Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hey Teach! Whattchadesigning?

It won't be long until I'll be officially teaching at the VAK (Free Academy of Arts) in Delft. Yep, the city where the famous Dutch blue white china is made. (but that's besides the point). I am very flattered and excited to be the knitting/crocheting teacher at the new Fashion/Styling school.

To promote the start of that specific course/school, a Day of Fashion was organized. During this well visited day those that were interested in starting lessons could sign up for short workshops while the teachers work was showed on the catwalk. It was first catwalk show. I have to be honest, I was slightly emotional seeing my work showed by the very cool and charming models (most of them students of the VAK). Loud music and black basic outfits framed my work and I realized in a split second; 'I'm a designer.' A very proud and weird moment at the same time.

As a teenager I dreamed about being a fashion designer. I enrolled Art School thinking and believing I was going to be one. But then I fell in love with the photography lessons and stepped on a different path.
Photography was certainly great (and still is) but Art School and the teachers didn't quite match with ... eh... me. I didn't get expelled as such, but I was very critical of the organization and slowly but certainly was made clear that my place wasn't there.

After another try at another Art School I this time realized that I just wasn't a photographer at heart. At least not in the way that they build and delivered them. And so I started working in a jeans store, just to buy myself some time to figure out where I was going with myself.

After a year of getting annoyed by my co-workers, that seemed to find noting more important than dating and clubbing, I started an education that fitted me like a glove. Cultural Social Sciences I think is the translation; CMV. It's a school where you learn all about how to become a professional in the spare time consumption of your fellow human. I chose the path of culture and arts (go figure) and specialized in media and communication.

After an internship at a now famous festival (Motel Mozaique) I stuck to the music bizz and was a PR/marketing manager for almost all the music venues in Rotterdam. After I re-organized the communication department of one of the smaller venues I finished growing in that area and stepped up the ladder to become marketing manager of the organization that is responsible for promoting all Rotterdam festivals as a whole.

A year later I expected Wee One and they let me go when my pregnancy leave already started... (it's a little more complicated than that, but it still feels that way to me)
And so I had no choice but to focus on the coming baby and made my job something to start thinking about later on.

A few years before I picked up knitting after years and years of not even thinking about it. And before I could say 'K2tog' I started a knitting group. I was planning to start the first Stitch 'n Bitch group in Rotterdam, but my fellow knitters were more comfortable knitting at home.
A few 'Breieenkomsten' (knit-alongs) followed but it didn't stick with most of the gals. For me, it was too late. I was hooked (excusez le mot) and started picking projects that had at least 3 new techniques at a time. I learned from books and the Internet and by transforming into a knitting pit bull. I just wouldn't let go.

When my friends' aunt opened a sewing cafe I jumped to it and shoved myself and my knitting skills under her nose and claimed (I guess I did exactly that) to be the knitting teacher.
Meanwhile my first real design was accepted by Knitty and turned out to be a very popular project amongst knitters all over the world. I was asked to design for online yarnstores and I designed for myself under the brand name I took from the blog I started to keep track of my knitting: SAS Knits It Again. Spelling out my first name Saskia and linking to 'I did it again', not knowing that that might not be a perfect brand name for the future. It just grew that way.

Meanwhile I started giving workshops at babyshowers, bachelorette parties and other fun get together like festivals.
An Etsy shop followed, some fairs where I sold knitwear and knit kits and then a period of reflection where I decided on a path to choose. I couldn't do it all, build a strong brand and be a mother at home at the same time. It took me a while... But I've become what I wanted to be at 16; a fashion designer and (as a bonus) a teacher! My career plans for the future? Teach and design! Passing the craft on to others and staying true to myself (and my family) while designing.

I'm not a fashionista, I design what I like, what I need or what I think knitters like and/or need. I don't confirm to the fashion business and I hope I can keep it that way.
I'm building my brand (with the not-so-good-name) and... I'm loving it!!

You can enroll the 'knitting for beginners' 6 lessons course now. Go here!


Tijm said...

Van Harte Gefeliciteerd met deze 'overwinning' op het schoolsysteem en op jezelf. Je betn nu een echte designer geworden, vanuit je hart en vanuit je eigen drijfveer!! Zo knap hoe je hiertoe gekomen bent, langs al die paden!!
Zeer boeiend om te lezen hoe je ontwikkeling is gegaan.
Straks ook interessant voor je studenten, zodat ze kunnen zien dat iets wat je wilt, soms niet zomaar op je pad komt, maar dat je daar heel veel voor moet doen, via allerlei omwegen.
De 'kids' van tegenwoordig hebben vaak het idee dat iets meteen moet lukken of gelijk klaar moet zijn. Zo niet de realiteit. Waardoor faalangst en perfectionisme hen belemmert in het worden wie ze willen zijn.
Jij bent een kanjer van een voorbeeld over hoe je je doel kunt bereiken!!

Aileen said...

Wow that's amazing! Mega congratulations! I was in Delft on my holidays there in September, it's a lovely place :) I don't know about in the Netherlands but a teaching job like that is pretty hard to come by here. I'm so happy for you! Best of luck in your blossoming career!

Peppy said...

Wat leuk voor je! Dat lijkt me nou echt een hele leuke baan!!!

260207 said...

Inspirend verhaal hoor!!! En gefeliciteerd met alles wat je bereikt hebt, zeker iets om trots op te zijn :-)
gr. Rivka