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On the next edition of Fiber Hooligan (04/17/14) my guest will be Julia Grunau of Patternfish.com.
Julia grew up amongst engineers (dad & brother, summer jobs). She got an English degree, then worked for some R&D tech companies before 1990 becoming (as far as she knows) the first woman to sell printed circuit boards in Canada (having become interested in knitting two years before). After seven years, she decided that she would rather sell yarn instead of torpedo and telecommunications parts, so she became an outside sales rep, selling yarn to yarn stores in the Toronto area.
In 2005 Julia became frustrated by having to go to 40 different websites to find PDFs to buy. She wanted a kind of Barnes & Nobles for knit/crochet PDFs and there wasn't one. It occurred to her that she might be well placed to do it (techie background, techie friends, lots of knitting contacts by then). So Patternfish.com was incorporated in October 2006 and launched a year and a half later, in June 2008.
Since then Patternfish.com has become the largest pay-only site on the internet for knit and crochet designs, with over 16,000 top-notch patterns from hundreds of fine publishers (both corporate and indie) including Sirdar, Knitting Pure and Simple, Mirasol, Prism, Classic Elite Yarns, Lucy Neatby, Anne Hanson's Knitspot, Rowan, both the Noro and Debbie Bliss Magazines, Cabin Fever, Bergere de France, the UK Hand Knitting Association, and many others. Over 6,000 of them are exclusive to Patternfish.com as digital downloads, so there’s a lot of unique things to see.
Julia is really smart and a lot of fun. I hope you’ll join us so you can hear from this remarkable woman.
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