Her Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Amigurumifood
Her Website: http://www.amigurumifood.com
AK: Hi there, my name is Anneris Kondratas, I’m an illustrator, a crochet artist and the creator of Amigurumi Food. As a little girl living a in a country house far away from the city, I’ve spent many hours making drawings, paintings and little projects involving crafting around the house. In my family, we didn’t have any money to spare, with my brother we would build our own toys and find ways to keep us entertained. Life was so simple, and we were more happy than ever.
The years passed by and without a doubt I pursued a career on Visual Arts. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2003. Seven years ago I found myself in love with little crocheted characters called Amigurumis and that lead me to learn how to make them. Little after that, I wrote a blog and started designing my own patterns. This was just the beginning. Amigurumi Food is an Etsy shop I opened in the year 2015. In it, I sell my own crochet patterns and crocheted creations. My patterns are available as sets for instant download for anyone who understands the basic crochet stitches. You can find a complete guide with photo tutorials if you want to make your own Amigurumi Food.
At the same time, I’m lucky to be able to sell my own handmade creations, some of them, limited editions made by me and custom orders for any person who wants to make a unique gift to him/herself or someone in his/her life. My heart fills with joy when I get to put a smile on someone’s face.
JM: Why did you start your business?
AK: I never thought that being a mother was such an incredible and inspiring journey. Every time I saw my son playing with little amigurumis that I made myself, my heart was filling with joy. I could never imagine that I’d feel so complete, my little boy playing and testing my own creations. As the months went by, my little one grew older, and I found out that I had more time to spend on creating those little creatures and sharing my designs with others. I found on Etsy a familiar platform to create my own business. I had more time to work on premium patterns and Etsy felt like a step in the right direction. I wasn’t expecting to sell much, and I had a lot of doubts about how many items to start with, and how to price them correctly. I think I made less than $10 the first month. But as the time went by, I was able to come up with a structure to support the work I do, and to be able to keep things updated and interesting, which keeps the buyers coming back to my shop.
AK: One of my favorite things about been a yarnpreneur is to be able to make my own decisions, take the time to get inspired. Get the time to be focused on the important things because being a yarnpreneur it’s an adventure, every day we learn something new, we meet amazing people on this journey and with our effort and love we have the opportunity to pursue our dreams.
JM: What is your least favorite thing about being a yarnpreneur™?
AK: It’s hard to think about something, If I need to decide for one I could say that my least favorite thing is that you are on call all the time. No matter what, you are the face of your business and to keep it running smoothly you need to listen to your customers, the critics, the comments, everything is part of being a yarnpreneur. You’re going to make mistakes, of course, because you are human, you need to learn from them and go on. Your business is like a little plant you need to give love and care for it everyday…that’s the best way to grow.
JM: What would you tell (or what advice would you give) someone that wants to be a yarnpreneur™?
AK: My simple advice would be: Do it! Don’t hesitate and don’t be afraid of following your dreams, no matter how impossible they be seem. Sometimes a tiny idea becomes a big and exciting project. Go for it, try and make mistakes, learn from them, be open to critics and opinions. Be patient, and the most important thing: stay positive and have fun.
JM: What do you wish you had done differently when you first started your business?
AK: The only thing I would have done differently is to take more time to create more patterns. In the beginning I started with only 2, it was simple and quite empty. Now my Etsy shop is a complete shop, a cohesive space where I share what I love to do. I think you need to take the time to build your own shop, but the best way to know if something works is by doing it and waiting for the buyer to give you an opinion about it.
JM: What’s next for you and your business?
AK: It’s been such an amazing year for my business. Life is full or surprises, at the moment I don’t have any immediate plans. I do have a couple of projects but for now I can’t reveal any details. I will keep making free patterns for my blog and designing my premium patterns for everybody to enjoy!