A community for knitting pattern designers looking to connect with fellow designers, feel confident in their work, and grow their business
Doors have closed and will likely reopen in late February. Join the waitlist to be the first to know when doors open again (and possibly get in on a secret launch!), and receive emails for designers in the meantime.
You love working as a knitwear designer - the flexibility, the creativity, the ability to create something from a single idea for others to enjoy. But there's also some other feelings that creep up.
--> Loneliness as you navigate your business and the industry on your own, wishing you had a community of fellow knitwear designers that understood your struggles - and had access to the solutions.
--> Comparisonitis as you look at other designers, and think:
"It's not fair. They have it all figured out and their business is so easy to manage. I work just as hard, and I'm struggling."
"I'm a failure and will never be 'successful,'"
"If only I knew their secret..."
--> Frustration that you aren't making the monetary progress that you want - and deserve. And frustration because marketing and selling your work feels so hard.
All of those feelings are putting a damper on your designing joy.
They're forcing you to look at other designers as competition rather than collaborators, friends, and companions.
And it leaves you feeling empty and hopeless.
It's time to stop navigating this journey on your own.
To stop feeling like you're the only one struggling, of feeling embarrassed, lonely, frustrated and "less than."
You are worthy.
You are enough.
You deserve happiness.
You deserve joy in your designing.
You deserve to be successful in your work.
I'm Jessica, the knitting pattern designer and coach behind Snickerdoodle Knits. I design knitting patterns and mentor new pattern designers.
When I started designing knitting patterns, I hardly knew anyone from the knitting community. I began to piece together marketing and business advice from multiple coaches across the internet, but I struggled to find anyone that understood the knitting pattern design industry. I knew I needed the support, encouragement, and community to talk 'real life' with other knitting pattern designers, so I started to reach out to other indie designers to create my own support network.
It's been truly amazing to feel understood when no one around me understands. For me, it's about the support when I'm feeling like quitting; the reassurance that we are all struggling, that building a business from the ground up isn't easy, and that, actually, social media follower counts don't mean a whole lot. It's also meant having access to resources I'd never even heard of before.
And that is why I've created the Design Circle: to bring this opportunity and support to you too.
But it's not actually about me! It's also about the friendships that you will build with fellow designers. Because that's one thing we're all looking for: connection + community within our industry.
I invite you to join the Design Circle.
Inside you will find a warm, welcoming designer community that encourages you to be your best self, to love your knitting, to value your accomplishments, to discuss the hard parts of being a solopreneur in the knitting pattern design industry... and to share the resources that will help you be successful in your business.
Within the Design Circle, you will find fellow designers struggling with the same feelings. We're all human after all.
Inside, you receive:
from designers who understand
You're stuck on something in your business, and you don't know what the best solution is. The only person who would know is a designer who's already done it themselves.
But how do you find that person?
You now have access to a whole group of designers and guest experts.
In addition to the group chatter threads, you have the opportunity to join a small accountability group of 3-4 designers to receive in-depth and individualized support with your goals, achievements, and setbacks.
with businesses also invested in success
Pattern bundles, yarn support, giveaway prizes, guest blogging, guest speaking.
You want to collaborate with another small business.
But you doubt yourself. Will they be interested in working with me? What if my work isn't good enough?
Say good-bye to awkward emails and DM's. You now have access to resource lists of companies interested in working with designers, as well as a group of designers looking to work together.
with friends who care
The stitch pattern you want to use just isn't working. You received another "no" from a third party publication. And a test knitter ghosted you.
You feel like giving up.
Being a pattern designer is lonely, and you need someone in the same boat as you to cheer you on, to remind you why you love this work.
Now you have access to just that. The chat threads are always open and make it easy to discuss the ups and downs of owning a design business... with people who get it.
What if you had a community...
--> where you could ask for help?
--> where you could share what it is you're struggling with, and fellow designers would understand?
--> where other designers would encourage you and help you overcome your mental blocks?
--> where you had access to business owners that could share the resources + tips you need right now?
Imagine that feeling of support, empowerment, and confidence.
No matter how long you've been designing, you are welcome in the Design Circle.
With big, yarn hugs.
You belong here.
What members are saying...
It's an amazing group of very talented designers who function as a brain trust, sounding board, and friends all at the same time. One of the best choices I've made for my design journey.
