The story of how our friendship transpired is a modern day love story really... We met the Cardigang team (virtually) through TikTok. And it really was love at first sight. It’s uncanny how much our brands have in common. A deep adoration for vibrant colour, a love for the process of creating handmade treasures and an everlasting appreciation for all things textural + perfectly-imperfect.
Meet the fabulous Morgan Collins (left) and Cat Bloxsom (right) - Founders of Cardigang. Featured: Iris Knit Kit, Eden Knit Kit, Oaken Sleeveless Mini Dress, Brixham Cotton Leggings and knits from Cardigang.
Take it away ladies…
We hear Cardigang was born in lockdown! Can you tell us the story of how your amazing brand came to life?
Cat: She sure was! When lockdown hit in 2020, we were in Melbourne, where some of the harshest restrictions were in full swing. We didn’t live within 5km of each other, so we were looking for a way to stay connected and an activity to help keep our minds calm. Neither of us are great in the kitchen so we turned our focus to knitting. Having never knitted before, we jumped onto Google, ordered some yarn and needles and taught ourselves how to knit via trusty YouTube.
And boy is it addictive! Once we started we couldn’t stop. We were rocking our epic masterpieces (even the shonky ones!) all around the dog park and had a lot of people ask “Where is your knit from?”. We always knew we wanted to start a business together, but we’d never landed on a concept. We decided to merge our new found passion with our thirst for building our own brand, and from there Cardigang was born.
Handmade is the heartbeat of our brand at Sage x Clare… so we couldn’t love the concept of your biz any more if we tried! What advice do you have for people that want to start knitting from scratch?
Morgan: Just dive right in and give it a go! Some people pick it up really quickly, where as for others it might feel a little mind boggling to start with. But with a little patience and practice the pieces start to fall into place, you’ll have an “ah-ha” moment and there’ll be no stopping you. There are no knitting police in the Cardigang, we often joke that when it comes to knitting and crochet, it’s what's on the outside that counts. It’s the imperfections that make your piece perfect.
What do you love the most about creating something handmade for your wardrobe?
Cat: The sense of achievement, and the bragging rights that come with it are a real dopamine hit. Making something with your own two hands also gives you a real appreciation for the time and love that goes into creating garments. It’s a great antidote to the fashion fashion hamster wheel, if you’ve made it yourself you’re much more likely to take extra special care of your pieces so they can last a lifetime.
Featured: Blossom Knit Kit.
Featured: Daphne Crochet Kit.
Featured: Iris Knit Kit.
Knitting is said to be a wonderful mindfulness activity. Can you tell us about your knitting journey? And the benefits it’s had on your mental health? How often do you both knit?
Morgan: There are so many benefits to knitting and crochet! They’re great activities to help calm the mind and keep the hands busy. It takes you off your phone, forces you to focus on a single task at a time and gives you a real sense of achievement. Knitting has been proven to help alleviate stress and anxiety, personally it’s been a tool for mindfulness.
If I’m feeling restless or my mind is going at a million miles an hour, I love nothing more than grabbing my sticks and yarn and knocking out a few rows (or hundreds lol) on the couch.
Knitting is definitely a perk of the job, we are always testing and trying new techniques and developing new patterns so you’ll find us on the tools daily!
It seems Cardigang also have a love affair for all things colour + texture. What are your key styling tips for wearing your adorable chunky knits?
Cat: As two ex-corporate Melbournians, pre-Cardigang we were always head to toe in black. Now we can’t get enough of colour, if you’re going to make something yourself you want that baby to stand out! I love throwing a bright chunky knit over a crop with jeans, or rocking a statement collared shirt with one of our chunky vests! It’s all about layering textures and colours and having fun with it.
Tell us about your kits and the creative side of your job - How do you decide on the colours + designs? What is the inspiration behind your kits?
Morgan: When we launched Cardigang we only had 8 colours, and boy was it hard narrowing it down to 8. Now we have over 50 across our full range of yarns… and it’s still hard to narrow it down! Initially we were looking at what’s happening overseas, what’s turning up on our Pinterest and in socials and identifying trends in colour and knitwear. We have a really engaged audience who helped us choose our colours as we built out our range.
As two beginner knitters and crocheters, we want our patterns to be accessible and easy. So this is a design principle we use when coming up with new kits. We want our designs to be bold, fresh and timeless. We don’t jump on trends as we want our customers to wear their pieces for a lifetime!
How would you describe your taste in interiors? Does it mirror your taste in fashion? Tell us your fave Sage x Clare pieces!
Cat: If I had to describe my taste in 3 words, they would be colourful, bold and unique. We’re both homewares obsessed! We love mixing new and old and having some fun when it comes to experimenting with colour. Luckily for us this rings true with our colour-obsessed customer base as well.
I have a lot of pink and teal in my home, so the Venus bowls have been a great addition, along with the Fenella Coasters. I’m also loving my Surrey Velvet Sham, although my labrador Smith has also taken a liking to it and thinks it’s her boujee dog bed.
What has been your favourite memory so far since starting your biz?
Morgan: Quitting our corporate jobs to run Cardigang full time has to be up there! It was always a pipe dream to work for ourselves, so being able to do that was a real milestone for the business and really energised us to take Cardigang to the next level!
Lastly, what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned since starting this business?
Cat: Starting and running a business is a rollercoaster that never stops! There are highs and lows and you need to be able to ride both the ups and downs. Our biggest lesson is that there’s no silver bullet and you need to try new things because you never know what will work until you try it. Oh, and to listen to your customers - without them, we wouldn’t be here and we want to make a product and a brand that they love.
Shop all the incredible knitting + crochet kits on the Cardigang website here.