Early in 2008 I designed a poncho for a friend's new baby. This wasn't easy as I was not known as a knitter. However, when it was finished, friends convinced me to show the poncho to a niche retailer and they loved it. This was the start of the business as it is today.
I realised that if this was to be a business then I would have to have more products, so I designed some that were not available in the market. At the start my mother and I were the only ones doing the knitting, so this limited the number of garments that could be produced. The instant success of the garments took me completely by surprise and I quickly realised that we would never keep up.
Luckily, through a friend, we were introduced to six lovely ladies from Geraldine and they proved to be our salvation. This gave me the confidence to purchase the wool in bulk and allowed me to continue to expand the number of selected stockists and to add further designs and colours to the range.
Late in 2008 we were being stocked in a growing number of NZ stores when I got an email from Amsterdam asking whether we would consider having a distributor in the Netherlands. Suddenly the business was international and the size of the orders increased substantially.
By early 2009 we had increased the number of knitters involved and added new garment designs. Then there was another email enquiring about distribution, this time from London. The resulting increase in order sizes dramatically altered the productivity of the business.
During 2009 we continued to increase the number of local stores selling the products, engaged a distributor in Australia and we were receiving interest from Asia and southern Europe.
Our aim is to supply garments as they used to be (when I was a child) with a modern twist. We are regularly adding new products to the range as we find or design garments we like and know that our clients will like as well.
Being knitted, the products cannot easily be mass produced and we want to keep production local. Because of this we have been quite selective with our outlets, as we wanted to specialise at the top end of the market. Where we have control, the stores and their locations are carefully selected so that they have some exclusivity in their area.
We still knit all our garments in New Zealand using 100% pure merino wool and the yarn is coloured using eco-friendly dyes.
Weebits has taken a firm stance to be as eco-friendly as possible throughout its operation and will continue to use NZ-made yarn and to manufacture the products locally.