JM: Tell us a bit about your business.
M: My husband, Brian, and I have a small woodworking and natural fiber dyeing business called BQueen Collection, LLC. We are most known for our handcrafted wood crochet hooks, that are made by both of us and adorned with unique crown tops in various domestic and exotic woods. We also pursue natural fiber dyeing and have exciting plans for future dyeing tutorials and kits coming soon!
M: This is a bit of a funny story – I always wanted to have my own business and at first, BQueen was just me trying to sell handmade items on Etsy (without much luck). The last time I was pregnant, Brian bought a lathe to start turning tobacco pipes and I begged him to attempt a crochet hook. We then made a bet that if we could sell two in a month, we’d officially start selling them. We both had no idea BQueen would be what it is now – we are recognized worldwide and growing every month!
I knew he had a natural talent for wood turning, and we both love having our own business, despite the challenges and hard lessons. Of course, my addiction to fiber didn’t end when we started wood turning, and so I became interested with natural yarn dyeing and love finding color on a bare hank!
JM: What is your favorite thing about being a yarnpreneur™?
M: I love the control and possibilities. I love that I can pursue product ideas, progress our business in the directions I want it to go, and follow any creative pursuits. I love that creativity provides income for our growing family, and our business is really what we choose to make it.
M: It’s stressful to play all of the parts of being a small business owner. I always feel a little behind, a lot overwhelmed, but surprisingly always motivated. Juggling life when your job isn’t a 9-5 can be very exhausting, but I’d still take the hustle over the cubicle life any day.
JM: What would you tell (or what advice would you give) someone that wants to be a yarnpreneur™?
M: Being unique is hard in this environment, and eventually everyone runs across copycats or someone who sells their similar products for less just to make the sale. Just remember to stay strong with your price point and think of who you want to attract as a customer. It’s hard to not worry about your competition, but try your best to focus on your own brand and what you have to offer, and I mean perfect that baby until you want to cry, and the sales will come. Give a reason to have a good reputation, and you’ll become recognized as such.
JM: What do you wish you had done differently when you first started your business?
M: I’m not sure if I would have done anything differently. It’s all part of the learning curve and we couldn’t have possibly known what we know now. I’m thankful for the hard lessons learned, because now we are a stronger business.
JM: What’s next for you and your business?
M: It was a bittersweet decision, but we decided to end our Dye Box subscriptions so we could focus more on natural dyeing tutorials and patterns in addition to our hooks. I am really excited to start this direction for BQueen and sharing information with others.