Her Website: www.lillabjorncrochet.com
Her Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/tatsiana-kupryianchyk
T: Hello! My name is Tatsiana and I am the crochet designer behind Lilla Bjorn Crochet brand. I mainly work in overlay crochet and design interior accessories. I am truly obsessed with Mandala Art. But in short breaks between creating mandalas I design pillows, blankets, rugs, potholders, hanging ornaments and other small home decorations. Recently I have also started to design garments. I have only made first steps on this path, and I have no idea where it will take me in the future.
T: Every time I hear word business I feel uncomfortable. I mean, formally I have a business, yes. I sell my own original crochet patterns in several online stores, I am officially registered as a business in a country I live in, I pay taxes so yes, I run a business. But I prefer to think I am just doing what I love to do. And this is how it actually started.
I have been crocheting and knitting, and crafting for my entire life. I have been always creating something on my own, but I had a daily job and constant income. I had everything before me and my husband moved to a foreign country. And suddenly I didnot have anything anymore. No job, no income I had to re-think my life and my career as I obviously couldnot do what I learnt anymore (journalism).
I opened an Etsy shop hoping to sell some finished projects, and my first sales came in really fast. And suddenly I started to think about producing my own, original designs. I have a friend who is an artist in Ireland. We were chatting a lot, and it was she who literally kicked me into this creative world. Why not? she asked me. Why not? I thought.
JM: What is your favorite thing about being a yarnpreneur?
T: Time. What Iove discovered about myself is that I am unable to work in a team. I am too critical and I always find something that can be improved. And I prefer to do everything on my own. I own a brand in a way, but I work alone (and my husband is helping me with the technical side). I like that I can set deadlines for myself, and I can take days off and vacations when I need them. I like to have control over my working time.
T: To do everything myself, haha. I know that sounds like a paradox. As I prefer to work alone. But when you take your work to the next level, you also take more additional responsibilities, and sometimes it can be exhausting. I learn every day, and I try to improve every day. I set new goals and try to reach new standards. I have to perform many roles (designer, pattern writer, photographer, promoter, PR-manager, accountant) but I dont like them. For example, I cant spend lots of time with social media, and I am not good at technical stuff. But I want to be in contact with people, and to help them when they have any questions or problems If I could, I would only crochet, and design, and crochet, and do nothing else.
T: Surprisingly I have started to receive e-mails from people asking to help them make first steps in designing and business launch. And when I read these e-mails, I am always lost as I have no idea what to say and advise. Because I have no idea how I did it myself. I just decided to start writing the patterns, and I just started to write them. Thats it
At some point (especially when I launched my own blog) I was reading lots of books and online-courses about blogging, PR, copywriting. I was reading every night and something probably settled down inside me. But I cant say I have a crystal vision of what and how to do it.
So my advice is: dont be afraid, believe in yourself and be passionate about what you are doing. There are different techniques and strategies you can learn as-you-go but in the very beginning I would not stick to this. Just do what you love to do. And people will find you.
T: Well, I cant say I did (or do) something special. So I dont even think about this.
JM: Whats next for you and your business?
T: I dont know At the moment I feel strong creative energy, and I am open to new challenges. But if in a year, or two or three I dont feel the same anymore who knows, maybe I will quit designing and find something else.