Tory's quick recap of our trip to Peru

Major confession here - for the last month, everyone that I’ve seen that follows me on social media has asked me about our trip to Peru, and I’ve been giving some pretty half-a$$ed answers that consist of some form of: “Oh, it was great. We had a lot of fun and got a lot done. It was really amazing.”

If I’m honest with myself, this response could basically answer any question...“How was lunch?” “Oh it was great. We had a lot of fun and got a lot done. It was really amazing.” “How was jury duty?” “Oh it was great. We had a lot of fun and got a lot done. It was really amazing.” “How was your meeting?”... you see what I mean?

In my defense, I think if I gave a truly honest answer about our experience in Peru, I would cry every time I had to answer questions about the trip. Which no one wants. So I’m going to take the next few minutes to share how our trip ACTUALLY was. In short, words like “great” and “amazing” don’t even begin to describe it…

Before we left on our 5-day trek, I knew very little about our connection to Peru. I knew Christina decided to move production to Peru when she needed to scale the business faster, and I knew that our hats were hand-knit by a team of female knitters. I knew that by working with us, the women were able to knit from home and earn a fair wage. Oh, and I knew that Peru was in South America...joking (kinda). The point is that I had a lot to learn, so I thought I would share 5 things I learned on our trip to Peru.

    1. This is a REAL JOB for these women. It’s easy to read one of our marketing cards or hear someone talk about how we employ women in Peru and think, “Oh that’s nice. STIK is giving these women something to do while they stay at home.” No, no. Do not be confused. This is a serious job, with real expectations and responsibilities. Each knitter is held accountable for their work, and they take that very seriously. When problems arise, the women work together as a team to creatively find a solution (and they’re incredibly innovative and creative). I may have gone into this thinking that in some way, we were doing charity work. But I was incredibly wrong - these women rely on this job, and they take immense pride in the finished product.

    1. Knitting really is meditative. All three groups of women we met with talked about how knitting gave them a chance to get their mind off things going on in their lives. Because of the focus required, knitting has turned into a distraction from anything going on around them. I have no business making assumptions or judgements about where and how some of these women work and live, but I can tell you that they are very different from the brick walk-ups of Boston. I can imagine that there is a fair amount to worry and stress about, but these women turn to knitting as a form of distraction and release from everyday life.

    1. They are making a move toward the glass ceiling. I’m not sure why, but there’s something really moving about seeing women rise up and do things that they’ve historically been told they can’t do. These women have grown up in a society dominated by men, and this job teaches them that they have ideas, they are creative, and they can solve problems on their own. It gives them financial freedom to buy something on the side of what they might get from their husbands, and in some cases, it gives them the opportunity to earn more money than their husbands altogether. I don’t care where in the world you’re from, that’s pretty bada$$!!!!!

    1. Peruvian women love to hang out with each other! One of the sillier things I learned is that Peruvian women LOVE to get together to knit. Working together in groups for Sh*t That I Knit gives them a reason to get together, knit, and catch up together. It was really amazing to see the camaraderie that these groups shared with each other. They are so intertwined in each other’s lives - it’s like a family. The STIK family!

  1. STIK would not exist without these women. On our way home from our day with the knitter, it really hit me that I would not have a job if it weren’t for the quality of work that these women put out. They hand-knit beautiful, complex designs every single day for us, and they work incredibly hard to make sure every hat, wrap, and bag is perfect. Sh*t That I Knit would literally not exist without our Peruvian knitters, and to be honest, I don’t think I can imagine this brand without their work. 

It’s important to note that we do pay all of the women who work for us a fair, livable wage; that being said, it was very clear, based on our conversations, that this job is about way more than money. Yes - the money is important and makes a direct impact on their lives, but it’s really about empowerment, entrepreneurship, and opportunity - and those are their words, not mine. I share this, not to toot our own horn or make it sound like we are super heroes (because we're not), but to shed light on the fact that there are companies out there doing business the right way and trying to make an difference.

I left this trip feeling so thankful for everything these women do for us. It really is an honor to have them as part of our team, our STIK family. And I hope that our customers continue to love the work that these women do for us.



The STIK Workout Challenge

We are officially at that point of the year where it’s no longer socially acceptable to start emails with “hope your new year is off to a great start!” Which also means, the gym-dropout rate is through the roof. It’s the time we forget our resolutions and find that sleeping in and nightly glasses of wine are more important.

