We like to call FAIRLING an online dating site for brands: the goal is to get a perfect and long-lasting match between brands and stores. And we can tell you this much: there is already quite an amount of great FAIRLING-Love Stories to tell. One of them is the story of SOPHISTICATED KNITS.
SOPHISTICATED KNITS works with us on FAIRLING since October, 2022. High-quality, lovingly handcrafted – that’s the guiding principle of SOPHISTICATED KNITS. Under the motto “reframing knits,” traditional handiwork is reinterpreted. The result is a collection of basics and highlights, always with a touch of whimsy, designed to be combined or stand alone depending on the mood.
SOPHISTICATED KNITS was founded in 2019 in Munich by Simone Sedlacek. She has always known since childhood that her great passion is knitting. After successfully completing her fashion design studies, she fulfilled her dream of creating her own small fashion brand for handmade slow fashion.
For Simone, slow fashion is not just the counterpart to the ubiquitous fast fashion, but rather a whole way of life. Slow fashion means giving things the time they need to become good. It means truly crafting things by hand. And it means appreciating them.
How did it all start? What is the idea behind SOPHISTICATED KNITS?
It all actually started when I was looking for a beautiful colorful chunky knit sweater in 2019 that wasn’t made mostly or entirely out of plastic. I then dug up my knitting needles from deep within and bought some yarn, and I knitted my first sweater since university.
I quickly remembered how much I actually love knitting by hand. It had almost disappeared during the busy times of work and job responsibilities. And after realizing how positively my knits were received by those around me, I made the big decision to give my passion a chance and turn my hobby into a profession.
Of course, it didn’t all happen overnight and involved a lot of hidden work. But along the long journey, I was able to define my most important brand values quite well. It’s important to me that my slow fashion is sustainable and doesn’t unnecessarily harm the environment, serving as a complete contrast to the prevailing fast fashion of today.
Furthermore, my knits should always convey the love and preciousness that goes into their creation. They should be like a cozy and soft embrace but at the same time make a fashionable statement with a little wink. Hence, my motto “Knitted like by grandma. Just cooler.” At the end of the day, fashion should be fun.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE BEHIND SOPHISTICATED KNITS? TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF.
Behind SOPHISTICATED KNITS, it’s me, Simone, 29 years old. I have a classic fashion design degree and specialized in knitwear design in my first real job because knitting has been my passion since childhood. When I rediscovered hand knitting, my previous education naturally came in handy, allowing me to design all my cuts, templates, and knitting patterns myself.
Apart from that, I love nature and being outdoors. I live and work in Starnberg, Bavaria, and therefore have a wonderful lake right on my doorstep, which I enjoy very much!
What was your favorite highlight or happy moment in the last months?
Every time I could win a new store for my label! It can be quite frustrating when you put so much love and effort into your products and only receive rejections through cold calls. That’s why I’m so excited that I found such a perfect partner through FAIRLING, making it easy for me to connect with new stores.
In marketing and sales, you rely on strong, long-term relationships with your retailers AND CUSTOMERS. Why do they choose you?
Retailers primarily choose me because of my product. I make everything for my knits myself, so I have 100% control over quality, fit, and craftsmanship. Additionally, I can guarantee that all products are ethically produced and provide transparency regarding the origin of each component. Consequently, I can also personalize all my knits and adapt them to individual preferences and needs.
On the other hand, I choose retailers based on whether their overall concept aligns with my brand values and whether they aim for a long-term relationship on an equal footing. There is so much love and passion in my products that I want to ensure they are in good hands.
You have received 5 requests so far ON FAIRLING. Can you TELL us a little MORE ABOUT THeSe LOVE STORies WITH YOUR NEW RETAIL PARTNERs?
The first encounter usually happens through one of the FAIRLING advertisements that I run every two weeks. Through the statistics section, I can see which retailers have viewed my profile and downloaded my catalog. It usually takes a little time, and retailers need to see a few of my ads before deciding to send an initial inquiry. I am naturally a more reserved and shy person, so I always wait until the first inquiry comes.
However, I am always happy to respond by phone afterwards because I find the personal component incredibly important, and it’s like a first meeting in a way. During the conversation, I share a bit about my story and, most importantly, my brand values, and of course, I ask a lot about the other person. Afterwards, I usually send a follow-up email with my catalog so that all the products discussed on the phone can be accompanied by images and detailed information. And if it all aligns for everyone involved, I am rewarded with an order!
Where should the journey go? What is the vision of SOPHISTICATED KNITS?
Currently, I mainly focus on the German-speaking region, which includes Germany and Austria. Since I’m a one-woman show, handling everything from production to distribution to customer service on my own, my capacities are naturally limited. After all, a day only has a certain number of hours.
My grand vision for SOPHISTICATED KNITS in the coming years is to build a team that can work together on my brand and offer my knits beyond the German-speaking region.
Is there anything you would definitely advise other young, emerging brands to do?
Ideally, no advice at all – at least not in the traditional sense. Especially for small businesses, you are the one who knows the subject matter best, and in my opinion, you shouldn’t let outsiders influence you too much. Trust your instincts!
And otherwise, I can only offer one piece of advice to all entrepreneurs: The beginning is always very difficult and sometimes frustrating because things don’t go as planned. The secret, however, is to not be intimidated and never give up because it will get better eventually. And most importantly, celebrate the small successes along the way!
Thank you, Simone, for the lovely interview! We wish you all the best for you and SOPHISTICATED KNITS! Hopefully, there will be many more Love Stories for you to experience!
|Active FAIRLING member since:
|December, 2022 to this day
|November 15th, 2022
|Locations of interested stores through FAIRLING
|6 cities, 2 countries
|Performance so far:
|69 interested shops,
6 requests so far
All pictures by © SOPHISTICATED KNITS
Do you want to be part of FAIRLING, too?
Great, there’s a whole world of local stores waiting for your products! Just book a free demo call with one of our brand scouts – they will be very happy to talk about your possibilities on FAIRLING and answer all your questions.