Refocus for Jo Storie and BareFaced Knits


Rothbury, Northumberland, UK

KnitLab North founder Jo Storie exits to focus on exciting new chapter of her knitwear design consultancy.

Jo Storie, KnitLab North founder, has sold her share in the business to co-founder Jo Lennon to focus on developing her knitwear consultancy and own brand, BareFaced Knits.

The Cramlington, Northeast England based knitwear design studio, founded by Jo Storie and Jo Lennon, offers onsite facilities to support clients, combining prototyping and micro-production with commercial and marketing expertise to help independent brands bring products to market.

Reflecting on her time at KnitLab North, Jo Storie said: “Working as a knitwear designer for the past 30 years, I saw a gap in the market for small indie brands who wanted to prototype their work ethically, using UK-based manufacturers but didn’t have the capital to invest in the kind of minimum orders required for most factories here, and so the idea for KnitLab North was born.”

With her decades of industry experience and connections, Jo supported clients, from initial sketches to the final product, offering entrepreneurs a means of responsibly manufacturing in the UK.

Having exited the business, Jo now intends to focus on larger-scale projects and is currently working with Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere on a sustainability project and, independent brands like Arthur Beale and Aime London, providing design consultancy. In addition to offering her existing clients greater flexibility, Jo is happy to be in a position now to provide access to even more advanced machines and resources.

Speaking about the forthcoming new chapter, Jo said: “Building KnitLab North over the last three years amid a global pandemic was a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience, and I wish Jo and the team all the best for the future. It was fantastic to work with emerging knitwear designers, but I’m excited by what the future holds and to be partnering with larger organisations whose challenges require access to different types of resources and machinery and who can benefit from more of my specialised technical knowledge and experience.”

KnitLab North will continue to be run by co-founder Jo Lennon, supporting its existing clients and small indie brands looking for prototyping and limited-run products.

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