Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fun customer questions.

I get so many lovely emails from customers, asking all SORTS of questions!  Wonderful questions.  I love communicating with my customers, and fellow crochet lovers.  It's amazing.  :)
I answer a lot of pattern questions, but what amazes me is the questions I get about myself!  While I believe in myself, and like who I am, it always surprises me when people want to know more about me.
But it happens a lot, so I thought I'd write a blog with some of the most frequent questions I get.


1) How did you come up with the name "The Lovely Crow".

*** The Crow comes from the word "crochet".  A lot of crochet shops (patterns and products) use a lamb, sheep, lama, or alpaca as their "mascot".  I wanted to be original, and couldn't find (at the time) anyone using a Crow in their name or logo.   It seemed perfect to me. :)
My favorite color from the time I was a child has always been yellow.  Until I became pregnant with baby number 6, and all the sudden, everything pink stuck out to me... I gravitated towards in in fabrics, clothes, decor...  so originally I wanted to be "The pink crow".   But upon doing an internet search, I found a small band was already using that name.
My favorite word is "Lovely".  It's a lovely word, the word lovely. :)   I over use it.  When I like something, it's lovely.  When I'm frustrated, one of the kids spills something, or the toaster stops working "Just lovely."
So... I became... "The Lovely Crow".

2) How long have you been crocheting?

*** This is a mixed question.  My mother (amazing AMAZING mother), has always sewn, crocheted, knitted, cross stitched... she can do ANYTHING.  While growing up, she put a crochet hook in my hand several times.  I had no patience, and would end up with a very long chain, or possibly two or three crooked rows of single crochets.  So I suppose I could say that I've been crocheting since I was little. :)

When I was pregnant with baby number 5, I went to Walmart and got a book on how to crochet, and two skeins of  yarn.  I stayed up all night, and the next morning I had learned all the basic stitches, and had made a very pitiful hat.  I went on to make 10 or 12 (also very pitiful) hats, and a blanket.  That was 3 years ago.

I put it down for awhile, but when I became pregnant with baby number 6, I decided I wanted to make a blanket for her.  This time, I found a pattern for a granny square on the internet, and made it over and over again until I had it right, and then I made enough for a blanket.  That was 2 years ago.  I haven't stopped crocheting since.

3) When and why did you start writing crochet patterns?

I wanted to make booties to match a coming home layette I had crocheted for Sarah (baby number 6), and bought a dozen different bootie patterns.  I hated them all, except one, which had a double sole.  The double sole took FOREVER to make, and was so frustrating, because I never knew exactly where I was supposed to stop and start.  I decided there had to be a better way.  So I started making booties on my own.  I made booties, and more booties, and more booties.  It's ridiculous the number of booties I made during this obsession.   When I finally came up with a shoe I liked, I made MANY pairs and started to sell them on Etsy.  I had written the pattern for myself, but hadn't written it for anyone else.   I got a lot of Etsy convos asking where I'd gotten the pattern.  And when I replied that it was my own pattern, I started getting requests.

So... I wrote it.   That was "Baby Ribbon Maryjanes".   I honestly never expected it to sell very well, but I wrote it because it had been requested so many times.
It sold like crazy.
Then I started getting requests for a hat I was making... and so I wrote that pattern too.
"Ebeth's Princess Beanie."

After that, I got so much encouragement and great feedback from people, I just kept going.  I love designing, I love creating, I love crochet, and I love people.  And so... I found my PERFECT job.

But let me be completely honest...  I started writing patterns by accident.  I never intended to go in this direction... it just sort of found me.

Here's something REALLY funny.
I'd written my first two crochet patterns before I discovered I had been making a half double crochet incorrectly all along!!   I had been doing something called a single crochet extension.  It's similar in height to a half double crochet, so it still worked out in my patterns... but imagine my emberassment when I discovered I'd been doing it wrong!

4) How do you do all the you do with 6 kids?

***  I don't.  LOL.   My house is ALWAYS a wreck.  I'm a horrible horrible house keeper.  And we get take out a LOT.  I hate cooking.  Anything that's "cooked" in this house is usually taken out of a box.
I'm a fabulous mother, hand on, co sleeper, I breastfed them all, have homeschooled when needed (although not currently), I hug kiss and cuddle my kids constantly.  I'm patient and kind.  I adore my children, and they in turn adore me.  But I have so VERY many flaws.   It is ABSOLUTELY because of the support of my AMAZING husband that I'm able to run a small business.  He supports me in everything I do.  His advice and encouragement are the reasons that I can write and sell patterns.  When I need to work, to write, or to design, he takes on the kids, keeps them out of my craft room, entertains them, feeds them, plays with them... He's so wonderful, and I can't say enough about him or how thankful I am for him.  I am beyond blessed, and completely in love with him.   And... I get so much encouragement, positive feedback, and so many great suggestions from my testers and my customers... that it keeps me going.  I love what I'm doing.  I'm happy, and when I'm happy, my children are happier. 

5) How old are you?

***  LOL.  Isn't this the question no one is supposed to ask a woman?  Haha.  But really I don't mind.  I've been asked quite a few times.  So ... here it is.  In March of this year, I celebrated my 30th birthday.   I know... I'm 30 with 6 kids, and my oldest is 13.  Do the math.     I started VERY early.    Gregory (my husband) and I have been together since I was 15 years old.  We were high school sweethearts.  We became pregnant with our oldest daughter when I was just 16.   But we were meant to be!   I think we discussed getting married and having a large family (the plan was 8 kids, but has since been shortened to 6!!) in the first week of our relationship.   We always knew we would always be together, and that we would have a big family.  So here we are... and we do. :)

6) Who does your photography?

*** I do! :)  I decided several years ago that I wanted to be a photographer.  We saved our money and I bought a camera, photo editting software, and MANY books.  I spent about 6 months learning as much as I could about photography.   In the end, it wasn't something I wanted to do full time, or as a career, but I am SO thankful for what I learned.  It's allowed me to be able to do that part of writing my patterns.   And because it's been asked, no, I do not take on photography jobs.  Occasionally I've done photos for a close friend, but it isn't something I want to do for money.

7)  What other kinds of crafts do you like and or do?

***  Anything and everything.  I haven't really found anything I didn't want to do.  I have discovered I'm not good at sewing or knitting.  Although I wish I could be good at both, and so admire people who can do either well.    I've tried a lot of art mediums.  I love to draw.   I love working with photoshop.  I love photography.  I got into face painting for awhile, and became pretty good at it.

I hope it's something I can do on a volunteer basis with my church more often when my kids are older and I have more time.     And... customizing Hasbro My Little Ponies from the 80's.   I LOVE doing them, and when my toddlers are big enough to stay out of the materials I need, I plan to do more.

And...  those are the questions I'm asked most often, although there have been many many more.  I love hearing from my customers... so if you have a question, ask it!  :)  I'll do my best to answer any question I get.