#SMALLBIZ PROFILES // DAFNA LIFSHITZ OF KNOT YOU KNOT ME
Tell us a bit about you and your #smallbiz…
My name is Dafna and I am the owner of Knot You Knot Me fiber arts. I have always been a creative person and I have dabbled in many different mediums like sewing, painting and ceramics. My grandmother taught me how to sew at a young age, and from there I decided that I wanted to be a Fashion Designer. I attended Ryerson for Fashion Design, but early on decided it wasn’t for me. I entered the world of Retail as a Merchandiser, and it has been my career for the last 20 years. I found this job filled my creative needs, but with a little bit of structure.
Fast forward to 2017. I remember macrame from being a child of the 70’s and 80’s. We had some in our home as well, and so when my mom asked me to make her some plant hangers, I was up for the challenge. I taught myself a few knots (thank you YouTube) and from there I was hooked.
I started making wall hangings and plant hangers, and opened my Etsy shop in 2017. Soon I started making necklaces for myself. They were fun little projects that I enjoyed making and wearing. When people started asking me about them, I knew I was onto something. Now I mostly make fiber jewellery.
What about your business are you passionate about?
I love making fiber jewellery. I like that you can create something unique and then wear it for the world to see. There are so many different and unique knots out there, and I like experimenting with them to come up with new designs that can be wearable. Not all of them work. But it’s so exciting when they do, and you know you have created something unique.
I take time in sourcing out my materials. It is important to me that my materials are natural. I only use 100% cotton rope made of recycled materials. I also save all my scraps to create other projects, so waste is minimal. I try to buy local materials when I can. Supporting my local creative community is important to me.
Perhaps most importantly, I create pieces for myself. It’s important to me that I like what I make and that I would wear it. And this shows in my work. I take great pride in the making process to ensure that I am making quality pieces with quality materials.
What is something fun/ interesting/ personal about you and your business?
If you told me this time last year that this is what I would be doing today, I probably would have laughed. I kind of stumbled on to this craft, and now I am part of an amazing community. I still consider this business to still be a hobby business. I have a full time job, and mostly create in the evenings and on the weekends. I recently created a little “studio” space in my living room, so I can have a dedicated work space and stay organized with my never ending supplies and materials. I got my 12 year old son hooked as well. He loves making keychains and helps me get ready for markets.
What does being a Canadian small business mean to you?
Being a Canadian small business means that I am part of creative local community. There are so many great resources out there that can help you along the way and provide support. I have met so many incredible people in this short time, whether on social media or at shows. It’s reassuring to know that you have a local support team that you can rely on for help when you need it.
I still pinch myself every time someone buys one of my pieces. I literally do a Happy Dance. It feels so humbling and satisfying that other people appreciate and love my work as much as I love making it.
// Learn more about Knot You Knot Me! //
Shop Knot You Knot Me at the Nooks' Momma's Market Pop-Up May 5 in Toronto!