"Quality Yarn Premium People"
Skeinz the store may have only been in existence a handful of years, but its conception runs much longer and much deeper in the world of yarn, knitting and craft. Skeinz is the retail face of Design Spun Ltd. Design Spun is one of just two worsted spinners remaining in New Zealand making top quality hand knitting, weaving and textile yarns.
With the closure of more and more mills, retail craft and yarn stores and increasing demand from knitters to have locally made products from natural fibre, creating a direct to market option for knitters was inevitable. So skeinz.com was born.
Skeinz is the culmination of decades of spinning experience. Initially a family owned business, the Design Spun stakeholders all have special skills that are vital to the longevity of the mill in the uncertain economic climate. At a time when mills were disappearing and manufacturing heading off shore, Design Spun saw the opportunity to take 30 years of spinning experience, inject it with some fresh faces and radical ideas and completely change the traditional ways yarn is sold from mill to consumer.
Skeinz allows yarn consumers a chance to buy premium quality natural fibre yarns direct from the mill at dramatically reduced prices. We are the only mill in New Zealand where you can buy either onsite from the mill store or online from skeinz.com.
In 2011 Skeinz were the accidental humanitarian face of the penguin rescue initiative following the Rena disaster off the shores of Tauranga. Thousands of knitters worldwide joined together to knit ‘Penguin Jumpers’ to help protect the oil effected penguins after the Rena spill. Demand dramatically outweighed supply – but when life hands you lemons, or in this case penguin jumpers, you make the most of opportunity to turn this outpouring of goodwill into the most tangible aid, money. The Skeinz Penguin Rescue Fund was created and since the 2011 Rena disaster thousands of dollars have been donated to clean up efforts, local Little Blue Penguin conservation projects and most recently a joint initiative with the National Aquarium of New Zealand.
To make great yarn you need great people, meet some of the core Skeinz and Design Spun team that make all this possible.
Design Spun Directors
Brendan Jackson – General Manager
Brendan has been with Design Spun since 1989 and is the man that keeps the business marching forward in the right direction. Brendan is a foundation member of the Design Spun team but still stoutly refuses to learn how to knit, preferring to spin a yarn instead of stitching one.
Peter Chatterton – Sales Director
What Peter doesn’t know about milling yarn can fit on the back of a match book. Peter started working in the mills of Yorkshire and is one of the foundation team at Design Spun. He is the point of contact for contract and commission spinning and is dab handy on a knitting machine!
Ian Kelly – Technical Director
Ian came to New Zealand to found Design Spun by the way of Northern Ireland and has a Yoda like relationship with the vast mill machinery, not a lot is spoken, but greatness of yarn is made. He is attempting to spend more time traveling and on his boat and has past his vast knowledge onto protégé Matthew August.
Design Spun Management Team
Matthew August – Technical Manager
Matthew has been with Design Spun since he was a teen and has been a worthy Padawan to Ian’s Yoda. Matthew keeps the mill humming, makes sure that all in the mill runs smoothly. When he’s not up to armpits in fibre, he can be found golfing.
Yvonne Faulkner - Production Manager
It’s often said to get a job done you need to go to a busy woman, in Design’s Spun’s case that woman is Yvonne. Yvonne has the unenviable job of stitching all the process elements of the mill together so the magic of transforming fibre to yarn can happen smoothly. When she’s not doing all that she can be found participating or fundraising as an endurance walker.
Essam Fawzy – Dyehouse Manager
If Design Spun was Hogwarts, Essam would be our Potions Master. Essam transforms the creamy yarns we spin into the vibrant kaleidoscope of shades. It’s part colour, part chemistry and a just a hint of crazy to make the colourful creations that come from our Dyehouse.
Peter Blane - Engineering Manager
If Ian Kelly is Yoda, Matthew his Padawan then Peter Blane is the Obi-wan Kenobi that uses his engineering force to keep the mill machinery running at light speed. If something’s broke, Peter is the man that can fix it.
Skeinz Shop and skeinz.com
Maree Buscke – Skeinz Manager
No one really knows when Maree started, she appeared rather stealthily and years later her knitting needles, loud music and dog are a constant fixture. Often found lurking online in social media, she’s the one that answers your Facebook and Ravelry posts and is the guru for all those tough knitting crisis and questions. When she isn’t creating mayhem at Skeinz she’s busy as the creator and host of the Knit August Nights yarn retreat.
Wayne Norrie – Technology & Online Marketing Advisor
If you need an injection of energy, then Wayne is your man. Wayne is the man that helps the Skeinz management team work “on” the overall business strategy and bungees in to help shake up our paradigms, keep us challenging our goals and strive for total yarn domination.