Meet the Team: Sarah Resnick

Meet the Team: Sarah Resnick

Bringing a small business to life takes a whole lot of love, planning, and some very special people. Ever wondered who's making it all happen here at Zollie? Behind the scenes you won't find a slew of corporate investors, just seven fiber enthusiasts dedicated to helping new makers discover the magic of creating with their hands.

We're so proud of our team of truly exceptional humans, and felt it was only right for you to get to know everyone a little bit better, starting with our founder Sarah Resnick!

gist and zollie founder sarah resnick


What’s your name and title? 

Sarah Resnick, Founder of Gist Yarn and Zollie

What do you do at Zollie and/or Gist?

I founded the company, and have held just about every role along the way. In the early days of our company, I was mostly focused on finding ways to get new customers to learn about us, and developing new yarn lines. My responsibilities have shifted over the years as we grew our incredible team, and right now, I’m focused on three main things: 1) working to keep our team happy and thriving 2) managing our finances to ensure we have the resources we need to keep growing and developing new products and 3) leading our digital advertising strategy seeking out new customers for Zollie. 

What are your primary fiber interests? How did you come to love fibers, crafts, or textiles?

I’ve been a maker for as long as I can remember. I learned to knit from my friend’s grandmother when I was seven, and learned how to sew from my own grandmother soon after that. I have many fond memories of going down into her sewing room with her after Friday night family dinners, and learning to cut fabric and follow sewing patterns. 

When I was 19, I spent a year working on a farm in California that had bags upon bags of greasy wool in the barn. We grew sheep for meat so the fiber wasn’t particularly soft, but it was free and abundant so I learned how to clean and spin wool, and was always intrigued by the pieces of looms that were stored in the barn there. 

sarah resnick and her grandmother with a goat

Here’s me at the farm with a goat, and my grandma!

When I moved to Toronto the next year, I signed up for a weaving class and was instantly and forever hooked. I found my first floor loom on Craiglist for $300 and hauled it up two flights of steps to our one-bedroom apartment. And I’ve never looked back!

Tell us a little about your professional background, and how you landed where you are today.

I started my career working in community gardens and food justice organizations, and later in a labor union. I was interested in learning how people are inspired to take action together to make change. Throughout all of this, making was a big part of my life as a hobby, but I never thought it would be part of my professional life. 

I became curious about the employer’s side of creating good, local jobs, and left the non-profit world to help start a cut-and-sew factory in Fall River, Massachusetts. It was the hardest job I ever had, and I learned a lot about the challenges of domestic manufacturing. It inspired me to start my company Gist Yarn in 2017.

What other hobbies or interests do you have outside of work? 

Pushing swings at the playground and painting with my kids! Parenting my 1 and 4 year-old daughters takes up just about all of my outside-of-work time.

two children having fun and playing on the swings

What keeps you inspired and connected to your creativity? Do you have any daily creative rituals or practices?

I’m inspired to create by beautiful quality materials and striking color combinations, which is why I started a yarn company. One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing the projects that designers make with our yarn - so much creative inspiration to draw from.

I can’t say I have a daily creative ritual at this stage in my life (see above!), but I also draw a lot of creative inspiration from my oldest daughter. She loves to make things –  the first sentence she wanted to learn how to spell is “I am an artist!”  – and it is a gift to be reminded how easy and free-flowing creativity can be at a young age.

child playing with markers and drawing

Here at Zollie, we're all about empowering beginners. Are you currently a beginner at anything? How’s it going?

I’m a beginner at running Meta ads! It’s hard, honestly, to find the right way to share the magic of what we’re up to at Zollie in just a few short seconds, until people scroll onto the next thing. We’re starting to get some traction as we figure out what messages resonate, and what beginner makers are looking for. But I’m definitely still very much a beginner at trying to help new customers find out about us on the wide world of Facebook and Instagram.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever made?

I design Jewish prayer shawls, called tallit. Bringing holiness and intention into the creation of a textile gives it an extra layer of meaning for me. Here is one of my favorite photos with a tallit I designed, at my daughter’s baby naming ceremony. 

parents at a traditional Jewish baby naming ceremony

Favorite podcasts to cue up during a craft session?

  • Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel
  • This is Uncomfortable
  • The Moth
  • The Weave Podcast :-)

Best trip you’ve ever taken?

To Mexico City and Oaxaca with three friends, before I had kids. I got to study rug weaving, eat incredible food, and connect closely with friends in a way that’s harder to do with young children. Hope to reprise it someday!

Coffee or tea? 

Tea, all day, every day.