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FEBRUARY 2024 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE MONTH: FRENCH KNOT

For French Knot, ever stitch matters

Over the past 12 years, several key moments have led Lindsay Mason, the founder and designer of French Knot, a knitwear company based in Lafayette, to where she is now.

First, the moment in 2012 when Mason told her parents that she would like to start her own company after being laid off from her job as a knitwear designer.

They quickly created space in their New England barn for Mason to design and ship 12,000 hand-knit hats and hand warmers made in Nepal that first season.

The second key moment was French Knot’s big move from Massachusetts to Indiana in 2017 when Lindsay’s husband accepted a job at Purdue University. Lindsay felt immediately welcomed and supported by the Lafayette community even if there was, and still is, the misconception that Mason and her Lafayette team knit all of the products they sell.

The company ships over 80,000 pieces a season from its Lafayette warehouse. Wool sourced from South Africa and New Zealand is first hand-dyed and spun into a vivid color palate before being knit using a two-needle technique.

Once Lindsay’s designs — that include hats, mittens, headbands, scarves, sweaters and slippers — are constructed, many items are embellished with tasteful beading and intricate embroidery that echo vintage design elements from the 1920s.

So, who knits these timeless French Knot designs?

More than 1,000 Nepalese artisans with whom Lindsay began building a rapport shortly after college.

Mason, a graduate of Syracuse University’s Fashion and Textiles Design program, relies on her years of industry experience along with her artistic eye to create each original French Knot design that she often draws by hand before transferring to a CAD (computer-aided design) program.

She started working with Nepali knitters about 17 years ago. At that time, most of the hand-knit items coming out of Nepal often used earth-toned yarns and had boxy pattern shapes and geometric color work.

But Lindsay’s pull toward soft and flowing vintage design coupled with the use of vibrant yarns allowed her Nepali colleagues to create something new and dynamic – something that French knot buyers such as QVC, Sundance Catalog and Anthropologie have never seen or sold before.

She’s worked hard to build and maintain trust, community and connection with knitting groups half a world away by ensuring that French Knot’s artisans are paid a living wage. Lindsay also works exclusively with suppliers who are certified in ethical and environmental practices. Likewise, she strives to maintain a sense of family among those who work beside her locally.

For Lindsay, this is why she does the work that she does – to create beautiful products, watch people grow alongside her, and celebrate, right here in the heart of Lafayette. For French Knot, not only does every stitch matter, but so does every person who has contributed to the company’s growth and continued success.

Location and contact information

Location: 525 Wabash Ave., Lafayette, In

Phone: (765) 400-8634

For more information, please visit frenchknot.com.

Watch: Small Business of the Month Award Ceremony

The Small Business of the Month Award Ceremony is held the last Wednesday of every month.

About the Small Business of the Month Program

The Small Business of the Month Program (SBOM) is designed to recognize the dedication, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by Greater Lafayette Small Businesses. The goal of the monthly award is to highlight a small business and give them extra marketing exposure to aid in growing their business.

The program is sponsored by Old National.

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