In 2010 I had my first baby, Regan.
She was such an amazing little baby, a pleasure really, that I found myself BORED!!
My Mum had given me a pair of amazing New Zealand sheepskin slippers and after being home for a few months feeding a new bubba I quickly wore them out.
After shitting a small brick at the price, I looked a little closer at them and discovered that the bit that was ruined was crochet. After double checking with Mum, I headed to YouTube for some help.
After a few days of struggling, I eventually got them fixed.
And then I fixed Mum's and my Aunty's .. phew!!
I then made Regan a few hats and got some requests from friends.
Regan aged 2
Then after some requests from friends of friends I decided to make a Facebook page to "see how it went".
Well, it went!!
Original logo hand carved by Sandra Waine Printmaker
New logo by Frank & Co Creative with another stamp from Sandra Waine Printmaker
Over the next few years I made hundreds of hats, blankets & booties and sold them directly through my social media or at local markets and also had another baby.
The income I made from my makes was great but the mental health aspects were even better.
This crochet was magical.
I had a sense of purpose.
And I loved the freedom of being able to create from anywhere.
Watching the kids play at Timaru Creek, Lake Hawea, Otago, New Zealand
As my skills grew so did my customer base and over time I had a few people asking me if they could buy my patterns.
And so I began to write.
Early pattern scribbles
I put my career in admin to use and wrote what have been called “such easy to read" patterns.
I also created my website.
I loved (and still love) the technical ‘behind the scenes’ side of running a business.
Workshops soon followed.
Workshop held at Buster Crabb, Invercargill
Hosting them from Invercargill to Wanaka, I’d pack my suitcases in my car and take the yarn to the people.
I love interacting with like minded people who were keen to take life a little slower.
I approached Touch Yarns and asked about selling their yarn and to my great surprise, Marne (their founder) emailed back and said ‘we’d love that!’ and that they’d been watching me on Instagram for a while.
Slowly my house started filling with suitcases of yarn.
I soon had enough yarn and finished projects to hold pop up shops & attend markets.
Pop up shop at Miss Cocoa Coffee, Mandeville.
Southern Artisan Fete, The Hideaway 201, Winton
I even hosted workshops & crochet sessions from home and had a few stores around New Zealand stocking my finished items.
By this time, I'd gathered an amazing crew of makers to help keep up with demand.
I still had a part time job and supported my husband in the office with our automotive business then on the odd home day or in the afternoons I’d be busy packing orders.
The evenings were for making custom orders.
With consistent sales I soon realised that I might be able to quit my job and give this gig a whirl full time.
An idea was hatched.
You can read more about that that idea here.