Jul-Oct 2022 Progress Update
October 14, 2022
We are back with some news, but first, let us tell you a little more about how we have come to where we are today.
Past, present, and future
Kniterate is now close to 7 years, but we remain a small and nimble company, allowing us to adapt to all the challenges we’ve been through. When we started, we were a group of young entrepreneurs with a big vision: to make customized knitwear easy and affordable. That remains our goal, and we are getting closer and closer, but the journey to that hasn’t been easy.
We were off to a great start with a successful Kickstarter campaign; we had the funds to finish the development and jump into production. To accomplish that, we lived in China for two years, developed the machine, and started making them. Our first design iteration wasn’t suitable for manufacturing at scale, and we struggled to get machines out of the door. Shipping was painfully slow.
To make things more complicated, the COVID-19 pandemic started a year after, and our operations halted completely, leading us to more difficulties. However, that also opened an opportunity to do something we had always dreamed about: to move manufacturing back home. We used lockdown periods to redesign our machine and to move our assembly line to Barcelona. That was an expensive and risky move, but every day we spend at our own factory, the clearer it is we made the right investment – we have more control of the process, which allows us to manage timings better and keep adding improvements to the machine.
Now, with a redesigned machine for manufacturing, it is time to scale.
Things are now back on track, but getting here has been arduous. The combination of our lack of experience as first-time entrepreneurs shipping complex commercial products and the events that have been shaking the world over the last few years has caused things to take much longer than we could have imagined. Our predictions have been repeatedly pushed, which led us to a difficult financial period.
To overcome this situation and maintain the project’s integrity to continue making and shipping machines, we devised a refund policy, that would allow us to issue refunds (to those that understandably don’t want to or can’t wait for so long) and give the slots of those machines refunded to new machines sold. This brought in new revenue and worked well for a while, but that wasn’t enough at some point. To keep us going, we had to allow more newly sold machines to be shipped before older orders. We want to apologize to our older and more loyal customers about that. We couldn’t find a better solution to this problem. Thank you so much for your enormous support.
Today, things are better financially, giving us the courage to open up about this, be more transparent about the challenges we’ve been through, and let you know what is next for Kniterate.
We continue to be blown away by the capabilities of the Kniterate machine. We are lucky to have found a gap in the market and be resilient enough to create a product to fill that market need well. Interest continues to grow, and we are focusing on creating a sustainable business that lasts for many decades. We are incredibly grateful for your patience, we wouldn’t be here without you, but we need to bite the bullet and let you know about some of the difficult business decisions we will follow.
What is next:
- We are committed to making and shipping all the machines fully paid. That is, the remaining machines to be shipped from Kickstarter, and the machines sold afterward.
- We will continue to alternate the shipment of new and old sales until all the old sales are shipped.
- The current estimated shipping date for machines sold now is March 2023. (Few slots are available each month for new sales as these will be alternated with the shipment of old sales).
We are very sorry about these measures. All our backers will receive an email with specific options on how to proceed. Please, check your inbox and let us know if you don’t receive one later today.
We are now optimizing the space at our new facility to have a more efficient assembly line. We added two assembly workers early this month and will add two more hires next week. This will accelerate our assembly process, increasing the number of machines shipped monthly.
Improvements in software are coming from two fronts now.
- Development in our app. New features have been developed, mostly around expanding the shaping possibilities; in particular, the addition of the split stitch is something we’ve been after for a long time.
Visit our Instagram account to see our post showing three of the several types of increases that are possible with the Kniterate.
- In parallel, as mentioned in our previous update, we’ve been working for a few months with a renowned knitwear design software. We are excited to let you know now that the software is DesignaKnit.
We continue to work on it and expect to publish this compatibility over the next few weeks.
Kniterate is growing!
Beyond the four new assembly workers that are joining us during October, we have one more addition to announce to fill the gap in another field we wish to improve: communication.
Now that we are fully settled in Barcelona. We are very excited to welcome Ariadna Pons, our new customer relations and sales manager. She’s a multifaceted and creative person, has a background in fashion and costume design and media production, and has brought in some fresh energy and new points of view to the team.
Thank you for reading! ❤️
The Kniterate team.