The hat is big enough to fit both CJ and I, so we share it. The yarn is very thick and warm. It is cotton and 100% machine-washable, which is very important. I am in awe of Amy's crochet skills. I asked her if I could ask her a few questions about her methods and her shop, so here's my little mini-interview.
One of my favorite products you have is the super adorable Very Hungry Caterpillar set. So besides books, where else do you get your inspiration?
When I first started (about a year and 1/2 ago), I found some designers who I absolutely loved and would purchase their designs. They are still some of my favorites and my best sellers. Now I've begun to do my own designs and much of what I do is based on my children. For instance, my 4 yr old loves Lightning McQueen and begged me for a McQueen hat for Christmas. So I designed a hat for him to wear. (which I need to get listed!) I made hats for all of my kids, nephews and niece for Christmas this year based on their personalities and some of them will end up in my store. My passion is for babies but as my kids get older, I find myself branching out into items for young ladies and boys (and that's why I launched my new Couture shop)
Do you make the products in advance or do you make them after their ordered?
For the most part, all of my production is done after an order has been placed. Recently I began doing vendor fairs and craft boutiques for the holiday season and needed to have a lot of product on-hand. What didn't sell I've been using for giveaways on my Facebook Fan page or selling in my RTS album on my FB page.
How long does it take for you to make the products, for example, CJ's dinosaur hat.
It depends on the item. Cocoons or items with detailed design (like the caterpillar) take longer. Special order items (i.e. a reindeer I just completed) that I've not made before and need to design also take longer. But in general a hat takes 2-3 hours and a set 3-4 hours. Cocoon sets approx 7 hours. The hat part is always the easiest...it's whatever goes on it to give it the personality that takes longer.
When did you start your business? How did it come about?
I began crocheting when I was in Jr High back in the 80's. However it wasn't very fashionable for a young girl to knit and crochet so after high school I stopped. When I moved overseas to Korea after college I saw that women made absolutely gorgeous crochet items that didn't resemble any of the "granny" style of America. I began to copy them and crocheted bags for myself and friends. Once I returned to America, and had two babies, I started to look for patterns that were modern and that's how I fell into doing items for babies. A photographer friend asked me to make her a diaper cover, then another friend asked me to make her baby's Halloween hat and it just took off from there. On Dec 27th, 2011, after a year of collecting photos from different photographers, I was ready to launch my shop. I've since launched a second shop and quit my part-time job to do this full-time from home and be with my kids. Crochet is my hobby that has become my livelihood.
What is your favorite book? What is your favorite children's book?
My favorite children's book is the easiest to answer. Goodnight Moon. I've loved that since I was a child, it was my first book to buy when my daughter was born and I still love reading it to this day. For myself, I don't have one specific book that I read over and over and call my favorite, other than the Bible. Reading has always been my passion and the only hobby (other than crochet) that I have. My favorite genres are mysteries and "chick lit". I love Christian books as well as secular. My favorite authors are: Terri Blackstock, Janet Evanovich, Kristin Billerbeck and Robin Jones Gunn. Now that I have a Kindle I go through 3x the number of books that I used to and I love having my books with me everywhere I go!
Because she is an absolute sweetheart, Amy is now doing a giveaway here. You can win any product from Natural Sweet Surprises under $25. To enter, just go to etsy shop, then come back and leave a comment letting me know which you would choose. Extra entry for liking Naturally Sweet Surprises facebook page.
Good luck! Pin It