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As we celebrate the strength & beauty of women all this month, we wanna spotlight another of our favourite bazaar partners @KnottyJungle – specifically the magic fingers behind the wonderful macrame pieces.
Knot-magician, doggie lover, and fund raiser for Habit For Humanity, Singapore. We find out a little bit more about what drives the creations and how she started out!
Why did you start Knotty Jungle – what inspired you?
Laura: I officially started Knotty Jungle in June last year because the no-travel restrictions was driving me crazy & I realised I needed some kind of outlet. My first dabble with macrame really started when I was planning my wedding in 2017-2018. I fell in love with macrame backdrops I saw on Pinterest & I taught myself the basic knots through YouTube videos of other artists. I bought a lot of material to make my own wedding backdrop and when it was finally done, I had quite a lot of left over material.
Some time in April or May during circuit breaker, I posted on insta stories that I wanted to clear my left over macrame supplies & was making plant hangers to give away to friends. Everyone loved what I was making & kept telling me to start selling my pieces. I didn’t believe I could make anything good enough that people would actually pay for. After much encouragement from my husband, I decided to take the plunge & do it anyway.
Are you still keeping your day job or is this full time?
Laura: Yes I am still working full time! I work at a charity called Habitat for Humanity Singapore. I’m in the fundraising and communications team.
There’s a lot of multitasking in my day. I spend half my week working from home, and the other half from office. So the days where I’m working from home, I use my lunch break to sneak in some knotting time. You could say any spare time I have at home, I’ll be at my standing frame working on pieces - weekday evenings and weekends.
I find knotting helps me destress from work anyway so I’m always happy to spend my time making macrame pieces.
What are your plans for Knotty Jungle?
Laura: It’s been 9 months since I started Knotty Jungle and my plan is really to just keep doing this for as long as I can. My focus has always been to create pieces that I love and share that with people here. Another part I enjoy and want to do more of is to also give people room to be creative & work on custom designs with me. If there’s one thing I’ve been thinking about in the future, it’s definitely to support & collaborate with local creators, artists & small businesses.
What have you learnt while on this journey so far?
Laura: I wish I had started sooner! I wish I hadn’t doubted & limited myself because I didn’t think I was good enough or creative enough to join all the other amazing macrame artists out there. I wish I had just gone ahead & tried Knotty Jungle all those years ago. My biggest lesson has really been to not be afraid of failure, to not take everything I do so seriously or feel daunted by this self-imposed pressure about planning every single step of starting this mega business otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it.
I continue to remind myself everyday that it’s not about competition or not about the number of followers/likes I get. It is always and only about being authentic, creating pieces I love & learning from the amazing macrame community.
I really wouldn’t have taken the plunge if it wasn’t for my husband who gave me the confidence, friends/family who supported me & everyone who has a piece of Knotty Jungle at home with them now. Community is really everything.
What would you want to say to business owners who are just starting out, having a side hustle or planning to start out?
Laura: Keep trying and stay authentic!
Speaking from my own experience where I mostly get feedback & sales purely on social media, social media is a good tool to gauge what people want but only to a certain extent. It’s sometimes easy to fall into an unhealthy cycle of self doubt, especially if you feel like you’re not growing fast enough or not getting the engagement you hoped for. But that shouldn’t dictate your voice & personality.
I’m thankful there is a very open & supportive macrame community around the world & it’s been a great source of inspiration & comfort. Plug in to your community because you’re never alone. And chances are, the problems you face are the same ones others have overcome. It’s ok to reach out & learn.
OH.. and one last thing...come join us & a group of #WonderWomenAtSSS this Saturday, 13 March and #SupportWomen. If you haven’t bought tickets, and can’t get a seat, come anyway, we have Floral Jamming with a Cause session from 1130am – with the bouquets going to the wonderful care takers at St Andrew’s Community Hospital.