TH: My business is Craf.t (pronounced like crafty). I officially started my business in 2014 with the intention of selling my yarned products and teaching knitting and crochet classes. After a few detours, I somehow slid into pattern designing in 2016. I live in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada with my husband, two sons and cat.
JM: Why did you start your business?
TM: I was coming close to the end of my maternity leave after my second born and looking for ways to earn some income, while being more available to my family and feeding my soul. I previously worked in Social Services. I loved this work but with long hours and stories that are hard to leave at the office in a way that was often heartbreaking, it was hard to be excited about going back to work. I have been truly in love with all things crafty since I was a child and the chance to make that into my career was exciting to me.
JM: What is your favorite thing about being a yarnpreneur™?
TH: I really love sharing my creative ideas with other people. I enjoy putting my ideas out into the world and seeing how other people interpret them. Helping and teaching people is as much as part of who I am as being crafty. So putting together a pattern that is full of my little tips and tricks and the resources I used, then seeing someone turn that into their own yarny awesomeness makes my heart sing!
JM: What is your least favorite thing about being a yarnpreneur™?
TH: Navigating the business side of things (especially anything technology based) is my least favourite thing. I’d love to grow my online presence and offer my patterns at least on Etsy (right now I’m only on Ravelry) but I attempted Etsy when I first started and struggled with some of the elements. Also, like everyone probably says, time is always a challenge. So many ideas… so not enough time!
JM: What would you tell (or what advice would you give) someone that wants to be a yarnpreneur™?
TH: JUST START! Don’t wait for the perfect, most complete and well formed idea/project/business name/cover photo/etc/etc/etc to come into light. You’ll almost never get there and you’ll waste so much time and energy trying. Just throw something out into the world and learn as you go. It’s a little scary, and sort of unclean but it’s ok to get messy. Either you win, or you learn!
JM: What do you wish you had done differently when you first started your business?
TH: Two things!
1) I wish I hadn’t spent so much time trying to plan out a product list based on what I thought other people would want to buy. When I started I was very much fixed on the idea that I needed to make kids things (do what you know, right?!?) and that other moms would want to buy. This had me jumping all over the place for inspiration because not much was coming internally and stocking up on supplies that are still sitting in my basement! The ideas weren’t bad, they just weren’t want I REALLY wanted to make.
2) I wish I had spoken to more small business owners about their advice, experience, and resources! I finally got up the courage, about 6-8 months in, to tell an old friend I had reconnected with on FB what I was doing. I asked her for advice specifically on websites and Etsy as she has a very successful creative business that has evolved over the years.
She wrote me back the most lovely LONG email with all of her favourite resources. After 5+ years in business she had tons of fabulous advice. I still refer back to that email!
JM: What’s next for you and your business?
TH: On my list for 2017 is more patterns, seeking opportunities to get my patterns published in magazines and I’d really love to work with some indie dyers on some collaborations! Plus Etsy… I WILL get my stuff into my shop (you’ll hold me accountable, right?!)