Meet: Jo Fraticelli
Get to know one of the most unique and passionate designers on StyleRail, who will show you crochet like you have never seen before.
Meet: Jo Fraticelli
Everyone has dreams, whether they be, big or small. What makes Jo Fraticelli different from the crowd is that she is on her path of making her dreams a reality. Through the help of StyleRail as one of her launching platforms, Jo Fraticelli has made a name for herself. Her self-named brand focuses on revolutionizing the way we see crochet and revamping it to give it a millennial makeover! We sat down with Jo Fraticelli and discussed everything from her favorite piece from her collection to where she sees her brand in the future. So let’s jump in.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Crochet is and was my passion, ever since I was a little girl raised on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii. Around the age of nine I think, I started learning and getting surprisingly good at crocheting. My teacher was no other than my beloved mother, who is no longer with us. Although I crocheted from a young age, I didn’t take it up as a profession until 2007 when my Flower and Home Decorating Shop in Downtown Honolulu Art District had to close down. Even though I majored in Art and Creative Writing as a young student in the University of Hawaii at Manoe, I always leaned towards my passion of crocheting. I think my twenty years of experience in the floral design and home decorating helped me fine tune my plans and ideas. Through all my experience, I managed to squeeze in two wonderful adult children, whom I am extremely proud of. I am not sad that my career path in floral design and home decorating didn’t stick because if not for that experience, I am not sure I would have ventured into crocheting as a job opportunity.
2. How did the idea of Jo Fraticelli come about?
I self-named my brand partly because it’s all just me. It’s my ideas, my hard work, and it just made sense to use my name. Jo Fraticelli is who I am. Crochet started out as a hobby and craft for me but now it’s something much bigger, it is a way of life for me. It’s a legacy that was given to me by my mother. I have taken the form of crochet that usually is used for outdated designs of tablecloths, blankets and shawls and I have taken it to the next level, with a huge dash of fashion and style involved. It’s not just for Grandma’s sweaters anymore, and that is where the idea came from, to demolish that stale image of crochet. I also wanted to take crochet back to its unisex background. I design pieces for both men and women. Crochet can be sexy and edgy and my brand Jo Fraticelli will prove that.
3. What makes your brand different from the competition?
My Brand hmmm it’s just different. It’s Jo Fraticelli. That’s all that it takes for it to be different. From my Beanie Hats to Dresses and Coats. It’s all just different and unique. When people see my collection on the runways, it’s all jaws dropped to the floor. Most people can’t comprehend the fact that those edgy headwear pieces are all just crochet! That all my models are coming down the runway in crochet. I am a Crochet Designer. I specialize in it. I recently have been mixing in fabric with my crochet, but that is just an experiment. I will always stay true to my real title, and that is that I am a designer, I am a Crochet Designer. That’s my real form. My Beanie hats for instance…the Skateboarders on my Instagram call me: Beanie Guru. My hats are different. I tend to crochet bright funky colors and styles and try to stay away from bland monotone colors and designs. I am known for my unexpected use of colors with my unique beanies.
4. Where do you find inspiration for your designs/products?
My Inspiration: I have a motto on my website that is the very core of who I am as a Designer:
“INSPIRE to CREATE and LIVE.” I have always said this to my family. “The day I can’t crochet is the day I cease to live” as I mentioned before, Crochet is part of my life. It’s who I am.
5. If forced only to pick one item from your collection, what would it be?
This is a hard question. I don’t know if I could actually choose just ONE item. Can we just rephrase it and choose ONE CATEGORY? Haha, that would be better. My best sellers would be my headwear pieces. That would be my Beanies and Head bands, but I don’t know if I can lock myself down on this. I feel that I am just more than that. My shawls are themed shawls and just very couture and beautiful. They are also my most expensive items in my web store. They are not your ordinary everyday shawls that you remember your grandma using. They are works of art and can run up to $1000’s. But if HAD to pick one, it will be my Beanie Hats and Headbands.
6. What product/design truly explains your brand and why?
Haha your questions seem to be getting harder and harder. Hmm, what product design truly defines my brand and why? Since I like to brand myself as a Designer that designs for both Men & Women, I guess I have to stick with Beanie Hats and Headbands again. But I have been coming up with new Designs for Men shirts while adding hoodies and vests also. This question is hard. But I guess my headwear for both men and women would be it.
7. Can you describe your design aesthetic in four words?
That’s easy… CROCHET EDGY FASHION WEAR
8. Who is your client?
Haha Everyone is my client Men, Women, Skateboarders, Snowboarders, and Teens. You can’t really go wrong with my pieces.
9. As a small business owner, what were your biggest lessons and your greatest successes?
PERSEVERANCE. Being able to keep up with the fast-paced times. I tried to turn an Old World Art into something that is loved by everyone in the modern day era. I have kept on trying new media outlets to get myself and my brand out there. I feel that specializing as a Crochet Designer has set me apart from other Designers. I can sew, but I rather crochet. Being different has set me apart. So Far in Hawaii, when I do go into the Fashion shows here, there are many Clothing Designers, and Designers mostly for Women’s Clothing. I am the only crochet designer that come into the shows where my whole line is crochet, for both male and female. This is success to me. Where I am weak, that has to be media. Since this is mostly me running the show, I don’t know or have the time or knowledge to market myself more. Especially when it comes to my website and placing orders. It’s hard for me to make a splash with my website. I think this is my weakest aspect. Production, not a problem. Media, this is where I need help with the most.
10. What are your plans for the future of your brand?
My Future, that’s easy, is to do this full-time. To grow. To have my line in major stores all over. To have fashion shows and travel all around the world. I want to do this and be able to make money from it to keep a roof over my head and pay the bills. I just want to do this. Right now I have a regular Full-time job and design part-time.
You can check out Jo Fraticelli’s work on StyleRail. .