Personally, I’ve been feeling a little uninspired with my gym workouts and have found myself searching for excuses not to workout lately. Life is exhausting sometimes!!! It’s a hot topic of discussion in the office as you can imagine. We’re a team of 4 women in their 20s and 30s who all see the value in taking care of our bodies (and, candidly, we care about how our jeans fit). Last week all of us (Sarah, Tory, and I - Christina is still #honeymooning) were discussing our various frustrations with our workout regimes, but instead of complaining, we decided to do something about it!

Enter: The STIK Workout Challenge. The goal: For each of us to complete 4 40 minute workouts a week leading up to our team trip to Peru at the end of March. The reward: Aside from our jeans fitting better and feeling AWESOME, at the end of each week, if we complete our workouts, we pay ourselves $25. If you fail to do the work, you pay the other girls $25 (to be split). At the end of 4 weeks, we use the $$ we earned to treat ourselves to a gift of our choice.

At the end of the day - this challenge is about motivating each other, holding ourselves accountable to our goals, and having a good time in the process. And frankly, it's been very motivating. We put up a chart in the office where we keep track of all of our workouts. We text each other to check-in after workouts and say what we’ve done. I’ve also learned a lot from Tory and Sarah and their workout habits. Sarah is AMAZING at waking up early and taking classes - she’s v into spin classes at The Handle Bar . Tory is a mom and is AWESOME at finding spare moments to squeeze workouts in wherever she can. She is the queen of at-home Obé and Peloton workouts. I’ve found that I like to either go for long walks and then do weight training or I just do a 45-minute spin class. Here are some of my favorite quick circuits:

The truth is, YOU have to motivate yourself to workout and get your body moving. No one can do that for you. But sometimes, it’s nice to have a little extra support from your friends to kick yourself into gear. And what’s better than a nice shiny prize to rewards your hard work at the end of 4 weeks?! Want some insight into what we’re working toward? Check these sweet prizes out:

Kandi: My approach to this challenge? No one spends my money but ME! I’m saving my monies for a pair of Rothy’s sneakers. With our trip to Peru coming up, I’d love to have these to pair with my favorite dresses and shorts, so I can look cute and be comfortable.

Tory: I’m a SUPER competitive person, so this challenge is EXACTLY what I needed to kick my workouts up a notch. I’ve been coveting these Roxanne Assoulin bracelets for a while now, so WHEN I complete all my workouts at the end of March, one of these bad boys will be mine. I’m going to super honest here - I have some deeper motivations for this challenge. As Kandi mentioned, I’m a mom, and my daughter will be 1 at the end of May. During my pregnancy, I gained...wait for it...70 pounds. There’s a lot that goes into growing a tiny human, and while I appreciate my body more than ever, I REALLY think it deserves to be in good shape after 9 months of creating life and 9 months of caring for said life, which now weighs 22 lbs and is crawling around my home. After having Kennedy, I promised myself I would run a half marathon before her 1st birthday...SO my hope is that the STIK Workout Challenge will help keep me on track to run 13.1 miles in May...fingers CROSSED!

Sarah: Why am I suddenly “AMAZING” at waking up in the mornings to go to spin? I need that money for ME. I can’t even imagine the shame I’d feel Venmo-ing Kandi and Tory one week just ‘cause I didn’t get my butt out of bed one morning. This challenge is the motivation I needed!! At the end of this challenge, I’m treating myself to a brand new pair of nice leggings. I’ve been wanting to buy myself a pair of leggings from Lululemon or Athleta since the fall and I’m super excited to finally earn them.

What we’re learning so far? You will never regret a workout. Seriously, you won’t. It’s very easy to be sitting around, sucked into another episode of “The Office.” It’s so much more fun to live your life and use that time to sneak in a quick and dirty workout. We’re likely going to keep our challenge going. It may become a monthly challenge based on our goals each month. Please join us! How do you motivate yourself? What are your favorite workouts?


The STIK girls

Pick a hat, any hat...

