So recently I ended up with a group of friends that are all major nerds and geeks. This was rare because growing up I never had that type of friendship that would share the love that I had for some of the fandoms that I had become obsessed with. Among those friends were also those that enjoyed crafts and appreciated the crochet and craft items that I had. It was an appreciation that I only saw with family growing up and they were open to the idea that crochet could be something so much more than what their grandmothers or an older generation would do. I didn’t get the shocked “I didn’t expect someone so young to be a crocheter!” These are the friends who inspired me to create my Chibis or Dolls.
Going back in time, I started my Etsy shop around 2006 with encouragement from a friend of mine in California, but never really put anything up because at the time I couldn’t figure out what kind of pieces I wanted to sell. I also didn’t know how to market something as specific as crochet items or myself in general; this is still an ongoing process. I also could not judge how to price something that took a lot of patience, hard work, and time to create. I would, on occasion, make items to sell for friends who requested it, gave my items as gifts, or for swaps on a craft site.
I spent years buying crochet books and collecting patterns from online and from random people. My Great Aunt came to Texas a few years ago, she was the one who originally taught me my first granny square when I was a kid, and when she saw the things I would crochet, and that I was still into it after so long, she was very proud of me. She was also shocked that I managed to learn everything I needed to know on my own with little to no help from actual people. This was about 10 years after I learned how to crochet for the first time. This was also the time I started learning how to make Stuffies/Amigurumi (stuffed animals/people).
My first stuffie was a hippo and I didn’t know about Fiberfil quite yet so I stuffed it with extra yarn. I used him for a Photoshop class project about my habitat and my father named him Hippoplatypus because he thought it was a platypus, he was very adamant about it being a platypus. I continued making stuffies until I started making them without needing a pattern.
Fast-forward to about 6 months ago and I gained the friends that I first talked about. My friends and I had an Avengers marathon, where we watched Iron Man 1 and 2, Thor, The Hulk, and Captain America. We decided to schedule a White Elephant gift exchange and I wanted to make an Iron Man for it. I was obsessed with Loki, and still am, so I found a pattern for him and made it and fell in love with it, but gave him away to a friend for another White Elephant. So, this inspired me to drastically change the original pattern and add extra pieces and made Chibi Tony Stark/Iron Man. I even had the idea to make a removable helmet because lets face it; Tony Stark is an awesome character. While I was making him, I decided to scribble down the pattern changes and the patterns for the other pieces so that I could recreate him for me. That was when my friends and family encouraged me to start selling them.
I decided to update my Etsy and started taking some business classes locally with a friend to understand how to make a small business work. During that time, I was able to start putting up my Chibis and getting a few sales on Etsy and more from friends. The same friend started getting into Photography and we decided to help each other out. She would help me take pictures of my items to put up on my Etsy and I would help promote her Photography business while also helping her practice her photography. So far I have not used her photographs because I have been slow to update due to my laziness. But in the next few weeks more of her photos will grace my Etsy and this blog.
I lost my full time job in January, the sales from my Chibis and my parents help I was able to survive the month and a half I was unemployed. I just recently started a new job and have found a new apartment. Even though I got this new job, I refuse to give up my Etsy and have every intention of up keeping it and creating new Chibis for a wide range of fandoms! I will continue creating new exciting items for my Etsy shop because I think that everyone should own at least one crochet item that was made with love and care!