Erin.Lane began out of a simple principle: Necessity is the mother of all invention.
My Aunt Jan, who owned a yarn store in Michigan for 23 years, shipped yarn to my grandmothers house and taught myself, my mom, and all my cousins to knit. It took me about an hour to figure it out, but soon there after I was hooked. (No pun intended.)
She equipped my mom and myself with yarn and a few needles, specifically Rowan wool and Addi Turbo needles. It took me approximately five minutes after I returned home to realize that I couldn't afford to knit well for long. I lost 4 pairs of the needles my aunt bought me and knew it would take months to get them replaced. So, I went to my mom, a master seamstress of 40+ years to ask her if she could help fix this problem.
We tinkered and toyed around and finally came up with a great design. When I took that design to our local, weekly knitting group people "Oooed" and "Awwed." One woman asked if my mom could make her one on the way to our cars. Mom told her the materials, and the next week my mom brought her the new KnitPack. Then everyone wanted one. Like lightning Erin.Lane was born.
After that first case, we started listening to complaints around the knitting table. Every weekend we would try to solve a problem we heard people complain about.
We took requests, and we just tried to solve the problems everyone else ignored. "Why won't my drawstring stay shut?!" "Why do my needles always come out of my case?" "Why doesn't anyone have a way to store all of my interchangeables?"
In 2006 my father entered a tough medical battle. He won, but lost his job. That was when my mom and I decided to try to make Erin.Lane make some money. We spent a year just wholesaling to local shops. Then we had to make a tough decision, move forward or just let this be a hobby.
We went to our first Stitches South the following year as vendors. Terrified we set up and hoped people wouldn't think we were crazy. They didn't. Everyone loved our products and thought our fabric choices were fantastic. Shortly after that, my mom lost her job.
Erin.Lane was it. We had to make it work. We opened an Etsy shop in October of 2009 and haven't stopped going since then.
My mom and dad were able to support themselves on Erin.Lane while I continued teaching. Oh yea, did I mention while doing all of this, I was a middle school teacher, because I was. We went to shows, sold online, built a website.
We stayed busy. We did all the cutting, designing, sewing, marketing, and shipping.
In July of 2012 my mom passed away, and left me an amazing legacy. People who got to know her while we traveled always tell me how special she was. I have a trade, I can sew, and more than that, I love it! So I kept going. I taught during the day and sewed at night. I went to shows on unpaid leave. I kept designing.
Happily, in August of 2014 I was able to quit my teaching job and run Erin.Lane full time. I am thrilled to sew for a living, and I love helping knitters get and stay organized.
The question I get asked the most is where did the name Erin.Lane come from if my name is Lindsey and my mother's name was Lisa. We tried it out and thought Lindsey.Lisa was just a little lame, so we decided to use our middle names. Erin for me and Lane for my mom. Ta Da.
We still take wholesale orders, if you own a shop, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org