Our product exists to provide women with meaningful work, so they can provide for their families and plan for a brighter future. Interview with co-founder, Kohl Crecelius.
Krochet Kids intl founders started crocheting hats for friends & family not knowing it would take them on a journey of empowerment and humanitarianism for women in underdeveloped countries.
Who are the creators of Krochet Kids intl. and their backgrounds?
Kohl Crecelius, Travis Hartanov, and Stewart Ramsey are the co-founders of Krochet Kids intl. Our relationship traces back to high school in the Pacific Northwest where we started our entrepreneurial journey with a custom, handmade headwear company. In the early 2000s, we began crocheting winter headwear for our friends, and it quickly stemmed a thriving local business. We were dubbed the “Krochet Kids” by a local newspaper, and the name stuck.
Why/How did Krochet Kids get started?
Today, Krochet Kids intl exists as global lifestyle brand the produces and sells its items on multiple continents. The journey that started with crocheting in high school took a dramatic turn when we began traveling and volunteering internationally during college. We learned firsthand about global poverty and the ways that traditional international aid often falls short of creating long-term empowerment for individuals and communities.
Specifically, in our travels, we met people in Northern Uganda who had lived through a 20-year conflict instigated by a rebel army group. Though hundreds of NGOs and aid organizations were there, our interactions with people on the ground provided an unambiguous message: “They didn’t want more handouts. They wanted to work.” So we traveled back to Uganda in 2007 and taught them the skill we knew — crocheting — and re-launched our headwear project on a global scale.
We love the empowerment of women from these villages. Was this done on purpose?
This is the purpose and the whole reason for us starting Krochet Kids intl. Our product exists to provide women with meaningful work, so they can provide for their families and plan for a brighter future. Today, we work in both Uganda and Peru to do this.
How has helping these women impacted you on a personal and professional level?
Their story and my story is so intertwined that it’s hard to see where one ends and one begins. I was fortunate to set out on this vision at a young age. My friends and I were 20 at the time of launching Krochet Kids intl. so it’s my entire professional life. Personally, I consider myself very fortunate to witness the resiliency of the human spirit. It changes everything.
Are you strictly online or can we find products in brick-and-mortar locations?
You can find us online and in-store. We work with large national retailers and hundreds of independent boutiques across the country. Check our website for a full list.
What are your plans for growth and awareness this year?
As of last year, we launched a second company called KNOWN SUPPLY with the mission to humanize the apparel industry on a larger scale. Between both our brands, the goal is to establish brand partnerships and collaborations that help to spread this mission. For us, every product we make is hand-signed by the woman who made it, and we get great joy from connecting shoppers to the actual makers who produced their products. This recognition of the people behind the clothing we wear is a crucial point when it comes to improving the apparel industry today. Learn more: http://makers.knownsupply.com
What non-profit organizations do you partner with?
We partner with the non-profit CAPABLE to take our impact efforts to the next level. When we talk about wanting to see women and families empowered, it goes far beyond creating jobs. CAPABLE augments our work and the services we provide by including an education curriculum and a local mentorship program to the women we work with. They help us to give a much more holistic approach to empowerment.
What additional support do you need at Krochet Kids to get the word out about the brand?
As I mentioned before, we are always looking for partners that are passionate about the way we do business. This could be influencers, brands, or other organizations who would want to sell or promote our products. Reach out is that’s you!
Any shout outs?
Always. It indeed takes a village. Shout out to KNOWN SUPPLY, our east and west coast showrooms by The Park Showroom, Kimberly Goodnight at Media Playground PR, and OBVIOUS for your help in sharing about what we do!
KK intl. is a lifestyle brand reimagining apparel production, as well as the relationship between consumer and producer. Every apparel and accessory item we make is fully constructed at our facilities in Uganda or Peru. Each piece is hand-signed by the person who made it, and their profiles can be viewed on our website.
Our mission is to empower people to rise above poverty, and we do this through a multi-faceted and measured approach to poverty alleviation. By providing jobs, education, and mentorship within impoverished communities, we are equipping women with the skills, tools, and resources they need to work toward their own independent futures free from the help of any aid organization (ourselves included). We have empowered hundreds of women and their families through our high-touch and effective programs thus far. We look forward to working with partners who make that impact exponential.
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