UStory: Knitted Friends
  by:  |  Jan 9, 2024
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What do you do when you can’t find the perfect gift? Keep looking?

Not Knitted Friends. They saw the need and decided to fill the gap in the market.


It started with a gift hunt

In early 2022, Nicolle De Sousa, the owner of Knitted Friends, told us they were looking for a special gift for a dear friend’s newborn baby. To their dismay, they couldn’t find the perfect present for the occasion.

“We couldn’t find anything that truly captured our vision. That’s when inspiration struck, and we decided to take matters into our own hands by creating something unique and special.”

Taking matters into her own hands

What Nicolle couldn’t find, she created.

With passion in crafting beautiful keepsakes for babies and families, Knitted Friends was established with a mission to bring back the simplicity in toys.

knitted stuffed animal toy dog yarn

Knitted Friends aims to bring back simplicity in toys by offering handmade dolls and rattles.

According to Nicolle, today’s toy market is saturated with items that contain small plastics that could be unsafe for children. Knitted Friends offers a safer alternative through pieces that are made with simple and sustainable materials.

She shares,

“We are committed to using only the finest materials in our creations.

Our toys are meticulously crafted from 100% organic cotton, providing a soft and safe experience for your baby. Additionally, our rattles are made from sustainable beech wood, making them not only eco-friendly but also excellent sensory items that engage and stimulate your little one’s senses.”

Struggles from the onset

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Index study reveals a concerning trend: small business owners are struggling to meet their workers’ salary demands.

If the issue persists among those who can afford to hire employees, what about the micro businesses who are only starting to establish their brand? They might have to handle most of the workload alone.

On that, Nicolle offers some insights.

“The most significant hurdle in launching the business has been mastering the art of self-sufficiency. Establishing a small business is an immensely challenging endeavor, often underestimated by many.”

From crafting a brand image to navigating the complexities of marketing, Nicolle faces these head on to get as much exposure as possible for the products she believes can positively impact families.

Setting the brand apart

Big chain toy stores offer convenient shopping, a diverse selection, and a wide price range to accommodate different budgets. How can smaller brands like Knitted Friends compete?

Nicolle envisions their toy keepsakes to be treasured family members, capturing special moments and eventually becoming heirlooms passed down through generations, carrying stories, values, and family traditions.

With this goal in mind, she aspires to set the brand apart by creating unique designs, using organic materials, and adapting sustainable business practices.

Eschewing online pattern sales, Knitted Friends ensures
uniqueness in each creation.

“What distinguishes Knitted Friends from others is our commitment to thoughtful design and eco-friendly practices.

We use premium organic cotton yarn rather than synthetic yarn that has strands that can be toxic for babies. Each piece undergoes meticulous design, with careful consideration given to the placement of characteristics such as eyebrows and facial features, which greatly impacts the final look.

Over time, we have significantly enhanced these original designs and expanded our collection by introducing new friends into our lineup.”

Close-knit community

Much like how their premium toys are designed to endure for generations, Knitted Friends prioritizes fostering lasting relationships with their customers.

“We genuinely value their input and even welcome suggestions for creating new pieces or enhancing our brand. The collaborative relationship we have with our customers is instrumental in shaping the growth and improvement of Knitted Friends.

We created a small group chat forming personal connections with our customers who have become brand representatives. It makes them feel important, and they mean the world to us.”

Their grassroots approach of engaging with their community doesn’t just happen online. Whenever they attend local pop-up events, they actively engage with the customers they meet.

Nicolle recognizes how these gatherings are a great opportunity for them to connect with people who share their appreciation for handmade gifts and foster a deeper connection with their audience.

Knitted Friends booth setup

Despite the absence of a physical storefront, Knitted Friends cherishes
every chance to engage with customers they meet in person.

However, creating memorable interactions, regardless of where it happens, is just one facet of community-building. That’s precisely why the brand goes the extra mile to ensure their customers’ shopping experience is seamless and compelling enough to guarantee repeat purchases.

The UPrinting experience

Nicolle explains the importance of ensuring all elements of their brand image all contribute to creating a reputable and unmistakable identity, from their online presence to how their products are promoted and packaged.

“Expressing gratitude for a customer’s purchase is crucial for us. When someone chooses to buy one of our Knitted Friends, we convey our appreciation through a thoughtful thank you card that is placed on top of their order.

Additionally, attaching charming tags enhances the customer’s experience, creating a sense of ownership once they remove the tag.”

We’re glad to have helped them achieve this, from their first order of thank you cards, business cards, and hang tags, to their reorders of custom posters.

“Our UPrinting experience has been amazing! We were able to upload our designs for all the pieces that we ordered.

During our second reorder we decided to purchase the posters and let’s just say we are so obsessed with them. The best decision we have made. Our posters came out so beautifully for our nursery wall art. The quality looks super professional.”

Thank you cards and hang tags enhance their customers’ unboxing experience.

What lies ahead

Nicolle dreams of one day opening a physical store for Knitted Friends.

For now, she focuses on expanding the business. She fuels the drive through glowing reviews that inspire Knitted Friends to keep on creating unique and special toy keepsakes.

Some customers even send pictures of their baby’s milestones featuring toys they bought!

“Witnessing the joy reflected in their babies’ smile is truly heartwarming. Many parents have approached us personally, expressing love for our pieces.”

She adds that customers also choose their products as baby shower gifts, eventually becoming their highlight of the celebration and the talk of the party.

“Such feedback shows us the meaningful impact our Knitted Friends have on special moments in people’s lives.”

Learn more about Knitted Friends at You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

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