In 2015, Nataya Skyers-Davis's desire to make something unique for Eli — her unborn child — spawned a new hobby that months later would be the therapy that helped her through a tragic loss.
Skyers-Davis became hooked on knitting after her sister Sentwali encouraged the hobby by lending her a crochet needle. Her first knit was a purple hat which caught the attention of her husband Arondel. Recognising and seeking to encourage her talent he purchased the necessary supplies. A second knitted hat and a pair of shoes were also made for her unborn child Eli. Alas, he did not survive.
Davis turned this adversity into opportunity and birthed instead in November 2015, Eli's Knits and Knots - a name given to her by family friend Karesha Eccleston. The business was nurtured on Saturdays at Bridget Sandals, where she capitalised on the store's established clientele and complemented the unique leather footware with one-of-a-kind comfortable crochet pieces, handmade in Jamaica. Today, what was once pieces primarily for children are now done-to-order for a wider market. “We started off with newborn and toddlers but have since grown to fulfil the needs of teenagers and adults. But our core target group remains children,” Skyers-Davis told All Woman Fashion (AWF). She is now targeting international buyers by being visible on platforms such as Etsy and involved in marketing campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.
A merchandising supervisor by day, managing a merchandising team islandwide at least six days of the week. Time is carved out at nights, with help from her super supportive husband to complete orders and restock for the business. “My husband is very supportive. He deals mostly with customer deliverables and satisfaction and, with a solid network of core friends, promotes the business,” she tells AWF.
Skyers-Davis also credits her husband, Arondel with “stringing the needle” when she is ready to create her blankets, shoes, clutches or whatever the customer has requested. For his part Davis, describes his wife as amazing, and says it gives him great joy seeing her create such wonderful treasures. He admits that he “still finds it difficult stringing the needle” and concedes that when it comes to sewing “whatever she instructs me to do, I do, but her skillset is beyond my scope”. It's a skillset that has taken his wife, the last of 23 children and self-proclaimed tomboy who was notorious for using juice boxes to make trucks in the Maxfield Avenue community where she grew up to a place of great optimism.
Indeed, her long-term goal is for Eli's Knits & Knots to become top of mind for customers seeking handmade crochet creations. Partnerships with reputable local and international couriers have facilitated her transition into the international marketplace. From knitted swimsuits for the warm-weather gals to scarves and beanies for those braving the cold, Eli's Knits and Knots is a hand-made treasure, ready to be cherished forever.
Customers can contact Nataya Skyers-Davis through Instagram @eliknitsandknots, by emailing email@example.com or by calling (876) 436-5841.