DC lives up to what it advertises - and that's a rarity in fiber groups that promise community and support, especially for designers. The resources are great, but not being alone on this journey and having a mentor-coach-friend who wants to see each person succeed on their path are really the things that set DC apart.
It's a lovely designer community where successes can be celebrated and you can get advice to all things business!
But that's not all. The community aspect, of course, is a big part of the Design Circle. But you'll also find tons of business and design support too!
You're feeling confident in your process of designing, but you know there's always something to learn -- and it never hurts to discover some new inspiration!
Within the Design Circle, you have the opportunity to:
--> share your designs, so other designers will share your work with their audiences
--> participate in multiple design challenges throughout the year, to fuel your inspiration when you're in a creative rut
--> learn from expert guest speakers on all things marketing, business, mindset, designing (yes, that includes grading!), and more
And, unfortunately, running a knitting pattern design business is more than just designing.
IT'S ALSO A BUSINESS.
We don't like to talk about the business side of things.
We don't even like to think about the business side of things.
Because it's hard, it's confusing, it's time-consuming, it's exhausting.
But it's also what brings in the money that makes it all possible.
Don't worry. You don't have to figure out the business side alone.
Each week, I share a Discussion Prompt to help you consider a specific aspect of your business. These prompts encourage you to think a little deeper, gauge what you actually want in your business, and implement changes to your strategy.
But it doesn't end there. When you respond to the Discussion Prompt, I continue to coach you through the topic; sharing tips, clarifying questions, and identifying aspects of your mindset that might be holding you back.
This aspect of the Design Circle has become a quick favorite for members, and when you join you will receive access to a PDF including all of the past Discussion Prompts as well.
"This single reflection may be worth the price of my whole Design Circle subscription."
"I'm learning so much in the Design Circle and I appreciate your feedback and inputs on weekly discussion, I'm implementing ideas either right away or write in my ideas notebook.[...] I'm so happy I found you and your DC!"
"I know someone else said the "why" conversation made their design circle membership worth it, but for me - I think it might be this conversation. I'm honestly about to cry with relief/happiness at the clarity here."
"Even when I don't participate directly, I feel like I am participating indirectly. They have all been great things to think about and I also really enjoy seeing other people's discussions around the topics."
And, while I've learned a lot about business over the last few years, and I share what I know in the chat threads, I also bring in the experts.
Every month you have the opportunity to attend two live calls with experts related to your business: one specifically related to designing, and one to cover the business/marketing aspect.
Plus, you have access to all guest speaker chats from months past!
Learning how business really works -- and how it works for you -- will leave you feeling empowered to implement and grow your business in ways you'd never imagined.
I feel that having a place where I can speak up and say what my goals are out loud is a good motivator for me. I think I also feel very comfortable because I feel it is a place of true collaboration, where we can bounce stories or ideas, and where we all just really want to help each other.
Kam, Hand Knit by Kam
Jessica is just wonderful. We met because she watched a replay of a workshop I had attended about marketing – she reached out to me after seeing my question about knit design, I’m so glad she did. I need her proactive and supportive approach in my life! She is an excellent person to have in your corner. One of my favorite things about our check-ins is her thoughtful questions. She is always extending an invitation to take a closer look at things if I am glossing by too quickly or to take a step back if I am too in the weeds. I also appreciate her sharing her own ups and downs in our group, I learn as much from lessons others learn as from their successes. If you want feedback or just a listening ear, you can’t find a better knit designer to turn to!
As someone who works by herself, one of the hardest things about running my own business is not having a team to work with and bounce ideas off. Jessica’s ability to build community and invite people in to those communities has been invaluable in helping me solve that problem. In our group that she drew together I’ve gained a set of friends who I can trust to listen when I need to vent, provide suggestions when I’m stuck and celebrate my wins with me. Plus Jessica’s ability to actually keep our conversation on track is amazing.
-Kat, Oliphant Kat
Alright, that was a lot!
So What's Included in the Design Circle?
Chat threads dedicated to:
Weekly discussion prompts
Design, business, and marketing questions
Wins and accomplishments
Challenges and frustrations
Design, business, and marketing resources
Encouragement and affirmations
Calls for submissions
Additional premium features:
Small accountability groups for in-depth and individualized support with goals, achievements, and setbacks
Quarterly design challenges to inspire creativity, eliminate design ruts, and design alongside other designers
2 monthly guest speakers: one specific to designing, and one specific to business (including marketing, mindset, and more)
Exclusive discounts on live events and retreats
Additional Details on What's Waiting Inside
There are two formats for the design challenges: creativity bursts that inspire several design ideas and design alongs that allow you to bring one design idea to fruition.
