name: Shannon Okey
business name: Cooperative Press
website(s): Cooperative Press, Knitgrrl
What kind of items do you make?
Personally, I’m a knitwear designer, but my main business these days is Cooperative Press, an indie publisher of fiber arts books.
How long have you been in indie artist?
Full time since 2004.
What got you interested in your art of choice?
I started knitting relatively late compared to most people I know, I actually began as an embroiderer in high school, but if nothing else this has given me a broader range and appreciation for all kinds of fiber arts.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
On the publishing side, I love seeing how excited our authors are when their books come out! On the designing side, I just love the process of actually knitting — it’s very calming for me. Give me miles of stockinette in the round and I’m happy.
What most inspires you?
What is something you strive to offer the fiber arts community?
A sense of community as creators — Cooperative Press isn’t named “Cooperative” for nothing — the authors really do support one another, it’s fantastic.
Does being an indie fiber artist affect other aspects of your life?
Every single day, in everything I do.
What is your fiber arts superpower?
I’m REALLY good at pulling together color combos — when my old shop was next to my LYS, I used to get called over to do color combo help all the time!
How is the fiber arts world different for you today than it was five years ago?
The ability to compete with larger fiber arts publishers on their own turf is pretty amazing — in the same way Knitty and Ravelry broke the patterns-are-in-print-magazines-only mold.