The passing of time has a funny way of delivering insights. It’s hard for me to believe that four and a half years have passed since that fateful day in October 2010 when I introduced my yarn project to the handknitting community, and even harder to believe that 10 years have passed since I packed up my life in the Pacific Northwest and set out for New York City with little more than a longing for new adventures.
To say that I’m grateful for having taken both of those exhilarating and somewhat scary steps in my life would be a colossal understatement: coming to New York and developing Shelter have been two of the most defining moments of my personal journey. My “accidental” run-in with creative entrepreneurship has been an extraordinary roller coaster ride thus far. What I anticipated to be a short-term creative experiment that would buy me some time after finishing graduate school—developing a small batch of US-produced wool yarn—revealed an unanticipated opportunity to build a meaningful venture around my passion for knitting and design. When I think back on the last decade, it’s those bold, inspiring, take-a-chance decisions that come forward in my memory as the most meaningful and instructive experiences—those that I hold the most dear.
Shepherding Brooklyn Tweed through its infancy as a yarn and pattern house has been more educational than any formal schooling I’ve ever had, and it’s taught me more than I ever expected—about people, about business, about creativity, and most notably about myself. Operating a creative business and leading a team of talented people in working toward a shared vision has turned out to be something that gives me deep satisfaction and joy. It’s something I hope I am able to continue doing for years to come.
These realizations have hurled me deep into Soul Searching mode during the past year. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who we are at Brooklyn Tweed, where we are going, and how to continue ensuring a healthy, engaging experience for every member of the company along the way. I’ve reflected on the choices and experiences that have worked well for us—and on those needing further exploration. Calling the NYC area home for BT’s first four years has brought unique joys and challenges. Living and working in the concrete jungle has been an inspiration on so many levels, and it’s taught us how to survive and thrive in a city where most would say nothing comes easy. As my vision for Brooklyn Tweed has come into crisper focus this year, I’ve continued to examine the question of whether our current East Coast home is still the best place for us to do what we do, in the best way we are able; and I’ve decided the time has come to embark on a new adventure once again.
I’m very excited to announce that this spring Brooklyn Tweed will be officially relocating to a place very near and dear to my heart—Portland, Oregon. This change in scenery is one that I know will let us continue our work in a way that feels authentic and inspiring (as well as allowing us to serve our friends, fans and customers even better). And though saying farewell to the Big Apple will be a bittersweet moment for me, I couldn’t be more excited about starting a new chapter in a wonderfully rich creative community like Portland.
As I stand at the beginning of a new phase of life, I want to thank everyone who is reading from the bottom of my heart: for believing in us and what we do, for the years of support and encouragement you’ve given me and my team, and for keeping us company along the way as we move forward. I can’t wait to continue sharing the journey with you.
All my very best,
A Note for PDX Locals (or those looking to relocate): We’ll be touching down in Oregon on May 1st and have a few job openings available at our new headquarters in Northeast Portland. If you’re interested in exploring a career with us, check out our Jobs page to read more about these opportunities. See you on the West Coast!
[Photo above courtesy of my brother Ryan Flood.]