With the cooler seasons approaching (I know it’s too soon!) you’ll want to have some comfy cozies on hand. Tracey from Grizzlie can help make sure you’re taken care of. Read on to find out more about the creator behind the wool!

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

I started my Etsy business almost 7 years ago, and it was one of the best decisions of my life! It took my hobby of knitting to a whole new level. I have learned so much along the way about running a small business, marketing, photography and social media. The pieces I knit are a true reflection of my outlook on simplicity, nature, and the world around me. I am very blessed to be able to share this artistic fibre art with others.

I have been happily married for 23 years, have three wonderful children and two adorable dogs. I am Vegan and consider that another good decision I made!

How does your work reflect your personality and overall approach to life?

I live my life very simply. I take inspiration from nature, trees and landscapes with a rustic feel. The colours I choose are more calming and natural. The textures I toy with are on the simple yet interesting side. Less is definitely more when it comes to my designs. Like in my personal life, I enjoy the simpler things. A cup of tea, a walk with my dogs. Sitting and having conversations with my family on our back porch.

How long does the average item take for you to create?

I am always creating in my mind! Knitting comes with me everywhere! In the car, to appointments, I have even been known to knit in a dark movie theatre! My smaller baby items can usually be completed in a day or two as sometimes they take more work as, where a chunky hat or scarf can be completed in a couple of hours. My dream vacation is where I just sit and knit all day long..

What is the story behind your business name?

When you open an Etsy shop it is so important to create a brand. For me, Grizzlie came from my love of anything rustic, farmhouse chic looking. Nature and knits go so well together. I imagined a snowy forest and a giant Grizzlie bear looking for berries. And so the name ‘Grizzlie’ was born. Although if I did see a giant Grizzlie bear I think I would pass out!

Do you ever make anything for yourself?

I rarely make anything for myself which I find so sad! This summer I vowed to change that. I found a beautiful chunky sweater design and am knitting myself a large cardigan. The kind that is oversized that you just want to live in come the colder months. I have completed the back and love how it is coming along.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Believe it or not, in my free time I still knit. That is how much I love what I do. I also love organizing and cleaning, I know that sounds strange. Of course spending time with my dogs is top of the list. We got a new puppy this summer and he takes up all our free time. But he is so cute he is worth it.

Any advice for a new Handcrafted Maker who is setting up a shop?

My advice would be to make what you love, not just what is trendy or what you ‘think’ might sell. Have a cohesive feel to your shop so people can spot your items a mile away. Your Etsy shop will only work if you put in the time to make it work. It is a lot of work and learning. But the benefits, opportunities and amazing people you will meet along the way are totally worth it.

What is your bestselling item? Why do you think it is the most popular?

I would say my bestselling item is my slouch hat. It is warm and very comfortable and the kind of hat that you don’t want to take off even inside. Through the years I have made them in every colour under the sun, with flowers and hearts, for babies, children and adults. But the plain one in natural colours is the most popular. It even got the attention of actress Tori Spelling!!

You can find Tracey’s cozy knits at our Made in Canada Market on the 23rd of September or you can check out her stuff online!

Etsy: www.grizzlie.etsy.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/grizzlie

Instagram: @grizzlieknits

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