The Uncommon Threadâ€™s Cecilia (Ce) Persiano has always been a crafty person, but it wasnâ€™t until she discovered yarn dyeing that it became her livelihood. â€œIn some capacity or other Iâ€™ve always had an interest in expressing myself creatively,â€ Ce explains. But sheâ€™d been working as an acupuncturist before stumbling upon the hobby that would change her life.
â€œI had been a knitter for a few years. When I discovered Ravelry, I soon became interested in knitting with hand-dyed yarns and the natural next step was dyeing some myself. I was soon dyeing more than I could knit and thought Iâ€™d offer some for sale on Etsy.
They sold the same day! I kept putting them for sale and they kept selling, so I gave up the acupuncture needles for the dyepots and the rest is history.â€
Ce lives with her son, boyfriend and cat Smudge in Hove, where she runs The Uncommon Thread, selling hand-dyed luxury yarns ranging from Merino/cashmere blends to Bluefaced Leicester singles, alpaca/silk/cashmere DK yarns and linen blends for warmer weather. The yarns are available in a huge range of semi-solid colourways.
â€œMy favourite yarn is usually the latest addition to the range,â€ laughs Ce. â€œI really do go through phases, and my tastes are always changing and adapting. The same goes for colours, though as with bases, some favourites always stick around.â€
Now the business has grown, Ce finds her days very varied. â€œI donâ€™t do production dyeing so much, so unless Iâ€™m working on colourway development, I wonâ€™t necessarily be at the dyepots,â€ she explains. â€œI could be working on spreadsheets, meeting retailers or suppliers, at a show meeting customers and doing market research or looking for inspiration somewhere. There really isnâ€™t such a thing as a typical day.â€
Days spent researching yarns and colours sound pretty blissful â€“ but of course the reality of owning your own business, however passionate you are, also means a lot of hard work. â€œRunning a business can be very lonely,â€ says Ce.
â€œYou are the sole person responsible for it and unless you have a business partner you bear the brunt of all the decision-making. And being an employer I do feel that responsibility deeply. But there is also a great deal of freedom that comes with that: you can choose to run it however you like! However in the early days of the business I would often work until 11pm even on the weekend. I do have a great deal of pride for what I built and I love meeting lovely knitting and crocheting folk â€“ itâ€™s a great industry.â€
Ce particularly enjoys working with other people and businesses on a variety of projects. â€œI do love collaborating with other people, be it knitwear designers, shops or publications. Iâ€™m looking forward to doing more of that this year!â€
Find outÂ more about Ce and The Uncommon Thread at www.theuncommonthread.co.uk
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