Sara Parker turns hobby into lucrative business

When Sara Parker, 24, graduated high school and started working as a land administrator for an oil and gas company, the last thing she imagined was starting her own knitting business.

“I never thought I’d actually enjoy knitting so much, it seems like something only old ladies liked to do,” Parker said.

Parker started knitting scarves in 2010 as Christmas gifts for close friends and family and soon thereafter she started her business, Sparker Scarves. Last summer, Parker went on vacation to the music festival Sasquatch at The Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington State. It was then she sold her first scarf and thought it would be a good business opportunity.

The demand for Sparker scarves has Parker working around the clock.
Photo courtesy of: Sparker Scarves/Facebook

“I went down to Sasquatch with about 20 scarves and thought I could trade them with other vendors for their products but literally, after I took one out and traded it for some earrings, the rest were sold in an hour,” Parker said.

Now, Parker works around the clock knitting on her lunch hour and after work to fill her orders. At first, Parker’s clientele was derived solely from friends but as more people began to buy her scarves they quickly became heard and seen all around Calgary. Now, her business thrives on word of mouth.

Alex Glazerman a friend and client of Parker’s said: “Just the other day, Sara and I was having breakfast at Belmont and our waitress saw we were both wearing our sparker scarves and asked how she could get one. Right there, Sara made another connection and another sale.”

A Sparker Scarf is hand-made with thick wool and colour of the client’s choosing. Typically, Parker embeds a large button on them for some originality but depending on her clients’ request, she will try and cater to them as best as possible.

Sparker scarves can be made to fit buyers tastes.
Photo courtesy of: Sparker Scarves/Facebook

Parker said she enjoys having this as a hobby but does not see herself turning it into a full-time commitment.

“I like doing what I am doing because it’s a hobby and provides me with some extra cash, but if I started doing this full time, I think I would loose the lust for it and also, I would need more people working for me if it ever became a fulltime business ” Parker said.

Parker got a taste for what it would be like if it turned into a full-time venture this past Christmas. She had so many orders she had to enlist the help of her family to make sure they were done on time.

One client, Natasha Hoch, ordered 16 scarves to give to friends and family. There were also a number of male clients who bought scarves for their mothers, sisters, or girlfriends.

“I bought two scarves over the holidays from Sara, I bought one for my mom and one for my sister. I also bought a multi-coloured toque she made for me,” Adam Browne, one of Parker’s males clients, said.

Parker is has recently expanded past only knitting and selling scarves but has also featured headbands and hats.

In the upcoming months Parker will continue working on filling her growing orders as well as expanding her clientele.

For more information, visit Sparker Scarves on Facebook.

jbartsch@cjournal.ca