Homewood Bowtie Company has Facebook Small Business Council in Knotz
Nisha Blackwell and her company, Knotzland LLC, is the only Pittsburgh-based business selected this year to join the Facebook Small Business Council.
Photo by by RK Mellon Foundation
Nisha Blackwell will need to look sharp when she travels to Facebook headquarters in California to join the Facebook Small Business Council. Maybe she’ll don the accessory that helped launch her business career: the bowtie.
Founded in 2014 and located in Homewood, Knotzland LLC saves textile waste and transforms it into one-of-a-kind bowties, reducing the amount of fabric that would otherwise rot away in landfills and pollute the environment.
“We’ve partnered with upholstery stores, design centers and nonprofits, and not only do we accept fabric scraps and fabric waste, we also redirect it to initiatives that can use them,” says Blackwell. “This creates this ecosystem of reuse and reclaiming to make sure the fabric goes as far as it can before it ends up in a landfill...”
photos by Alex Corrie
Knotzland has rescued more than 300 pounds of materials to create its masterpieces. But it doesn’t just help the environment, it helps the Homewood community too. Knotzland trains and works with women in the community to provide jobs.
Pittsburgh is creating and attracting more local designers, creating a need for a labor force which Knotzland helps build. “Once one person sews for Knotzland, they may go sew for another designer and create opportunities that exist in the ecosystem that’s not only tech or engineering,” Blackwell says.
Blackwell was the only Pittsburgh-based entrepreneur selected this year to Facebook’s Small Business Council. Since 2014, Facebook annually selects 12 companies from around the country to add to its Small Business Council.
Benefits of the council range from advising and training on new products to learning how to grow a business on Facebook. Blackwell will also be able to network with more than 60 other council members from previous cohorts around the United States and bring her new knowledge back to Pittsburgh.
“Knotzland strives to build a real community amongst women, to nurture and help sustain that community and to be a driving force behind the sewing revitalization,” Blackwell says.