Yarnpreneur Profile – Lisa Van Klaveren – Holland Designs

Her Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/lisa-van-klaveren
Her Website: www.hollanddesigns.etsy.com

JM: Tell us a bit about your business.

LVK: Holland Designs Crochet is my creative outlet. I love to design classic and modern patterns which often focus on textures and unique stitch combinations rather than color schemes. I like to create new techniques and knit-look fabrics using basic crochet stitches anyone can master. I’ve had a few knitters tell me they want to learn to crochet after seeing my designs, or that they wish they were knitting patterns.

JM: Why did you start your business?

LVK: I became a stay-at-home mom to my eldest daughter, Holland, in 2008. My goal was to earn a few extra dollars with my crochet hook to help with household expenses since I was no longer working a full-time job. I also needed to creative outlet to keep me entertained with the free time I had being at home.

JM: What is your favorite thing about being a yarnpreneur™?

LVK: It has always been my dream to be a professional crochet designer since I was a little girl. It’s one of those dreams that you don’t expect will ever come true…but then through the course of life (and the wonders of modern technology), you find it becomes reality! I love being able to be at home with my 3 girls and take care of my home and do what I love and am passionate about. I also love connecting with other crafters all around the world and making lots of “crochet friends”.

JM: What is your least favorite thing about being a yarnpreneur™?

LVK: I think in any situation or profession, you learn about your own faults and weaknesses. Having your own creative business means learning to deal with negative comments and criticism from others about your patterns and not taking offense! Learning to be patient with someone who is having difficulty understanding a pattern or stitch. You have to deal with the emotions of success and failure…practice contentment, patience, focus, determination, persistence. It’s a great opportunity to develop in all these areas.

JM: What would you tell (or what advice would you give) someone that wants to be a yarnpreneur™?

LVK: Focus on doing your best creative work and sharing it with others. Have patience and be thankful for every opportunity that comes your way. With time it will grow into something you are super proud of because you have given it your all.

JM: What do you wish you had done differently when you first started your business?

LVK:I don’t really have any regrets. Even something that may have been a mistake looking back was all part of the growth and learning process. The best thing I did was listen to my husband’s advice when he told me to open an Etsy shop in July 2008. I also got myself some business cards which had my name and “crochet designer” printed on them. At the time it almost seemed like a joke ! I had no idea where it would all lead.

JM: What’s next for you and your business?

LVK: As a former Wisconsinite, I’ve taken on our state motto as my own: “Onward & Upward!”


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