KnottyGirlThreads knits together veganism and design

KnottyGirlThreads knits together veganism and design

KnottyGirlThreads knits together veganism and design
March 18
23:01 2019

Psychology senior Ali Vazquez spends her days getting lost in the art of crocheting. What started as a shop on Etsy, an online marketplace focused on handmade and vintage goods, expanded into KnottyGirlThreads, her own online store. Since opening in 2016, Vazquez has crocheted over 400 pieces including clothing, accessories and most recently, her first custom wedding dress.

Discouraged by the fast fashion market, Vazquez said she decided to teach herself to crochet similar styles for herself and friends.

“I started off selling to friends and would post [my creations] on Instagram,” Vazquez said. “It spiraled after that. People were really enjoying my pieces and I went for it.”

Customers are able to shop her collection of made-to-order items as well as commission custom pieces by contacting her through the KnottyGirl’s website.

“I can make anything,” Vazquez said. “I’ve done so many custom orders. People will come to me wanting to support me rather than going to big companies. I just made my first ever wedding dress for a customer and it’s been my most prized possession so far.”

A fan of techno music, Vazquez also makes festival wear for others in the community.

“I’ve been going to music festivals since I was about 16,” Vazquez said. “I love creating unique things for people for music festivals. When someone asks me to make them something for festivals, that lights up my entire life. I get to create something for them that they wouldn’t wear in everyday life and they get to feel beautiful in it. I love being the person who can create that for somebody.”

Over the past few years, Vazquez has also been active in hula hooping, a genre of dance at raves and music festivals that crossed over in her work.

Bundles of yarn in KnottyGirlThreads creator Ali Vasquez’s apartment. Image by: Ashley Gallegos.

“[Raves and musical festivals are] both very therapeutic because you’re so in the moment, you’re not worried about what’s happening around you,” Vazquez said. “They both give me the same sensation and state of mind. It’s a great way for me to destress and use my creativity.”

Damaris Aragon, Vazquez’s friend and the owner of her soy candle business, Mystic Faerie Land, said it is important to shop small businesses like KnottyGirlThreads and support the ethical practices Vazquez uses.

“[Vazquez is] very hardworking and is always willing to go the extra mile in order to make the customer’s vision come true,” Aragon said. “KnottyGirlThreads will always be one of my favorite businesses that brings me inspiration. She puts so much love into it and pays attention to fine details.”

Being vegan for over three years now, Vazquez knew Knotty Girl Threads would be 100% vegan and cruelty free. All of the materials Ali uses is free of any wool or animal-based fabrics.

“Being vegan is my entire life and I wanted my business to be an extension of that as well,” Vazquez said. “A lot of yarn and materials are derived from wool and as a vegan, I don’t use anything that comes from an animal, including their fur. A lot of people want to shop at a place that is vegan and from someone who is not going to be buying and using animal products.”

Vazquez said while it can get tiring to crochet regularly, the support from the people around her spark her passion to continue creating.

“Knowing my customers really love my work and truly support me keep me inspired to keep going,” Vazquez said. “I believe I have a creative soul. I need to be creating all the time. That feeling is really satisfying to me when I create something from a string and it turns into a beautiful product.”

Vazquez said she knows her gift of entrepreneurship comes from her family, as both of her parents own their own businesses.

“My mom and dad have always wanted to do their own thing and be their own boss,” Vazquez said. “To see that happen for them has been really cool. It runs in my blood to have my own business. Growing up, they have always told me I could do whatever I want if I put the work in.”

Vazquez’s mother, Mary Fields, is the owner of the Brew & Stew bakery in Lorain, Ohio. Fields creates a different experience for her customers with coffee and comfort food as Vazquez creates a different experience for her customers with her crocheting.

“[Vazquez has] always had a unique sense of style,” Fields said. “She started at a young age when she started making jewelry in high school. She was creative in her marketing and design and it’s all one of a kind.”

Vazquez said she hopes to see KnottyGirlThreads grow this year and wants to continue building relationships with her supporters and social media followers.

“I’m getting back into jewelry making again and I’m hoping to keep expanding,” Vazquez said. “I will always love crocheting no matter what I do in the future.”

Featured Image: Ali Vasquez, founder of KnottyGirlThreads, ties a bow on the commissioned wedding dress she made for a customer. Image by: Ashley Gallegos. 

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Katelyn Manfre

Katelyn Manfre

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