Q&A: Zontee Hau, marketing communications manager, Lion Brand Yarn

Considering that the personal side of crafting is so central to Lion Brand’s approach to marketing, Direct Marketing News spoke with Zontee Hau, marketing communications  manager for Lion Brand and cohost of its popular “YarnCraft” podcast, about her interest in knitting and crocheting ties into her job.

Where did your interest in yarn crafting begin?

When I was about 12 years old, I decided I wanted to crochet because my mom did it a lot and was always talking about it. So one day I said, “All right show me how this works.” But when she [showed] me, she was so fast, that I couldn’t pick up on it. She would say, “You do this and this and then you have a doily,” while I was still on step one. I just couldn’t figure it out.

Was it intimidating at first?

Yes, but then in college, I had a roommate who learned to knit from a friend and insisted that I learn with her. That was more at my speed, and I found that I really liked it. Once I got more comfortable with knitting, I then went back to crocheting and finally taught myself those skills.

Was it then your interest in crafting that drew you to Lion Brand?

When I was looking for a job and Lion Brand was posting for this one, it was actually a blind listing. So when I contacted them and Ilana [Rabinowitz, VP of marketing for Lion Brand] emailed me to make an appointment, I said, “Oh wow, I actually use your products.” It was a coincidence that I was a marketer and a knitter.

What was the first project you remember finishing?

The first real project was something probably many people started with: a scarf. Though I made it years before I started working for Lion Brand, it was made with its yarn called Homespun that’s one of our signature products. I didn’t even know it at the time and it wasn’t until I started working here that I even thought about it again.

How often do you knit?

Most days of the week. Knitting and crochet are a perfect activity for me personally because they’re so portable. I can knit in the subway here in New York City; I can knit in a car, on an airplane, or in line for the grocery store checkout. People tell me, “I’m so busy, I would never have time for this,” but trust me you’ll find time for it.

It seems like really understanding knitting from a personal standpoint is a key attribute for members of the marketing team.

I think that’s very true. In many of our departments they’re working directly with the product, and people in our sales department are talking to customers. So even if someone didn’t walk into the door with a vast amount of knowledge already, they definitely learned while they’re here.

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