WOOLN is a line of high-end trendy accessories, locally hand-knitted in New York by talented grandmothers, founded by Faustine Badrichani and Margaux Rousseau.
Josette asked Faustine and Margaux a few questions
You hire New York grandmas to knit, how does it work?
We design the patterns in house; we then individually meet our knitters, give them our patterns, our yarn and needles, and collect the items when they are ready. Our knitters are selected on their knitting competencies, and our crew includes seniors with very diverse backgrounds.
What is your background?
We both grew up in the French countryside and we’re both good examples of business school drop-outs… From Finance to drawing and yoga for Faustine, and HR consulting to knitting for Margaux. Well, we’re back to business but this time we’re having fun.
What inspires you?
Margaux: French indie movies, traveling, my husband, and many of my NZ friends (these guys have something special.)
Faustine: New York, reading, traveling, going to museums, and… Pinterest!
How and when did you get started?
We could have met way earlier as we used to live in the same city in France and have many common friends, but we actually met in February 2015 in NY. One month later, we were on track to build WOOLN; four months later we went granny hunting throughout forty senior centers in the city! Once you have a crew, you can’t turn back!
How has your work evolved since you started?
This is only our second collection but we learnt a lot from the first one; we’re now focusing on the softest yarns, we are making more of a (slow) fashion statement, and getting super professional (no more home-made pictures and "approximate" instagram posts!) Our products are top notch, our hats are designed to the stitch!
How do you stay motivated?
Yarn/knitting is our passion, and the idea that we involve older retired people into a project they are proud of and value their talent is thrilling.
What would you like to learn?
Margaux: How to crochet, how to do the front crawl properly, how to do more than 3 push-ups.
Faustine: How to age gracefully. Like our knitters!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
By that time, every American city will have a local WOOLN knitting crew for sure!!
How do you deal with judgment and criticism?
Being two behind WOOLN helps us not to take criticism personally… Because we’re both kind of touchy in real life (understood??)
Who will you thank when you receive an award?
Our grannies for sure!