Several weeks ago my mother-in-law and I went to several local craft fairs. We saw a lot of really great handmade items using different materials such as wood and tin in a recycled and purposeful way. We also saw more crochet than I think we were expecting. There were tons of dishcloths, baby hats and doll clothes. One of the tables we saw really impressed us. From memory, Elizabeth had baby hats, cup cozies and sewn children clothes. I think not only was it the items she displayed it was her quality of what she had displayed. Everything looked neat and organized and professional. To be honest, it was exactly what I had envisioned my first craft fair to look like, whenever that eventually gets to happen. Without thinking before speaking, I told her I had a small blog and asked if I could interview her. I walked away thinking she probably thinks I’m a weirdo.
Skip forward about a week, I decided weirdo or not I’d send her a message through her Etsy shop and just see what happens. To my surprise she said she wondered if she’d hear from me. So from that initial meeting here are questions I was curious about and thought others might be too.
1. Please give an overview of yourself and what type of crochet items you make (i.e. how did you start crocheting, do you focus primarily on babies or hats or blankets or just a mix of everything?, etc.)
My name is Elizabeth Kelly. I’ve been a stay-at-home Mom for about 3.5 years. I have two children, a daughter (4) and a son (almost 3). I started crocheting when I was a little girl. My mom showed me the basics and taught me how to make an afghan and a simple beanie. It was after my son was born I decided I would try to sell items. I started out making hats for babies and kids. With requests for other items I’ve tried almost every kind of crochet and many styles.
2. Do you remember the first project you ever completed?
My first completed project was a beanie I made in high school. I was so proud and wore it to school then ended up making more for all my friends.
3. What is your favorite item to make?
I don’t really have a favorite item that I make. But I love receiving pictures of babies in their hats or photo prop items. I also love when I receive requests for something I haven’t already done. I really enjoy challenging myself.
4. What is your favorite type of yarn? Do you have a favorite brand?
My favorite yarn is the I Love This Yarn brand by Hobby Lobby. It’s so soft and they offer such a wonderful variety of colors to create complex designs.
5. Do you follow patterns, change patterns or design your own?
When I first started selling I was using some patterns, especially for sizing items. But I haven’t used a pattern in at least 2 years and most of my designs are original or written by me.
6. When did you realize you love crocheting and wanted to start selling?
I decided to start selling since I was a stay-at-home mom and really needed something to make me feel busy and productive other than mommy duties. I had worked for so long that being at home was really hard on me at first. My husband really encouraged me to try it. He wanted me to be happy and he knew how much I loved to make things. He could’ve cared less if I was ever successful or if I failed. He would’ve supported me no matter what. Also, for me, its never been about making money. I truly just enjoy making things and the feedback I receive from my customers.
7. Do you only sell on Etsy and craft fairs? How do you find craft fairs and decide which you want to sell at?
The craft fair we met at was actually my first craft fair. I was asked by a friend if I wanted to sell. I had always wanted to try it out. I haven’t decided if I will do more in the future. I mainly sell through Etsy and Facebook.
8. What is your hottest seller?
I would say I sell baby items the most and cabbage patch hats are very popular around Halloween.
9. Do you have any tips on starting to sell crochet?
My tips for selling would be to always challenge yourself. Try to never tell a customer you can’t make something (unless you’re really busy or its an outrageous request). Also, the pictures you use for listings should be clear and good quality. You can search Google for many ways to take nice photos even with a phone.
10. Do you have any tips or tricks for beginner crocheters?
Beginners should start simple. Learn the basics and get a feel for crochet. Don’t try to push too far ahead so you don’t become discouraged, but don’t stick with one style. Try all sorts of patterns, stitches and types of crochet. I highly recommend RepeatCrafterMe (www.repeatcrafterme.com). She has a wonderful website full of free patterns that are written wonderfully.
11. Is there anything else you want readers to know about yourself, your crochet or crochet in general?
I absolutely love everything crafty. I would craft all day every day and I think my love for it is what has made crocheting easy for me. I don’t get discouraged. I keep trying. I think for sellers the most important thing would be to love what you do.
12. Other than Etsy, where can you be found? (Ravelry, Instagram, Facebook, etc)
I can be found on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sewoncrafts), Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/sewoncrafts), and Instagram (Sewoncrafts)
Thank you Elizabeth.
Please visit Elizabeth with Sew On Crafts at any of the above sites to see all her adorable creations.
All photos are courtesy of and property of Elizabeth Kelly of Sew On Crafts.