Black Business Spotlight with LovelyLisaKnits by Adalgisa Rivera
There’s nothing like a homemade item made with love from the hands of love, especially those types of items that keep us warm during our most cold winter months. This month’s Black owner Business features Adalgisa Rivera, member of Harlem Runs, mentor, an agent of change, and owner of LovelyLisaKnits LLC.
MSM: Starting a business is not easy to start but at some point, everyone needs to dive in. I kind of compare it to running a marathon, the average person never thinks they’ll do it but at some point, we just dive in. When did you start LovelyLisaKnits LLC?
LovelyLisaKnits: Officially I started LovelyLisaKnits in November 2020; however throughout 2020 I had several Instagram followers, friends, and family asking to purchase items that I made. To be honest I was speaking with a friend and they were the one to really push me and encourage me on making this a business and not just a hobby.
MSM: Knitted items to me are some of the best gifts a person can get simply because they are made from love and hand-knitted. How long have you been knitting?
LovelyLisaKnits: I have always had a desire to learn how to knit. I grew up with an aunt who used to crochet various items and unfortunately she never really had the time to teach me how to do it. I loved the products and items that she would create and how peaceful she looked when creating. However, for whatever reason, I never learned or took the initiative to learn, take classes, or really had the time to focus and dedicate to learning the craft due to my various other roles in life. However one of the reasons I am grateful for COVID is that it forced me to sit down, take a break and do things that I have been meaning to do such as learn to knit. I found myself like many of us looking to do something to cope with the various emotions while still being active/productive and staying home and safe. So I didn’t feel safe going out to run or walk unless it was to get something that was necessary thus I was indoors for months. I started going through Youtube videos and researching knitting, then I started joining a new beginner knitting group on Facebook, and once I learned a few things I purchased a few items and started to practice so many lessons. So long story short I am about to hit a year knitting now in April 2021.
MSM: What are some of your items that people consider favorites? As a runner especially during the cold weather months do you find that being a runner has helped you create items that fit the needs of both runners and folks that don’t run?
LovelyLisaKnits: I love this question! So, I have many ideas and have been bouncing them off some of my more creative friends on how to make some items that I feel would be great for runners or for people like myself that like to protect our curls. However, this requires me to learn more things such as sewing, learn more about fabrics, cost, and so much more. So at this time, these are things that I have been considering and discussing with various friends and even some customers who have reached out requesting special knitted items. Regarding the second portion of the question, the favorite item for so many because of cost and the yarn color is the Twisted Knitted Head Band. This is a favorite for many customers. I have heard that they often had headbands that don’t fit (either too tight or too loose) they have loved the fit of the knitted ones I have made. I also always check in with customers to see if my headbands are too tight/too loose as well. The favorite color however is truly tied. Many customers loved the Hot Pink or the cream color called Aran Flan. I know I said a lot but I’m hoping I covered the entire question.
MSM: Getting a business off the ground is a marathon within itself. For yourself being a runner, how has this helped you to prepare for the long haul, essentially understanding the process?
LovelyLisaKnits: Believe it or not running has helped tremendously but also many other factors have helped in getting the business off the ground. I would definitely say that I would not have been able to do get things off the ground as quickly as I did without the support of a few of my friends that have their own LLC/businesses. Additionally, I have had the same accountant for over 15 years and he is just amazing. As soon as I emailed him what I was doing and considering, he immediately scheduled a call with me to support me and guide me through the process. However, to quote one of my closest friends, “I’m not worried you are going to handle this like you handle everything!” In other words, I am what people call a type-A person. So I tend to ask many questions as I want to know as much as possible, I want things as detailed-oriented as possible. So when thinking about my running journey and how I became a runner in 2015, it is all connected to my personality, my dedication, passion, desire, and the amazing community that I have to support along the way. I have found that I am most successful in things that I want to achieve when I am able to ask for help, to ask for guidance, to see how others are doing and what if any trial and errors to avoid. Just like running, I listened, I read, I googled, I participated, I had my own trial and errors, but overall I am a better athlete for it all. In reality, I believe I am a better contributor to the community because of my lessons and I am here to support others through their journey. So all that to say, yes being a runner, a former soldier (Veteran) and many other roles I have had have helped me to research, ask for help from others, create plans/deadlines, and most importantly being okay when you may need to shift the deadline or change some things originally planned. However, I feel there is still so much to learn and share with others. I put together an email with resources, articles, and the information I gathered and have shared this with at least 20 people who had no idea where to start, how to do it, what to think about, etc.
It makes me feel amazing when I found out one of the people I supported by sharing my email and answering a few questions and providing some guidance have officially become an LLC. Another person not only used all the knowledge and information I shared but has surpassed what I shared and officially created her own Esty Store for her LLC and is now going to support me in creating my own Esty Store. Like running, nothing is ever achieved alone! We really have to do the work ourselves and put in the time and commitment but there are so many people willing and able to support us along the way and we have to remember that it is okay to ask for help and/or to accept it when it’s offered to us.
MSM: For runners, a chance to relax and release usually comes through running but can also come through other avenues. From others that I’ve spoken to that are into knitting, they usually say this is one of the most relaxing times of their day. Do you find it to be mentally relaxing as well?
LovelyLisaKnits: I absolutely do!! Like many people I have a thousand tabs open in my mind of all the things I need to do and by when and o.m.g. I forgot about that and this and the other. Knitting forces me to in a way almost like mediate. It forces me to close all those tabs and not listen to anything in my noggin and focus on the pattern that I am working on to create the item. Because when I don’t focus or I lose focus I find that I make some mistakes in the knitting and have to frog (undo) the project and start over or redo various rows in order for the product to look how I want them to look. So, Knitting is very relaxing however like anything else that we do with our bodies, we have to ensure we take care of our bodies. Meaning, runners need to ensure we have the proper gear, stretching rolling, etc. Knitters need to make sure they are sitting in the proper form, not knitting for extensive periods at a time, doing some mini stretches to their hands, among other things just to ensure that they don’t injure themselves.
MSM: LovelyLisa Knits LLC is still in its very early stages, what are some of the future goals of LovelyLisa Knits?
LovelyLisaKnits: Future goals that I have is to be able to knit hats/headband and other products with satin lining to offer a more protective product. Additionally, having an Esty store and maybe one day, my own website with the products. For 2021 one of my main goals is to participate and do pop-ups to sell more of my products in the community and also be able to contribute/donate to an important cause this year. Last year for Giving Tuesday in December, I asked my followers to share if they won my raffle, which consisted of a few of my knitted products, that I would provide a donation in the amount of the cost of the products to an organization of the winner’s choice. I asked them, what would the organization be and why should I make a donation. I want to continue to extend my business to support others as well along the journey as much as I can.
MSM: For our readers, myself included how can we place orders and keep in touch with LovelyLisaKnits?
LovelyLisaKnits: At this time, I do not have a website or an Esty Store, that is on the agenda for the upcoming months. However in the meantime, if you follow me on Instagram under LovelyLisaknits_LLC you can simply DM me asking for a product and/or prices and I would respond as soon as I can with all details. You can also send an email to LovelyLisaKnits@gmail.com with details about the product you are seeking and cost and I can get back to you.
At this time, Paypal is accepted, Zelle and Venmo will be additinal options in the future. For Inquiries please Email: LovelylisaKnits@gmail.com