The Black Experience: Fayetteville artist builds business through love of knitting – The Fayetteville Observer

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The Black Experience: Fayetteville artist builds business through love of knitting – The Fayetteville Observer

Akira Kyles   | The Fayetteville Observer Fayetteville native Kia Jones transformed a creative outlet she used in her youth to avoid negativity, into

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Akira Kyles
 
| The Fayetteville Observer

Fayetteville native Kia Jones transformed a creative outlet she used in her youth to avoid negativity, into a business as an adult. 

As a teen, Jones found herself surrounded by peers falling victim to teen pregnancy and crime, leading her to a more positive outlet — knitting. 

“I initially got into it out of boredom and a need to stay focused on something other than the wrong things at that age, I think I was 19,” Jones said. “I didn’t want to go the route a lot of my friends were going so I needed something to keep my hands and my mind busy.” 

Through her brand and alias “Kia Love,” Jones sells various knitwear from hats and scarves to coats and totes. She also does custom-made orders upon requests. 

Along with offering her handcrafted designs, Jones teaches others how to knit. The classes are for everyone from beginner to advanced and cost $60 for two one-hour classes. Jones also provides a kit with all the materials participants need for an additional $20. 

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She uses original designs for her products which take more time. For example, it could take Jones up to a month to custom design a coat and up to a two days to design a tote. 

She said she is continuously inspired to continue with her craft because it’s lost within the Black community. 

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“It’s not a lost art and we still have stories we need to put into our footwork and our network and things like that for me to teach whoever is willing to learn,” Jones said. “I think that’s my purpose, so that’s what I remind myself when being a creative.” 

In honor of Black History Month, Jones curated, designed and executed a knitting installation at Cross Creek at Linear Park.

The installation highlights the importance of textiles and craftsmanship in Black culture with brightly colored knitwork, black and white accents and unique three-dimensional elements, according to a news release from the Cool Spring Downtown District

Along with knitting, Jones also enjoys painting but said she doesn’t sell them since it’s something she enjoys doing in her downtime. 

“I do a lot of painting and that’s something I try to keep to myself,” said Jones. “When you make money from it then it becomes a business, not a hobby.”

A graduate of Douglas Byrd High School in 2000, Jones attended Queens University where she earned a degree in interior architecture. 

She’s also parlayed her passion for interior design into a business.

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“I do anything from helping you space plan, to utilize as much space,” Jones said. “I live in a small apartment, but I know how to utilize my space where it’s not crammed.” 

Along with helping with space planning, Jones also helps clients with color analysis and picking out the proper furniture for a their lifestyle. 

“I do everything,” she said. 

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Staff writer Akira Kyles can be reached at akyles@gannett.com.

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