So it’s the end of February - and it seems like everyone is pretty much over the winter...but NOT us! We know that colder temps mean we get to see STIK hats pop up all over the place. For those of you who own one (or more) of our hats, you know how cool it is to see someone wearing a Sh*t That I Knit hat in the wild. It goes something like this:

  • First, you notice the hat - “Woah,” you think to yourself. “That’s a great hat...and that pom pom looks SO real.”
  • Then you spot our girl on the orange label…“OMG. It’s STIK. She knows STIK!!!! Do you think she notices my STIK? Should I talk to her? Would she think I was weird...probably..hmm.”
  • After a few attempts to try to catch your new friend’s eye, you think, “Should I accidentally bump into her and comment on her hat? Should I give her some kind of “Jeep Wave” so we both know that we are part of the STIK Clique? Christina says she chases after people and yells ‘I love your hat’ at them. Should I do that?”
  • Now you feel like it starting to get weird. You should just give up. “She’s probably way cooler than me anyway,” you think.
  • And just when you think it’s over, you and your new friend lock eyes and she smiles at you with a “Hey - love your hat” vibe and you go your separate ways; feeling better about your day and knowing you just made a cool, no bs new friend.

I realize now that I’ve written this out that this is in no way what happens when you see someone else wearing a STIK hat...but wouldn’t it be cool if that’s how the world worked? Let’s try it - next time you see a friend wearing a STIK hat, try this out. Prizes for pictures...let’s make each other feel cool and special!

For those of you who do not have a STIK hat, really want to be part of this cool new trend, but have no idea where to start on buying yourself a new hat, we’ve got you covered. The STIK team has put together real life reviews of our fav hats. It goes without saying that ALL of our hats are fantastic and each of them offer a unique look, but if you need a place to start, this will help. Check em out below:

Christina - So Christina is on her honeymoon and, frankly, we don’t want to bug her while she’s enjoying tropical drinks on the beach. But, to be honest, Christina loves all of our hats. We can attest to the fact that she has one of each style and wears them all regularly. Currently, Christina’s been rocking the Gunn Beanie In White Lie with a Light Blue fom fom and the Motley in Lavender with a Light Blue fom fom. And let’s be honest, she looks fab in both. So - she MAY have a favorite, but she’d never tell…

Tory - Decisions, decision! So, I have 3 STIK hats - and I’m actually also the proud owner of a now vintage STIK headband (which I love). My hat collection includes a Laird in White Lie, a Gunn in Blacklist, and a Motley in Cardinal. TBH - it’s REALLY hard to choose a favorite out of this list. Until recently my go-to has been the Motley in Cardinal. I wear a lot of neutral colors in the winter, so having a pop of color on my head brings me life. I also just love the way the Motley fits my head. It’s snug in all the right places, and it’s just the right amount of slouch for my style. BUT I recently got a gorg burnt red wool coat from RTR (which I’m getting a LOT of wear out of), but unfortunately, the color clashes with the cardinal. SO I’ve been sporting the Gunn in Blacklist and am loving it. It’s warm, and makes me feel as cool as Kristin Cavallari (who also happens to have this hat!!!!)

Kandi -  CHOICES, CHOICES! Sophie’s choice if you will. How does one pick a favorite child?! Very carefully. My everyday look as of late has been the Motley in Cardinal. I look good in red. My winter jacket is black. It is tres chic! My favorite hat while I’m running around town is the Ladd in Blacklist with a natural fom fom. I love the contrast of the black with natural. When I’m hanging with friends and/or really feeling myself, I love the Gunn in Lavender with a light blue fom fom. (We have all been loving the look of the light blue pom in the office.) Sometimes, I put the light blue pom on my cardinal motley, and it makes me feel a bit like Thing 1 and Thing 2 in the best way and it brings me SO much joy. I guess I have a great head because of all the hats fit beautifully. #BLESSED

Sarah - MAN OH MAN, how can I choose?!? I’m VERY indecisive so I change my mind about which hat is my favorite everyday. Weirdly enough, the Laird is my favorite stitch, but I don’t actually own one yet...I love the chunkiness of the Laird and think it just looks so beautiful on. As for hats that I do own, I rotate my 4 favorites throughout the week. The Motley in Pink is what I like to call my ~Friday vibes~ hat. I throw it on when I’m really feelin’ myself or even when I need a little pick-me-up in the morning. The Motley is a dependable, cozy, fit. During the NFL playoffs, I almost strictly wore the Pats Hat because I’m superstitious like that. Recently, my go-to hat has been the Gunn in Cardinal or the Gunn in White Lie with a light blue pom, depending on my outfit. I like the way the Gunn sits on my head with just right amount of slouch. I also like that it has a pretty unique fit to all the other hats in the world.  

So there you have it - the quick and dirty on what we love and why. We need to reiterate, you can’t go wrong with any of our hats. They are warm, cozy, and offer you the opportunity to meet new friends in the dregs of winter...what’s better than that?!


The STIK Team