Majo Garn Interview

Exclusive Interview with Wako Chapurlat — Founder and General Director of Majo Garn

WY: WOULD YOU MIND SHARING THE STORY OF YOUR JOURNEY IN CREATING MAJO GARN?

MG: My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was five. Although there were periods when my needles remained idle, the pandemic brought me back; like many others, I immersed myself in knitting again.

While I felt love and satisfaction with my hand knitted clothes, my sensitive skin often found traditional wools to be itchy. Despite investing enormous time in knitting a sweater, many garments ended up stored in the closet without having a chance to be worn due to the discomfort. These frustrating situations often happened when using mohair yarns, where the softness could vary widely.

One day, when I was researching a mohair for my next project, I realized that despite the various yarn options available in the market, I struggled to find one that truly met my standards of softness and comfort. Thus, the idea of creating MAJO GARN came to me – a hand-knitting yarn brand that exclusively selects yarns that are soft and comfortable next to the skin.

In 2022, our first yarn collection, Pearl Mohair, made it to the world. The softest silk mohair yarn that comes with a beautiful and eye-catching color palette. Thankfully, MAJO GARN’s new approach and distinctive branding was quickly embraced by many knitters on a global scale. After just two years, we have delivered our yarns to knitters in more than 40 countries.

WY: WE ABSOLUTELY ADORE  YOUR YARN, WERE YOU WORKING IN THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY PRIOR TO ESTABLISHING MAJO GARN?

MG: No, I didn’t have prior experience in the textile industry. Before starting MAJO GARN, I spent my 20s working in a global consulting firm specialized in the healthcare sector. During that time, I managed various projects involved in launching new businesses and services through partnerships with startup companies.

It was really inspiring to work with entrepreneurs and people who had strong ambitions to challenge the world by transforming their ideas into reality and generating value for others. This experience gave me the opportunity to think that, maybe one day, I could be an entrepreneur myself too.

WY: WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?

MG: I am currently 33 years old and a mother of two daughters. Born and raised in Japan, I grew up in a small town with a lot of snow in winter. So knitting with my grandmother was the only activity I could do as a child. My very first knitting project was a single mitten, gifted to my mother on Mother’s Day (I obviously did not manage to finish the second one).

I met my husband from France while he was working in Japan. After our first child was born, we decided to move and build our family base in France.

WY: WHAT IS YOUR DAY TO DAY LIKE AS THE FOUNDER AND GENERAL DIRECTOR FOR MAJO GARN (OTHER THAN THE MUNDANE TASKS)?

MG: MAJO GARN is a small family startup company. Consequently, I handle the majority of the company’s operations, while my husband assists me with back-office tasks on top of his main job. Being a mother of small children, I had to master the art of efficiency and productivity to maintain a balance between work and family life.

On weekdays, I dedicate my daytime to managing operations at the warehouse, mainly handling online and wholesale orders. In the evenings, once my children are asleep, I resume work, addressing inquiries, updating the website and Instagram etc.

On weekends, in between time spent with family, I often brainstorm new ideas and future plans. I think about next collections and new colors, coordinate upcoming collaboration projects, and refine the marketing strategies, among other tasks.

Despite the challenges of juggling multiple roles, I find immense joy in my entrepreneurship journey with MAJO GARN.

Tynd color 37 + Pearl Mohair in Oatmeal

Set in Sleeves detail of the Lemel Cardigan

WY: AT WOOLFOLK YARN, THE QUALITY, AESTHETIC AND SUSTAINABILITY OF THE FINAL PRODUCT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US. WE FEEL THAT MAJO GARN SHARES THE SAME SENSIBILITIES, DO YOU SEE OTHER AREAS WHERE OUR VALUES AND GOALS OVERLAP?

MG: I completely resonate with Woolfolk’s core values, as these three are the significant factors in our brand as well. Beside these, I feel that our positive attitude to innovation and pushing boundaries in this relatively conventional industry aligns closely.

WY: WHAT IS YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS LIKE WHEN CREATING NEW COLORS? WHERE DO YOU TAKE YOUR INSPIRATIONS FROM?

MG: My approach to selecting colors focuses on creating a harmonious and visually appealing palette that offers a cohesive look when viewed as a whole.

The prevailing perception of hand-knitting is sometimes “old-fashioned”. MAJO GARN’s color selection aims to challenge this notion, embracing a modern aesthetic that aligns with contemporary fashion trends.

Lemel Cardigan knit in Tynd + Pearl Mohair

Woolfolk Tynd + Majo Garn Pearl Mohair

WY: HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE A GOOD KNITWEAR DESIGN?

MG: I believe that a good knitwear design is minimal and timeless, coupled with meticulous attention to detail.

WY: DO YOU HAVE MUCH TIME FOR KNITTING THESE DAYS AND IF SO WHAT’S ON YOUR NEEDLE CURRENTLY?

MG: I usually knit more during spring and summer seasons, because the work is less intense compared to winter. I am currently working on a Big JUNA Cardigan pattern by Tanja Koenigs (LOTILDA), using our Pearl Mohair.

Visit Majo Garn website and follow @majogarn on Instagram