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Unlike those of us that took up sourdough baking, podcasting, or any other non-lucrative existential comfort to get through the pandemic, Anne Yannutz took up punch needling—and it paid off. Yannutz, like many of us, had just been laid off and took solace in the world of YouTube and Tiktok. But instead of doom scrolling, the Virginia-based creative found a sense of community in the how-to section and eventually taught herself a new tactile skill; it took off in the form of Annemade, her namesake homewares brand that’s now also her full-time job.
“Punch needling was something I had never tried before,” says Yannutz, who officially launched her digital storefront of joyful, cozy home goods in December 2020. “My first project was a design for a handmade rug that I ended up loving so much I wanted to share it.” A few hundred sales later, her collection of playful hand-crafted rugs, wall hangings, and home accessories—quirky, tufted coasters shaped like daisies, hand-crocheted throw pillows, or a checkered bath mat that appears to take the shape of oozing water droplets— has caught on. “I created an Etsy account and listed the rug, as well as some of my other creations, and things organically escalated from there.”
Each artful piece is made with a combination of wool and acrylic yarn, though she’s working toward cutting out synthetic fibers altogether, as they tend to have less circular potential. “I save all of my yarn scraps and use them to fill in my pillows once I’ve accumulated enough in order to minimize further waste,” she says. “And any additional fabric scraps are saved in tubs and donated to proper facilities that are able to reuse or upcycle them.”
Even though Yannutz says it’s “easy to get burnt out when you’re creating the same thing over and over,” customer and designer collaborations keep her inspired. “Annemade was created with the idea of customizing sustainable home goods for people to display in their homes for years to come, gift to loved ones, and ultimately have something that isn’t mass-produced.” Amen to that.
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