Jennifer Wilkinson Rynbrandt
Tell us about your business.I began Earthworms woolens after unfruitful shopping trips for children's clothing. Everything at my price point was ordinary, and poorly made. I decided that I could do better. After watching an episode on wool felting on The Martha Stewart show, my humble collection began. I was new to textiles, having only painted in the past. But my eye for color and textures came in handy and I had my first sale shortly after...to my mom...she commissioned a baby shower gift. All proceeds from Earthworms Woolens sales go to support my favorite two charities in Kenya. Both charities educate the poorest of the poor in Nairobi and the surrounding areas. I hope that my business continues to be about one of a kind pieces, always made from used fibers. I had a factory manager in India contact me about mass producing my designs about a year ago. It was a huge complement, but doesn't mesh well with my desire to create very personal items on a small scale.
What makes your business stand out?My business is just me. I have four small children and a husband that I adore. My textiles work is a kind of stress therapy for me. Creating something functional and unique from items no longer wanted is really cool. The cashmere, wool, and alpaca I find at thrift shops would be too expensive for me to use if they were new. Besides, I love a good find!
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