Friday, March 12, 2010

Knit Kit is a Martha Stewart pick

Bellevue resident gets thumbs-up from home maven


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Martha Stewart, left, stands with Bellevue resident Barbara Barry, the inventor of The Knit Kit, which was featured on the “Martha Stewart Show.” Photo by

When Barbara Barry joined a knitting class at Isabel's Needlepoint shop in Ketchum, she had no idea her new hobby would have her meet the ultimate domestic goddess, Martha Stewart.

"The idea came about during class at Isabel's," Barry said. "I had no idea what would happen."

Barry's idea for an all-in-one essential knitting tools carrier, the Knit Kit, was launched from her Bellevue garage on March 7, 2009. One year later, The Knit Kit 2010, is in its second edition and is based out of Boise.

"I have a staff of seven, and I supply more than 750 retailers in the U.S." Barry said. "We launched the new Knit Kit in January, Knit Kit 2010, and added two new features by popular demand. The new Knit Kit has a darning needle and a double-sided crochet hook."

Barry hired a publicist more than a year ago who sent news releases with sample Knit Kits to shows and publications across the country.

"I would get little hits here and there, but I never heard from anyone," Barry said. "I was visiting my mother in Palm Springs, Calif., when I got the news that Martha Stewart wants to feature The Knit Kit. I immediately decided I am going to New York."

Barry said the producers of Martha Stewart's show said they had the Knit Kit for more than a year and loved it, but they were waiting for the right moment to showcase it. The show needed 100 Knit Kits for an audience giveaway.

"I knew I had to be present for the giveaway," Barry said. "It was not a knitting show, but Martha had picked the Knit Kit as one of Martha's finds."

Though Barry was not on the show, Martha was happy to have her in the audience front row and has promoted the Knit Kit on her Web site.

"It was short but sweet," Barry said. "It was a totally amazing experience. You can't pay for publicity like this. It is a golden moment."

The "Martha Stewart Show" featuring the Knit Kit aired on Tuesday nationally and in Idaho on Wednesday on KNIN-Channel 9. Barry said there will be reruns and was told most products get more hits from rerun episodes than from the original airings.

Barry is going to launch a new Knit Kit, in which her niece, Brit, picked the color. Brit has cerebral palsy. "The Brit Kit" will give a portion of its proceeds to cerebral palsy research. In addition, Barry is setting her sights on international distribution and is working on two new ideas for sewing items.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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