20 May

Hello world.

IMG_1290Hello.  My name is Devon Gholam and I am the owner and “wise owl” at Wise Owl Designs.  I am a practitioner of many crafts, especially knitting and sewing.  Please allow me to tell you the story behind Wise Owl Designs.

Although I learned knitting basics as a young girl, my love of the craft came to fruition around 2010.  I met infrequently with a few friends to knit and catch up on our lives.  The spark turned into a flame and I became very serious about the craft, turning out hats, scarves, baby sweaters for my best friend’s children (as practice for sweaters for myself), among other things–I even knit a digestive system but I’ll save that story for another post. Around this same time in my life, I worked in a technical sales/support position that  required a great deal of travel.  Knitting kept me busy while in transit as well as keeping me calm through a variety of travel hiccups.  While my schedule didn’t allow for many tourist activities, I often was able to find a few minutes to check out local yarn shops around the country.  My yarn stash grew, as did my love for yarn, color, and working with my hands.

In 2014, my journey through life hit a few stumbling blocks.  I lost someone very close to me and became caregiver to a dear relative.  My husband and I decided it was best for our family if I left my job and stayed home to take care of our relative.  Needless to say it was quite the shock to move from constantly on the road to staying at home.  My knitting continued to provide much needed solace.  And my additional free time gave me a chance to pursue another avenue–sewing.  I purchased an inexpensive sewing machine from IKEA and got started with a few simple projects.

One of the first items I sewed was a knitting project bag for my mother.  Being the great mother she is, she encouraged my sewing just as she has every other activity I’ve tried in my life.  But this time it was different–she showed off her bag to friends at work and I quickly found myself receiving orders and requests for bags.  I had toyed with the idea of opening an Etsy shop and have since found it was the most convenient way to take care of money transfers, as well as getting myself out there and providing an avenue for people to see my work.  Of course I needed a brand and a logo–if I learned anything during my time in the corporate world, branding is everything!  I settled on Wise Owl Designs because of my grandmother’s love of wildlife and nature.  Shortly after I registered this domain, sketched out a rough logo, and set to work.  My wildly talented cousin was kind enough to bring my sketch to electronic life.  Voila!

IMG_0121Wise Owl Designs opened for business on Etsy in February 2015.  Soon after my grandmother started getting in on the action and asked me to make items for her.  One of my husband’s coworkers gave me several custom orders that allowed me to experiment with different ideas and fabrics.  Over time, people I had no connection with started ordering from my Etsy store.  To this day, I still get excited with each order that comes through, whether a relative, friend, repeat customer, or someone completely new.  I’ve had customers in nearby towns in Ohio and as far away as Norway and Australia.  I take a great deal of pride in everything I make and am humbled that the feedback I have received reflects my dedication to making quality products.

Now that my fabric stash has become nearly as large as my yarn stash, I am continuing to make new project bags, tote bags, hats, and pouches.  I also am working on organizers for knitting needles and crochet hooks.  I even have a few ideas for knitting patterns, which is my pipe dream for Wise Owl.  I am grateful to the support of my mother and grandmother, as well as my other grandmother who is a talented knitter and seamstress herself.  She loves to quality check the items I make when I visit her and I enjoy getting her stamp of approval.  I also am very grateful to my husband, who has allowed me to pursue Wise Owl long after my caregiver duties have concluded.  My dear friends in my regular knitting group have my undying gratitude for dealing with my questions, field testing items for me, and putting up with occasional swearing when my knitting projects have become frustrating.  There is so much love and support that has gone into Wise Owl Designs that a little bit spills over into every item I make.

Thank you for visiting Wise Owl Designs.  Please take a moment to look my Etsy shop and come back often for updates and news.  Best of luck wherever your life takes you–don’t forget to bring your knitting!

 

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