Everyone, meet Rachael: the super-fun, cat-loving, indie dyer of White Whisker Studios! Not only is Rachael a total sweetheart, we really dig her colorways, and recommend you follow her on Insta + visit her Etsy shop. Stat! Read on for her story and lots of yummy yarn (and cat!) photos.
Greetings and Salutations, my dear fiber friends! I’m Rachael from White Whisker Studios – a one-woman, three-cat shop dedicated to all things fiber.
Whenever I talk about my shop journey, I first must mention my friend Nichole. Without Nichole, WWS would not exist. She has been my biggest supporter, my cheerleader, and my source of inspiration. She is funny, and creative, and a great friend. At White Whisker’s beginning, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to dye for anyone other than myself (I knit, spin, and weave) – nor was I confident that other people would actually like what I offered. She finally convinced me that the journey would be worth it, because even if the venture failed I would have an awesome amazing fiber stash… and let’s face it, we fiber artists all love a good fiber stash!
Dyeing, for me, is an intimate experience. I can’t paint, or draw. I don’t have the artistic eye for jewelry or photography. But I can experiment. My skeins and fibers are OOAK because each one is an exercise in “What happens if…?”. It’s an adventure in color, weight, texture, and methods. There are no mistakes in my dye studio – only happy little accidents. If I don’t like how something has come out of the pot, I can always dye it again! Two, three, or four times if necessary. Each time, I get to try something new – put speckles over solids, overdye, mix and match new colors – the possibilities are endless and infinite.
And no chat about my shop would be complete without mention of the three resident cats that the shop is named for. Locke and Sash are 5 year old brothers that my husband and I adopted when they were itty-bitty 4-week old kittens that had been abandoned. Nutmeg is a senior stray that we took in when she was on death’s door – the vet was seriously concerned that she would not survive, and for the first few months that she lived with us she barely moved from her bed. I’m happy to report that two years later, while she does have some lasting health concerns, she’s as healthy and happy as can be.With these three kitties being an important part of my life, it seemed only natural that I would name my shop after them. And besides – each of them plays an important part! Sash is the “Director of Naps”, ensuring everyone takes naps and breaks. Locke is my “Master Inspector”. He performs routine oversight and QA control. And Nutmeg is our “Customer Service Specialist”, ensuring everyone is happy by providing kitty kisses and cuddles.
When I’m not running my shop, I work a day job in IT. I’m a huge board-game and video game nerd. I love the outdoors – hiking, camping. I also play flute in a community orchestra and I’m learning to play violin!
Ultimately, I absolutely love seeing what others create with my yarns and fibers, and I love being able to contribute to someone else’s artistic vision. Sometimes people come up with projects I never could have imagined and I am in awe of their talent. I love being part of something bigger than myself, and I hope that comes through in my work.