Tracy Frank, Published December 17 2013
Her Voice: Moorhead girl turns hobby into business
FARGO – At just 12 years old, Clara Youlden is learning what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
The Moorhead sixth-grader sells knitted Christmas ornaments at Unglued craft and handmade shop in Fargo under the business name “Knit Wit.”
So far she has learned that you can’t always predict what consumers will spend their money on. (Her gnomes have been popular ornaments, but the ones she made in North Dakota State University Bison colors were the last to sell.)
And sometimes products take more effort to produce than an entrepreneur is able to charge for them. (She made an adorable penguin ornament, but it took too much time to be worth selling.)
Clara started knitting scarves when she was 8 or 9 years old. She learned how to knit from a lady at church and then continued teaching herself from books.
Clara says it was “fun to do” and “easy.”
After finding a library book with ideas for knitting ornaments, Clara started making some she found in the book and creating her own.
Her mom, Grace Youlden, suggested she try selling them at Unglued.
“She loves to knit so much,” Grace said. “It’s a good outlet for her and she gets to learn about how business works.”
Ashley Morken, Unglued owner, calls the ornaments cute and whimsical. She says Scandinavian styles are really trendy right now.
Clara has typically given her creations away.
She made baby hats for a local shelter and fancy mittens for her church’s silent auction.
She also created toys for her relatives. One was a stuffed dinosaur that pops out of an egg. The other was a doll that turns from a pauper to a princess. The toys would likely be too much work to try to sell, Grace said.
Clara says it’s fun to sell her ornaments.
“I like that people like them,” she said.
She says she also likes reading the comments people post about them on Facebook.
Clara is using some of her profits to purchase her supplies and she’s saving the rest.
The ornaments sell for $15 for the larger Scandinavian balls and $9 for the smaller balls, gnomes and snowmen.
The larger ornaments take her about a day to make and the smaller ones, like the snowmen, take about an hour and a half, Clara said.
“She’s always been really able to focus,” Grace said.
Clara says she may try to make knitted products for other holidays, too.
Clara’s ornaments are being sold at both Unglued’s permanent location, 408 Broadway in Fargo, and at its temporary shop just down the street at 102 Broadway.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526