crocheting Disney dolls. She thought they were adorable and purchased the kit, hoping to create future Christmas presents. With no prior experience in crocheting, Nikki took to Youtube and practiced weaving together patterns. “I just started one of the patterns and used Youtube, and away I went. More or less, I started making things like scarves for the kids. The more comfortable I got, the more I made.”

Being a stay-at-home mom since her first child turned eleven months old, Nikki was seeking an activity she could work on in her down time. As she shared, “I tried going back to work, but it wasn’t my thing.”

What started as a hobby and gift idea has become a career for Nikki. She now spends her nights curled up on the couch with her dog, crocheting new items to present at craft fairs and on the recently launched Night Owl Knots website. It can be tricky to be a mother and keep up with the demands of a business, but Nikki has a strategy: “I do most of my work at night while the kids are sleeping!”

After moving to Longmeadow in May 2017, Nikki realized she could make a business out of her hobby. “I realized people were commenting on how much they liked my stuff. I had such support with my craft and the business.”

Nikki originally started her business with an Etsy page in 2017 under a different name. She was selling products primarily to friends and family at the time. When she decided it was time to expand her business, she knew a new name would be necessary. “As I was creating, I didn’t think the name suited me anymore. It was kiddish.” While crocheting on the couch one evening beside her husband, Nikki had a “eureka” moment. “I came up with a couple different ideas. I was sitting there crocheting and it came to me. I’ve always been a night owl, I said it out loud, and my husband said ‘that’s it!’” From then on, Nikki’s business was known as Night Owl Knots.

Nikki’s creations can be purchased in a vast range of styles and colors, making them as eye-catching as they are practical in the harsh, frigid temperatures of New England. Among the products Nikki creates are hats, ear warmers, fingerless gloves, scarves, towels and home goods. Her products are crocheted with 100% extra fine merino wool.

Having a natural home is important to Nikki and always on her mind. Because of this, she creates home items that are friendlier for the environment. “It’s not currently in season, but I would be making face scrubbies, hand towels, wool dryer balls and face cloths. I’m always trying to find ways to get toxins out of the house. I may venture into other home goods and décor stuff.”
As we move into the New Year, Nikki hopes to continue to see Night Owl Knots grow and flourish in 2019. “It’s been going very well. I would like to have more of an online presence. I would like to hone in on what I will be focusing on for 2019.” Nikki hopes to keep adding products to the new Night Owl Knots website as the year goes on. She currently takes made-to-order custom requests and often features ready-to-ship items as well.

Although Nikki is a new resident of Longmeadow, she feels at home in the community and loves working with other local businesses in the area. She currently has products featured at The Humble Fox shop in Somers, Connecticut. “I’m happy with my local community, especially with The Humble Fox. They’ve been doing a good job and it’s a great partnership.”

As she travels to local craft fairs and meets others in the community whose passions lie in creating, Nikki feels welcomed by the maker community and is thankful. “I would not have been able to have had the success I have without the maker community in this area being so wonderful. Other makers being a part of a show with someone or something like that, it’s been spectacular. I never thought I would be able to experience community outside of my community.”

Being able to create one-of-a-kind pieces that keep her customers warm has made Nikki happy to do what she does. “With every single piece that I make, I know I made it. There’s something about the art of crochet and knowing that when you are done, you have made something. Someone can utilize it every day. A part of you goes into that piece every time. I love that I am helping someone stay warm and lead a more non-toxic and eco-friendly life.”

It’s certain that the art of crocheting is a passion in Nikki’s heart that she was happy to stumble across, and one that she will continue to carry for a long time. “I just love it and it’s great that other people love it. It’s just me, my hooks and yarn.”

To view products currently offered by Night Owl Knots, please visit
www.nightowlknots.com or www.etsy.com/shop/NightOwlKnots13.
Night Owl Knots can also be found on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/nightowlknots13

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