The Uncommon Thread’s Cecilia (Ce) Persiano has always been a crafty person, but it wasn’t until she discovered yarn dyeing that it became her livelihood. “In some capacity or other I’ve always had an interest in expressing myself creatively,” Ce explains. But she’d been working as an acupuncturist before stumbling upon the hobby that would change her life.
“I 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 I’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.”
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.
“My favourite yarn is usually the latest addition to the range,” laughs Ce. “I 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.”
Now the business has grown, Ce finds her days very varied. “I don’t do production dyeing so much, so unless I’m working on colourway development, I won’t necessarily be at the dyepots,” she explains. “I 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 isn’t such a thing as a typical day.”
Days spent researching yarns and colours sound pretty blissful – but of course the reality of owning your own business, however passionate you are, also means a lot of hard work. “Running a business can be very lonely,” says Ce.
“You 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 – it’s a great industry.”
Ce particularly enjoys working with other people and businesses on a variety of projects. “I do love collaborating with other people, be it knitwear designers, shops or publications. I’m looking forward to doing more of that this year!”
Find out more about Ce and The Uncommon Thread at www.theuncommonthread.co.uk
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