Do you love cute crochet animals? – If yes, then this month I’ve brought up yet another and one of the best amigurumi designers, Theresa from Theresa’s Crochet Shop and I am sure you’ll enjoy her interview today. Looking at her adorable animal crochet patterns will make you start crocheting as well and would open you to the whole new world of crochet.
Let’s learn about her success in the crochet business and how to make crochet business full time in this interview. I am sure you will love her cute animal crochet patterns and small crochet animals patterns and want to learn how to design amigurumi patterns by yourself.
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The interview is inside 2021 COCROCHET TOUR – a year-long Amigurumi Designer Interviews, that will feature 12 famous amigurumi designers, listen to their unique success stories, and have wonderful gifts from them. You can read more about CoCrochet Tour and other interesting events in 2021 here.
CHECK OUT THE AmIGURUMI DESIGNER AND HER cute animal crochet patterns
LET’S CHAT WITH THE AMIGURUMI ARTIST DESIGNER
A sneak peek video about the interview, click play to watch! Follow my YouTube Channel for free amigurumi tutorials and many interesting videos
1. Please, tell us a little about yourself and your designs.
I’m 30 years old and I live in West Virginia with my husband Kent and my two sweet boys, ages 4 and 2. As a busy stay-at-home mom, my family always comes first, so I have had to learn how to balance life and crochet-time. My pattern shop has been a huge blessing and the perfect side business because it is flexible and I can easily work around naps and bedtimes.
I design and crochet animals, and sell my crochet patterns in my Etsy shop. Since there are endless types of animals out there, I have endless ideas for what to crochet next! Each of my crocheted animals starts out as an idea or a suggestion; then I draw a quick sketch of the animal and begin to crochet.
I usually have to stop and begin all over again at least once or twice before I’m happy with the finished product! Then I write up the pattern, have it checked by a few testers, and publish it in my shop. I then sell, donate or gift my finished animals!
2. How long have you been crocheting?
I learned to crochet about 10 years ago. My grandma and sister taught me the basics of crocheting, and my husband Kent taught me how to crochet in a circle (he drew me a diagram and everything!)
3. Why crochet? What is it that interests you?
I have always enjoyed creating things – drawing portraits, working with clay, etc. After getting married I hoped to soon become a mom and expected my evenings to be full of taking care of children.
But God had other plans for my life and after a few years of infertility, I went to the library literally in search of a hobby to fill my quiet evenings. I picked up books on a few different crafts, one of which was an amigurumi pattern book. My first thought was, “I didn’t know you could crochet an animal!?”
My first animal was a lumpy kitten with button eyes that I stuffed with… laundry lint (oh dear!). But when I showed the kitten to a little friend of mine, she absolutely loved it! I was shocked! 🙂
I have since made hundreds and hundreds of animals! I am so passionate about capturing God’s amazing designs with yarn, and I’m honored to hear all the stories of love being shared via handmade animals from my patterns.
4. Where do you usually get inspiration for your designs?
Inspiration comes from everywhere! Animals I see when I’m outside, pictures in my sons’ books, cute pictures on Pinterest… I’ll see an animal and all of a sudden be able to envision how I would crochet it, and then I can’t stop until I’ve tried it!
5. Tell us about your happiest moments since you became an amigurumi designer?
My favorite part of designing is the joy of creating a new animal for the first time. Having a picture in my mind and being able to sit down and crochet is just so much FUN. I also love being able to work from home – on the couch with a cup of coffee next to me and a show on Netflix? It doesn’t get better than that!
I also love getting to show my animals to my boys; my 2nd son especially loves animals and says “Fish, mama, fishhhh!” It warms my heart!
Another highlight is seeing the animals people make from my patterns. It makes me so happy and actually inspires ME to keep on going! I’m still in disbelief that people would want to use my designs – it’s an amazing honor!
6. What is the most struggle that you have faced during your design career?
First, learning to say no. So many things I have said yes to have really slowed me down or taken me off- track of the direction I want to go. It’s hard to say no! And it’s hard to balance social media messages/picture-taking/replying to emails/crocheting/updating patterns/studying new designs – and all in the evenings when my boys are in bed.
Learning to say no, as hard as it can be, is the biggest way to protect my productivity and my time with my family as well.
7. How did you start to be a professional designer and treat the hobby as a business?
From the beginning, I hoped to make a little money from selling crocheted animals. I sold them to friends and family and at a local shop. Looking back I can see how amateur my creations were, but the custom designs people requested were what taught me to try new things and go outside my comfort zone!
The more things I made, the more custom orders received, and the more I learned. I put consistent time and effort into it, but honestly just because I loved it so much!
8. What is your strategy to grow a design business? How did you start to promote yourself and which platform?
I would say, first of all, find what you love and are willing to do for years to come! Specialize! Pick one thing that you love to make and just focus on that. It may take some time to figure out what that one thing will be so try a few things and see what you enjoy the most and what gets the best feedback.
But then work on that one thing until you are 100% confident in your product. There is a lot of competition out there in the small business world, so it’s not always easy to be unique, but specializing will help you focus on perfecting your product.
I started on Etsy, and then Instagram. I challenged myself to post every day on Instagram and to connect with other makers; these 2 things pushed me to keep creating new content and to keep on learning and improving!
9. I saw that you have tons of sales on Etsy and other sales platforms, what you think is the main factor that leads to your success today?
Consistency and commitment. If you want to have a successful business, you have to be willing to put the work into it on a frequent and dedicated basis.
10. You are famous right now, but I know that it would be a long story behind with all the effort and of course, luck! What is your advice for people who want to be a designer and live with a career?
As I said above, specialize! Find a community of people who will encourage you and challenge you to challenge yourself! Create consistent content – if you’re not satisfied with the quality of your work, but the time and research in to figure out how to make it better. Quality is so worth the time!
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In case you are new to amigurumi, check my Ultimate guide to amigurumi for beginners to learn amigurumi from scratch this beautiful art!
IT’S TIME FOR GIVEAWAY
Thanks to Theresa, we will have a 30% coupon for all of her patterns and collections on her website, from September 27th, 2021.
Copy this coupon and grab your favorite patterns from Irina
Now have fun!
Thank you for reading and see you next month in EPS 10 of COCROCHET TOUR 2021!
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From Joy with love!