It was her skiing hobby and a genuine interest in creating social awareness around older generations that inspired sole founder Kate Mowat to set up Grannies Inc. in 2009.
Since launching, Grannies Inc. has moved beyond its original product of woolly beanies to include scarfs, headbands and other fashionable knitwear.
Aside from the team of knitting grannies that Kate has recruited from across the UK, the startup works with freelancers to meet seasonal needs.
Excited to get the Grannies Inc. community as involved with the brand as possible, she’s launched a marketplace where people can sell their own knitwear and hopes to expand the babywear lines in the coming months.
Q&A with Kate Mowat, founder of Grannies Inc.
We asked her about her experience and reflections on starting up.
What were your main challenges in starting Grannies Inc.?
We had challenges in terms of pricing, I think that is a very hard thing to do, because a handmade product is so difficult to price. In addition, Royal Mail, the go-to postage company in the UK, increased their prices wildly over the last few years and it really has made a huge impact on my pricing or my needing to price higher which then has a knock-on effect on sales.
What kind of support did you seek to move Grannies Inc. forward?
I’ve been through lots of different trials for mentors, I’ve paid for mentorship, I’ve used a lot of the British Library - they have a brilliant Business & IP Centre that has lots of free sessions with mentors and I have been to many of those. I’ve definitely sought out mentorship as much as possible because you do need support, especially if you’re on your own.
What are your reflections on having been a single founder?
I think I shouldn’t have worked from home as much as I did. I think I should have found an office space or rented office space on the campus or somewhere where there were other startups working because it can be quite a strain and it’s hard to keep yourself motivated.
Do you plan to continue growing Grannies Inc. on your own?
I’ve been working at it for four years now and I believe I’ve got it to the stage where I want to move on and start something new. So I’m looking for an equity partner to take it on, that’s my next step.