There are four Creativity Burst Challenges per year. Each challenge is one week long and encourages you to develop at least one design idea per day, based on a given prompt that will make you think "outside of the box" a bit.
Design A Long
There is one Design A Long per year. This is your opportunity to create a whole design from start to finish alongside fellow designers with are regular Zoom check-in calls where you can share progress and get real-time design support. The Design A Long is a great opportunity to push yourself to try something new -- and you know you'll have a group of designers to lean on for extra support -- and learn from the design processes of fellow designers!
We just had our first Creativity Burst Challenge, and Design Circle members gave it a 5-star rating! Here's what they had to say about it...
"So. Much. Fun. AND I've got several legit ideas I will be using! I didn't quite get the chance to do all of them but I have the ones I didn't get to saved to work through later. Can't wait for the next one!!" - Trish
"More please! Loved this." - Beth
"I had so much fun thinking outside of my typical 'box.' I found it really interesting to pay attention to my thought process, and then identify ideas that fit me/my brand - and ideas that don't fit my brand. The problem is I now have a few design ideas I really love... and I already have all my pattern spots filled for the next 2 years. I might have to do some rearranging..." - Jessica (yes, that's me!)
There are two guest speakers within the Design Circle each month. One guest speaker is specific to running a business, and the other guest speaker will be specific to designing. The guest speakers will share their expert knowledge in the areas that you're struggling with, including:
--> Marketing, branding, and owning a business
--> Showing up on social media and getting found online
--> Inclusive grading
--> Self-publishing & publishing with a third party
--> Creating connections with yarn companies
All guest speaker sessions will be recorded, and the replay videos will be available to you as long as you are a member of the Design Circle.
November, December + January guest speakers include:
"Collaborating with Yarn Dyers" - with Ali of Explorer Knits, Lora of Campfiber Yarns, and Tiffany of Tippy Tree Yarns
"How to Show Up Online as a Business" - with Kinsey of Feel Good Social
"The Ins and Outs of Working with a Tech Editor" - with Sarah and Kristina of Tech Tip Talks
"Understanding Fit of Garments" - with Sarah Walworth
"Branding: Brand Theory, How Brands are Created, and How to Look at Your Brand" - with Dr. Tricia Farwell of Middle Tennessee State University
"Planning, Goal Setting + Time Management Workshop" - with Ash Wylder
You will also receive access to replays of past guest speaker chats:
"Getting Seen in a Saturated Market and Promoting Yourself" with Michelle Knight of Brandmerry
"Overcoming Perfectionism as a Business Owner" with Joeli Kelly of Joeli Kelly
"Writing a Clear Pattern + the Basics of Grading" with Julie Robinson of Julie At Work
Tentative* topics for 2022 include:
Grading with Spreadsheets
Writing Content to Get Noticed
Growing + Cultivating an Email List
Submitting to a Publication
Marketing Outside of Social Media
Confidence + Imposter Syndrome
Photography of Designs
Hosting a Successful Knit Along
Making Consistent Sales
Utilizing Your Website
Setting + Keeping Boundaries
Publishing Your Own Book
Collaborating with Other Makers
Additional Revenue Streams
Collaborating with Yarn Shops
Taxes, Accounting, + Staying Legal
Successful Designer Stories
*These calls have not been scheduled and are not guaranteed. However, as a Design Circle member, your input in the welcome survey does impact what gets scheduled (and when).
Alright, it's time for a heart-to-heart chat.
You're struggling in your knitwear design business.
You struggle with making connections in the community.
You struggle with juggling all of your titles and duties.
You feel guilty putting time, effort, and money toward the business you love, because you aren't making a profit.
You see the other designers, that you think are super-successful, and you doubt that you will ever be able to make it. You feel like giving up.
In the Designer Circle, I give you the permission you won't give yourself.
I give you permission to feel the things, but I also give you permission to leave those feelings behind you so you can live a life of joy.
I give you permission to change your definition of success.
I give you permission to define what you want your future to look like.
