Yarnpreneur Profile – Susan Carlson

Her Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/susan-carlson
Her Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/feltedbutton

JM: Tell us a bit about your business.

SC: Felted Button is all about creative, unique, fun to make crochet patterns with lots of color. Did I mention color?

JM: Why did you start your business?

SC: I opened the doors of my Etsy shop with no crochet patterns and only finished items (some vintage things, too, from my thrifting habit) almost 5 years ago. I had spent the previous couple of years trying dozens of crochet techniques using other folks patterns, and my closet of finished objects was stuffed–friends and family only want so many crocheted gifts, right?

But soon after opening the shop, I decided to try my hand at writing patterns myself. When my first real pattern release reached #1 on the Ravelry hot list for a week, I decided I might be on to something. Since then, I’ve published over 100 patterns with no end in sight! This is simply too much fun and I MUST get these ideas out of my head!

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

SC: Being able to make things with strings is pretty phenomenal. And to do it as my full-time passion is even better! But I think the most magical thing about being a yarnpreneur is having an idea that starts in my head (usually in the middle of the night…grumble, grumble) be translated through my hands and hook to someone else’s hands and hook. I really love seeing my creations interpreted by others out there in the world!

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

SC: It’s a “one-woman” show. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that it has pushed me to learn crochet skills, technical writing, marketing, photography, editing, technology, social media, publishing and networking. That’s a lot of learning for a former science teacher. But it is sometimes a bit tricky for me to balance family, church and community demands while running an “all-me” business from home.

I love that I can work in my pjs (although I never do, but the option sounds appealing), but I struggle to find a way to have “business hours” when the doors essentially never close. So far, though, I”ve thoroughly enjoyed the learning curve and wonderful experiences of being part of the crochet community. This crocheting gig is a very good thing!

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

SC: Be unique. Find your style and your brand. Be true to yourself in whatever you design or make. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. You must enjoy the journey. If you are not enjoying the process, then whatever magic you are creating will vanish and your business will suffer.

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

SC: I started Felted Button before I had everything figured out. In fact, I had almost nothing figured out. But the stumbles and bumbles along the way were a good part of my learning experience, and I’m grateful for them.I actually don’t have any regrets about how Felted Button was born.

I think it was a natural process for me that allowed me to grow in my skills and vision as my business grew. But, because I allowed my natural attraction to all things colorful occur in my shop and through my designs, my personality and brand are easy to spot.

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

SC: I am super excited about the thousands of people involved in the Felted Button Temperature Blanket CAL going on right now and hope to grow the Facebook group even bigger every year. I’ve also really enjoyed participating as a Scheepjes Blogger the past year. I’m looking forward to another trip to The Netherlands this fall to spend time with my fellow bloggers and friends. And, of course, lots of colorful crochet patterns are definitely in my future!


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