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How a hospital visit inspired Katie Mairis to create a highly successful online yarn boutique...

Please tell us a bit about the nature of your business...

I am an avid knitter and crocheter and I love hand dyed yarn. When I was in hospital last year I took a project to make with me and patients and staff were drawn to it. I then realised that flowers aren’t allowed on wards any more and that made me think.... how about a project in a box to be sent to make people smile - whether at home or in hospital or care home - wherever really! So I bought some hand dyed yarn, had some patterns made and started stocking knitting needles and crochet hooks. This took off nicely and then I found myself in the position to have dyers make exclusive colour ways for my website. I diversified and now stock 4 different Indie Dyers yarns as well as a variety of hooks needles etc. I have become an online yarn boutique where people can buy everything they need and choose from different dyers with one lot of postage. I then realised that I could dye yarn myself. I have recently launched my own hand dyed yarn collection which has been extremely well received. Yarn for the Soul has become known as a one stop online boutique for luxury items and exclusive yarns

What was the most challenging aspect of building your business in the beginning?

Getting my name out there

If you were to launch your business again, would you do anything differently?

It’s worked so well I can’t think what I’d change

What keeps you motivated?


How to you balance work and family life?

I have up until recently been working a day job too, and with two children it’s been hard - especially as a single parent. I have recently been made redundant and this has motivated me to really put everything into the business and fit it around the children

What’s your proudest business moment?

Seeing someone share a picture of yarn I dyed.

What’s been your most successful form of marketing and/ or brand awareness?

Facebook boosts and Instagram

Do you have any positive habits or routines that you feel have attributed to your success?

I try to always post next day. Packaging is always luxurious so buyers always feel they’ve treated themselves.

What’s been your most successful form of marketing and/ or brand awareness?

Facebook boosts and Instagram. I've also added successful monthly subscription boxes to my business venture which have taken off amazingly!

What's your favourite business app/ tool/ book/ podcast etc?

Google forms

What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs just starting out?

Do it. Just do it. If you believe it will work, you can make it work

If you want to get in touch or see more of Katie's venture, head over to her website or social media:

Yarn for the Soul

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