As you may or may not know, I am an extremely proud member of the Design Wars Family :) This Christmas will mark my one year anniversary with this group. I have completed 3 Challenges so far and am currently in my 4th (more on that soon!). Yesterday I was part of an incredibly fun Live Google Chat with Salena Baca of Baca Creations, Design Wars and now Happily Hooked Magazine! She is an insanely busy lady so I am so thrilled that she had some time to chat with me!
Last week on my Facebook page I had asked if anyone had any questions that they would like for me to answer on air. We only had time to answer one live, but I have a little time now to answer a few more for you here!
Q: How much time do you spend working and reworking a pattern before it comes together like you envisioned?
A: It really depends on the pattern. The patterns that have taken me the longest to work out are the Butterfly Breeze Poncho, The Marek Vest and now my current Design Wars Project. It is usually because I am working on a style that I am not familiar with. For example, the Poncho was the first one I had ever made!! I had no measurements or frame of reference to really work with so the whole project was trial and error until I got the right measurements for each of the sizes. Same for the Marek Vest. For the most part, when I need to rework something it's due to a fit/sizing issue. The easiest patterns I have made work up in one day. The Rigby Scarf was designed and written in an hour! The Poncho and Marek Vest took over a month before they were ready for testing. The Madison Vest did not come out how I envisioned but I was so happy with my "accident" that I just kept going!
Q: Where do you find the time to work on your business yet focus on your family?
A: Like most parents, my day is really hectic and full. I get up at 6am, check emails and posts, check in with my testers and schedule some posts for the day. Daycare opens at 7:30 and closes at 5pm. On an easy day, they nap and I have an hour or so to check in and work on a design. Then it's clean up, errands and dinner. My little guy goes to bed by 8pm. Then I get to decide between working my business or hanging out with hubby. I'm very thankful for Baseball season haha! Some days things feel like they have all fallen into place. Others feel like a big mess. I wish I had some special formula to give to you, but most days I fly by the seat of my pants!
Q: Where do you get ideas for your patterns?
A: I get ideas from everywhere! I like to see what my friends and family are wearing, TV, movies, celebrities and Pinterest. Sometimes it's the yarn and sometimes it's a new stitch. My main concern is trying to either put a new spin on something that's been around (ie a hat) or to try and think of something that you really haven't seen around before. It's a lot of research and time spent looking around. It's extremely difficult in this business to really be unique and make a brand for yourself.
Q: What has made your business so successful?
A: To be honest, I don't really know. What I tried to do was to have fun and design things that I really loved. When starting out I had a very clear idea of who my target customer was. I designed for her, too. I stumbled many times along the way. I have had designs that really flopped, but I kept going. My mind spins all day long with all of these ideas that I have. I have notebooks full of sketches and notes! I think what makes me successful is the fact that I don't stop, I appreciate every fan I have, every question asked and every friend I make along the way. I truly love each comment on a post, each time something is shared, and I have teared up more than I would like to admit when people take the time to send me an email or message and share their photos. That's why I do this and I think that's why there are people who want me to continue.
Q: Who is your favorite designer?
A: I have so many!!! Mamachee for footwear, A Crocheted Simplicity for pattern collections, Felted Button for blankets, One and Two Company for amis, Abigailology for tops, Luz Patterns for accessories, Crystalized Designs and Crochetrend for winter wear... I could go on!
Q: How did you get started? Selling items? On Facebook or etsy or ravelry?
A: I got started almost 3 years ago out of boredom. I moved across the country to a new town while on maternity leave with my 6 month old and husband. He delicately suggested I get a hobby ;) I picked crochet. I started selling items to friends and family to pay for yarn and get experience. Shortly after I opened a Facebook Page and Etsy shop and dove into Designing after testing for some incredible designers! I know sell only patterns on Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy.
I hope this answered a few of your questions, but please don't hesitate to keep on asking! As you might have noticed, I love talking and it's nice to know that someone is having the conversation with me ;)
Happy Hugs and Yarny Dreams!
My name is Pam! I'm a 30-something WAHM of two amazing children! I live in beautiful Northern Ontario with my husband, kids and our feisty Westie, Rigby.