Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir's Handmade Sweaters are the perfect embodiment of a Global Internet-Enabled Boutique Business

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Handmade and Designed Icelandic Wool Sweaters by Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir

Those familiar with our website, may have seen Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir’s name mentioned once or twice before on this site. I picked up on her several years ago (back in the days of Emojo) when her celebrated Flickr Photography Page first rose to prominence. She has many strings to her bow; apart from being a great photographer with an exceptional eye for composition, she is a competent pencil illustrator and superb knitter of stylish Icelandic ’Lopi’ wool sweaters - as can be seen above.

I tend to shop for clothes largely twice per year - in Spring for the warm season, and in Autumn, around my birthday - for the cold season. I am a particular fan of funnel-necked zipped wool sweaters, with a compulsion for 2-way zips, and ideally the inclusion of hand-warming pockets.

As usual, I’ve been doing the rounds of the many London malls, stores and boutiques, and have found nothing to touch on the unique quality and design of Rebekka’s handcrafted works of art. Rebekka takes commissions for $395 dollars for a zipped sweater / cardigan with pockets - approximately £250 - you can of course choose not to have pockets and have a hood instead of a funnel neck. This may seem expensive at first glance, but is actually quite a bit less than more mass manufactured Italian designer knitwear pieces, which typically are on sale for between 10 and 100% percent more and then upwards. Fully handmade fashion designer knitwear can retail up to and over the 1,000 dollar mark - so it’s all relative really.

Rebekka tries on and photographs each of her unique creations - the production log currently stands  at 54 pieces - as you can see on her Flickr Photostream. Each sweater is totally unique, and mine will be the first in the ’Burgundy’ colour-way I believe.

My commission has been accepted, money has been transferred, and the initial dialogue has begun. Those who know me, know my love for the creative process, and I am very much looking forward to seeing the outcome of this project.

Back in May and July I wrote a couple of blogs - ’The New Industrial Revolution’ and ’World of Boutiques’ - about how small scale designer / manufacturers were commercially mobilising on the Internet and how they could take advantage of a global audience. In the same way, I first came across Rebekka on the Internet, I check her blog every now and again - this is where I came across her ’Everything you need to know about my sweaters, if you think you might like one.’ blog post. A relatively short email dialogue later and we have established proper contact, agreed to a commission and have transferred funds via another key Internet technology - PayPal.

Rebekka is a fully fledged Netizen - she runs several businesses, and really uses the Internet to its full commercial potential - utilizing several technologies including Flickr of course, Word Press, Shopify, Facebook and PayPal. Like our friends at Like Minds - she can one day choose to upgrade to doing everything in Affino. Where she is right now in her business evolution, her current multiple platforms are pretty much perfect for her needs - and should be a shining example for any independent artists / designers looking to capitalise on the benefits of a global Internet retail marketplace.

For several years now, Rebekka has maintained an incredibly high level of high quality creative output - I hope to be in a position to commission her for photographic work at some time in the not-too-distant future - we need to think of a relevant theme for a Comrz campaign first, and perhaps a sweater from Rebekka will become a regular treat - not just for me, but friends and family too. I of course highly recommend her creative artistry to each and everyone of you - those who can afford it should invest in a Rebekka-hand-made sweater of their own...

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