A Word with John Donut’s Spinning

Recently, I sat down with a friend of Foster’s Refillery, Sandra Keenan, from John Donut’s Spinning via video call and chatted with her about her business. Being just 21, Sandra’s passion for spinning and her work amazed me. Her lighthearted attitude, friendly explanations of spinning terms I didn’t understand and willingness to open the spinning door to our customers helped drive our interview. Check out my conversation with Sandra below! 

Foster’s Refillery: Why did you start John Donut’s Spinning?

John Donut’s Spinning: I love learning things that are weird and are thought of as old and forgotten arts. I found the spinning community was really niche but also super active! There are lots of wheels and bobbins you can get and there’s a whole community around it.

FR: How did you get started? 

JDS: I started spinning when I was 13 years old. I took a little bit of a break from it and just picked it up again a couple years ago. I brought my travel spinning wheel from Boston to Utah when I came back to Salt Lake City for school at the University of Utah this year. 

FR: What do you use for your materials and supplies? 

JDS: I buy roving, the thick fluffy material that is the next step up from raw fleece. (Sandra proceeded to show me luxurious, soft looking white strands of roving that I wanted to reach through the screen and touch.) {insert picture of roving with this section} I have 3 different types right now. This one comes from sheep, then I have an alpaca one, and then I also have a rose fiber one. Which is broken down and processed rose bushes that die that they reuse and process into a roving that can be spun into yarn. 

FR: Where do you see your business progressing after you finish school?

 JDS: I’d love to dedicate even more time to it. I know I’m spending way more hours in a day than I should because of school responsibilities. I’d like to keep going with it and include more types of fibers into my spinning. My priority is to make a product I enjoy doing, but that people don’t feel guilty buying. Obviously a handspun yarn isn’t your cheapest option, but I want to be able to price my yarn so it doesn’t break the bank. I want to be the go-to for people who want to crochet and knit and want to get specific about their fibers! 

FR: What would you like Foster’s Refillery customers to know about John Donut’s Spinning? 

JDS: We’re a small business, locally owned, sustainable and humane, as darn close to cruelty free as I can get, and something you might not have seen before. I want to open the door 

FR: What will we see next from John Donut’s Spinning?

JDS: Thin yarn for creators who want to weave or make sweaters and tighter knit clothing. I’m also in the process of creating dryer balls (now on website) and washable make up remover pads(coming soon)! 

It was a delight to interview Sandra and learn more about John Donut’s Spinning. I’m so excited to see Sandra become a permanent supplier for Foster’s Refillery and share more of her skills with all of you.