I give you permission to change your mind if a part of your business is no longer serving you.
I give you permission to take your time - you don't have to keep up with everyone else. You're on a journey that only you can take.
I give you permission to put some time aside for you -- time that's outside of your designing, your marketing, and your job as the CEO of your business. (Yes, even though it is your fun hobby business!)
I encourage you to find the things that rejuvenate you -- and to spend your time doing those things, and allow them to fuel your designs.
You're desperate for some help, someone to talk to who understands. You're overwhelmed, feeling like you don't have time to do all the things you need to do in order to run a design business. You question if all this work is even worth it.
Now you have the opportunity to exchange the wins and the struggles of the business with others who actually understand. You have the opportunity to make connections that will grow your business. You have the opportunity to finally participate in the concept of Community Over Competition, because a rising tide really does lift all boats. And you have the opportunity to learn about the business and marketing strategies that you are missing.
So what's holding you back?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: I am a knitter thinking about learning how to design patterns. Will the Design Circle walk me through the design process?
A: No, the Design Circle will not teach you how to design. The Design Circle provides resources that allow designers to fine-tune and enhance their design processes, including the design challenges, which foster creativity and design inspiration. Beyond the designing, the Design Circle provides resources to up-level your marketing strategies and grow your business. If you are new to designing, my 1-on-1 coaching sessions will be a better fit for you right now.
Q: I am a crochet pattern designer. May I join the Design Circle?
A: Absolutely! The principles of designing and running a pattern design business apply to both knitting and crochet. In fact, I love to see knitters and crocheters working together in the Design Circle to create some fun and unique collaborations!
Q: Will the Design Circle enable me to create a full-time income with my designing business this year?
A: Creating a full-time business takes a lot of time and effort, especially in the knitting pattern design business. There are a lot of factors that come into play: where you're at in your business, what marketing strategies you're using, your mindset, and so much more. So, no, I can't promise you will end the year with a full-time income from designing. What the Design Circle does include, however, are the resources and support system to grow your design business in a way that is authentic to you.
Q: Who is the Design Circle for?
A: The Design Circle is for knitting pattern designers who are ambitious, motivated, and passionate about transforming their pattern design business into an income. They have already started creating designs, and they are craving the support, connection, and resources that will help them reach the next level.
Q: Who is the Design Circle not for?
A: The Design Circle would not be a good fit for designers that are uninterested in putting work into their business, or are expecting a magical secret to overnight success.
Q: What happens after I sign up? When will I have access to the Design Circle content?
A: Before you sign up for the Design Circle, you will be prompted to create a login for the Snickerdoodle Knits website. You will then be directed to the checkout page where you will submit your payment. Within a few minutes of submitting your payment, you will receive an email that includes the access link to get inside the Design Circle (you can also use the login button at the top of this page). Once inside, you will find a welcome video, the link to the Discord server we will use for communicating; links to each of the resource documents; and links to each guest speaker replay.
Q: If I get into the Design Circle and decide it's not for me, may I get a refund?
A: Inside the Design Circle, we want designers who are excited about their business, ready to ask questions, and interested in growing. If you have any questions before joining, please contact me. Because you receive immediate access to several resources inside the Design Circle, I am not able to offer a refund on your purchase.
Q: What is the approximate worth of the Design Circle?
A: While it's impossible to put a number to the value of confidence and clarity in your business (characteristics that will serve you for your entire life), here is a breakdown of what you receive inside the Design Circle:
2 guest speakers each month, providing educational resources with actionable and applicable steps, plus an opportunity to get your questions answered by an expert in their field.
Quarterly creativity burst design challenges inspire creativity and a new way of generating design ideas.
Annual design alongs that encourage collaboration with and learning from fellow designers.
Weekly discussion prompts accompanied by peer mentorship, support, and feedback to inspire introspection, clarity, and discovering your unique journey.
Constant access to a community of fellow designers delivers support, understanding, collaboration, and answers to your questions.
Small accountability groups of 3-4 designers provide in-depth and individualized feedback and support with goals, achievements, and setbacks.
Lists of resources, past prompts, dyers interested in collaborations, tech editors accepting clients + more.
Q: When will doors open again?
A: I'm currently planning on opening doors again in late February 2022. Of course, as additional features are added (I've been planning out some bonus workshops and events!), the price will continue to increase.