A (Not So) Brief History of Blue Mungo

Hi Friends! I wanted to pop in and reintroduce myself, Blue Mungo, and let you in on what’s been going on behind the scenes.

If you’ve been here since the beginning of Blue Mungo, thank you for your unwavering support. If you joined somewhere along the way, thanks for jumping on this crazy train. If you still remember the days when this little company was called thingsKATEmade, we’re probably related. And if you remember the brief moment it was called conKNITtion, well, hi mom.

Back in 2013 I started a small Etsy shop called conKNITtion. Yes, that name is awful and terribly difficult to explain and pronounce. Think conniption, but with “knit” shoved into the middle of it. You see, I had taken up knitting the year prior, took it to the extreme, and suddenly had a closet in my tiny college apartment full of scarves, hats, yoga sock (because those were a thing), and knit plush monsters. The closet was stuffed and there was no way I needed all those knit goods. The obvious solution was to open an Esty shop, quickly sell all the items, and then get back to knitting all the things.



In theory, great plan. In reality, I had no idea what I didn’t know.

First up was the name change. After precisely one conversation trying to explain/justify the name to my mom, it because clear that conKNITtion was not a great name for a company. Plus the OCD, type-A part of my personality was uncomfortable with a name that had “knit” in it given that not all my products were knit. Some were crochet or woven at that time. So, the name changed to thingsKATEmade. Straight forward, all encompassing, obvious pronunciation, easy to remember.

Second, I had no idea what I was doing. Product photography? Writing descriptions? How should I market this? How much should I charge for shipping? Can I sell internationally? Do I need to pay taxes? The questions were endless.

Finally, I had the attention, time, and investment capital of a college student. All of which were close to 0.

Little to say, I did not quickly sell all the items I had made. I also did not slow down my rate of making. Inventory grew, sales were slow, and I ended up donating or gifting a lot of what I had made. But in no way would I call those early days a failure. I learned so much, found answers to many of my questions, and most importantly had fun in the process.

Over the next few years thingsKATEmade waxed and waned in harmony with my personal life. I did sell a few items internationally, had some wholesale orders, and discovered that I actually do not enjoy making the same product over and over again. So the business naturally evolved from an Etsy shop for finished products to a design company for knit and crochet patterns.


Somewhere along the way, I realized it didn’t quite make sense for my company to be called thingsKATEmade if the main goal was to provide inspiration and instructions for others to make things. Enter name change two: Blue Mungo.

(Below is the progression of logos. First is the OG thingsKATEmade logo that features Joey, second is the first Blue Mungo logo, third is the Blue Mungo logo that launched with the transition to quilt patterns, and finally the new 2021 Blue Mungo logo.)



I knew that with this second name change, I wanted something that felt personal to me, sounded interesting, but wasn’t knitting or even crafting specific. I had already seen how the company changed in accordance with my life and interests, so I knew it was important to find a name that could work for almost anything. Here’s how I got to Blue Mungo: my favorite color is blue and Mungojerrie is my favorite character from the musical Cats, which I watched on repeat as a child. So the name and logo were updated and I kept on my merry path of pattern design.


And then I was bit.

Bit by a bug.

The quilting bug.

I had bought a house, graduated college, and gotten a big kid job. Suddenly, I had the space, time, and money to rediscover the art of quilting that my grandmother had taught me when I was a child. And I fell hard.


Quilting combined my logical, mathematical brain with my creative, artistic spirit. I had found my thing. I spent the next few years building my stash, perfecting my 1/4” seam allowance, and absorbing all the quitting knowledge I could get me hands on. Suddenly, I was designing my own quilt patterns and realized that it was time to make another change to my company.

On April 1, 2019, Blue Mungo re-launched as a quilt pattern company. And that ain’t no April fool’s joke!

That first year was a whirl wind, I published all seven of the existing patterns, had a trunk show, taught a few classes, designed for a well-know company, and found my quilting community.

Then 2020 hit hard. I realize that I was extremely lucky to be able to continue working at my full-time, non-medical job for the entirety of the pandemic. That fact is not lost on me. But like everyone, I was still personally and emotionally hit by the pandemic. As a result, I had little energy and, I’ll be honest here, I let Blue Mungo fall to the side. It simply wasn’t and couldn’t be a priority last year.

But as the world started to open back up, I found myself with renewed energy and a new perspective on what I want my company to be. At the end of the day, I want Blue Mungo to serve as a source of inspiration and information for anyone on a quilting journey.



With that goal in mind, I have laid out an 12-18 month plan for myself and this company. You should know, I don’t typically make plans further out that next week, so THIS. IS. HUGE!

In an effort to have this post end before it turns into a novel, I’ll hold off sharing all the details, but don’t worry you’ll be in the know soon! For now, I just want to say thank you for sticking with this little company of mine (and this post) and I hope you are ready to travel down the track I’ve laid out for the crazy train that is the Blue Mungo Quilt Co.

Happy Quilting!

Kate

P.S. To make sure you stay up to date with the coming changes, sign up for the Blue Mungo mailing list. (Sign up form is at the bottom of the home page.)