Hello you! Thank you so much for being interested in Chain Twenty and visiting this page! My name is Merel and on July the 20th, after months of dreaming and wishful thinking, I finally started my very own handmade fashion and interior design business — Chain Twenty. Learn everything about me and my bizz below!
As a twenty-something year old, almost university graduate, absolute perfectionist, I’m the sole person behind Chain Twenty. With my boyfriend Luuk and cat Blow I live in Utrecht — a lovely city full of pretty buildings, romantic canals, a magnificent gothic church, and many awesome places to hang out. Here, I go to university and work in a shoe store. Besides my research interests (I’ll graduate in ancient Greek religious art, in case you wanna know — probably not ahem), I’ve developed quite a love for fashion and interior design over the last couple of years. This manifested itself in a personal style blog, merely-merel.nl, where I tried to implement the two into my own life. In other words: to figure out my own personal style.
While doing so, I developed a desire to create certain pieces (both fashion and interior related) that I had visualized in my head, but wasn’t able to find anywhere. Especially scarves, sweaters, and blankets were items I found myself looking for over and over again. Still, I didn’t succeed in finding them exactly how I wanted them: neutral, oversized, and of a high quality. Those pieces that you know at first sight will become all time favorites. As a lover of all solitary and time consuming activities (it’s not for nothing I’m doing a research master program consisting mainly of me and books — picture Game of Throne’s Sam for comparison), I started to immerse myself in the world of knitting and crocheting. And well, I think many crafters will relate to what happened next: I never stopped.
After months of joking around that I’m such a granny and that I’ll open a knitting shop in case my career as a researcher shouldn’t work out, it dawned on me that I actually really want to own a knitting shop. How a-to-the-mazing it would be to be at home all day, sipping coffee, playing around with yarn? And to actually make those pieces I wasn’t able to find in regular fashion and interior design shops? I remember myself shopping one day and not buying certain knitted or crocheted things because “what the heck, I can make that myself, better“.
Looking around on Instagram and Etsy however, I found myself slightly disappointed. Because aside of a handful of great makers creating awesome stuff, the knitting community kinda is what you would expect it to be — a bit old fashioned and yes, granny-like. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about it, but to make my handmade shop successful, I think I should be making what I’d actually want to wear and use, and hopefully, what others will too. So instead of being seduced by all the pretty yarns in all the happy colors (the struggle is real), I’m trying to limit myself to neutral colors, basic patterns, practical materials and an overall minimalistic design. Only then will I be able to create those all time favorites I was looking for in the first place.
Chain Twenty is named after the twenty chain stitches I usually set up to make a swatch (= small test piece). With finally realizing the importance of swatching came the love for designing pieces from scratch <3.
Blog / Shop
Starting a handmade business from scratch is not easy. Future customers will spend a relatively large amount of money on my lovingly made pieces, so providing them with reasons to trust me and my work is only reasonable. Add the fact that I love writing (and photography, and webdesign, and being creative in general) and you’ll understand why I chose to complement Chain Twenty’s shop with a blog. Besides showing you behind-the-scenes peeks, projects I’m working on and ways to wear or use the items I sell, this blog is also about my story of building an online business. I find many people are considering starting a business, so why not share my experiences?
I hope you’ll love Chain Twenty as much as I do! For inquiries, remarks, suggestions, custom orders (yes, please!) or a simple hello, leave me a message.