Making a Business of Knitting for Men

Making a Business of Knitting for Men

James Cox Knits Sweater Sketch and Photo

It was about five years ago when I decided to take the designs I had created over the past few decades and launch an e-commerce business. Perhaps what I have found most interesting while slowly working towards the launch of this website is the reaction of people as they became aware of my little plan.

It has been almost universal. “Are there that many men who knit?” And my response has universally been, “These designs aren’t just for male knitters, they’re for anyone who wants to knit for a male.” Be that a man or a woman who enjoys crafting something special for their husband or partner, father or son, nephew or neighbor.

It was that question (and my background in marketing) that inspired me to do plenty of research before I dared draft a business plan. I sought out research among knitters of both sexes and gained insights into what men like in knitwear and what both women and men have to say about the knitting patterns that are available.

Additionally, after all these years of assuming that as a knitter I’m a rare bird, I have come to know that male knitters constitute a rather large flock. I have found knitting shops offering men’s nights from New York to Los Angeles, a database with more than 50,000 men who knit, and a report from the Craft Yarn Council estimating that there are 2 million men and boys in the U.S wielding knitting needles.

So, not unlike the typical knitter who has the patience to knit thousands of stitches into a sweater, I have spent more than three decades (13,000-plus days) patiently knitting together an idea. One that just might allow me to realize my long-ago fantasy of becoming a fashion designer, but not a designer in the traditional sense, because after years of working as a creative partner in the ad biz, I prefer being a collaborator.

Now I want to partner with knitters—men and women everywhere. I’ll contribute the design talent and you can offer your talent for knitting. Are you ready to have fun together creating fashionable men’s wear?