Knitting together in needlecraft clubs
Handmade scarves and woolly hats are Granny’s Finest best-known products. Many stores sell the Dutch brand, especially in the winter months. And the production really is in the hands of ladies old enough to be grannies, who actively maintain their social networks through meeting up to knit.
The ladies – and occasionally a gentleman – come together in needlecraft clubs. Every week they meet up in the same group to knit. Granny’s Finest provides the materials, food and drink. And invites the grannies to special sessions. For instance, on needlecrafts, design or fashion. For many club members, the knitting group sessions and special events are just about the only social activities in their diaries. They help to reduce or prevent the loneliness which affects more than half the over-65s in the Netherlands.
There are now around thirty Granny’s Finest needlecraft clubs spread across fifteen Dutch municipalities. Each has between fifteen and twenty-five members and is supported by volunteers. The products are fashionable, good quality and increasingly varied. As well as the signature scarves and hats, the clubs also hand-make kid’s clothes, cushions and other accessories. The grannies are proud that their work is a commercial success and is even on sale in major Dutch stores like De Bijenkorf and Sissy Boy. They love it that they are still actively participating in society.
How Rabobank Foundation helps
Rabobank Foundation provides Granny’s Finest with a loan. They are using the money to buy extra production materials, extend the network of needlecraft clubs, introduce the concept in more municipalities, look for export opportunities, and improve their business efficiency. For instance, by building a digital platform to further streamline activities. From production and sales to setting up new needlecraft clubs.