If you’ve ever seen one of these thick, chunky wool blankets on Etsy or Pinterest, chances are it was made by 27-year-old Anna Marinenko.
Her Ohhio store on Etsy is extremely popular with 34,000 “admirers” — people who have favorited her shop. The store also has over 27,600 followers on Instagram and 12,600 followers on Facebook with fans all around the world.
Marinenko is from Kyiv, Ukraine and started knitting the blankets a year ago with her hands instead of knitting needles after she found a huge spool of merino wool.
“One day [I saw] an unusual material that awakened my imagination,” she said. “I did not have any knitting needles, so I just started to knit with my hands.”
The blanket she made had gigantic magnified stitches.
Marinenko loved the aesthetic — a soft, light-weight blanket that made the knitting the focal point — and decided to order more of the yarn.
“It’s not a new technique,” she told Tech Insider, but it was the foundation of her successful Etsy shop where she now charges as much as $900 for one of her deluxe large blankets.
Though she declined to tell Tech Insider where she gets her spools or how much they cost, she did say each blanket costs her a pretty good amount of money to make.
On her Etsy shop, Marinenko sells the yarn for $110 for two 17.5-ounce balls that can make a 25-inch by 40-inch blanket; slightly tinier than Marinenko’s small blanket ($200).
Her largest blanket measures over five feet long and nearly seven feet wide.
In addition to selling yarn, Marinenko designed a pair of knitting needles for customers who want to knit their own blanket with the 23-micron wool. A friend makes the needles in his wood workshop and Marinenko sells a version of them for $65, or $145 if customers buy both the wool as well as the needles as a blanket-making set.
Ohhio isn’t the only chunky knit blanket store on Etsy, but it is one of the most popular. With over 200 reviews, Marinenko’s store has a high 4.8 rating and customers rave about her blankets.
“Wow this thing is amazing and even my husband, who started joking about its bulk, won’t get off of it,” one reviewer wrote. “It’s just the best blanket to cozy up in.”
“I bought this as a gift for my wife and she loves it,” another said. “It’s luxurious, wonderfully tactile, and looks amazing.”
Because of her Etsy success, Marinenko has launched a Kickstarter to help raise money for Ohhio and try to expand her distribution. So far, she’s raised $58,000, or nearly triple her $20,000 goal, with 18 days left to go.
“I wanted to share my design vision with other people,” she told TI. “Kickstarter it is a great opportunity to expand production and to get known in all the world.”
She hopes someday to have stores in major US and European cities. If her popularity on Easy is any indication, Marinenko is on her way to achieving that level of success.
from Business Insider http://ift.tt/1TilcuQ