This interview, with http://crochet.community/sugarhiccupsboutique, is from January, 2015.
1. Tell us a little about yourself:
I am married with six children, ages 24-7, and I love to crochet and knit. I think I actually love the idea of crocheting and knitting even more than doing it, as I am constantly thinking about all the things I could be making if I had more time! LOL
I learned to crochet the summer when I was nine years old. I was at my Aunt’s house and my cousin, my brother, and I were waiting to go swimming, but my aunt had just put chemicals in the pool, so it would be a while before we could go in. We as kids were definitely impatient, and we were nagging my aunt about how much longer it would be before we could go swimming. She obviously got tired of hearing us, lol, and she gave each of us a crochet hook and a skein of yarn. She showed us how to make chains, single crochet, and I believe even double crochet. I am the only one that continued with it. It wasn’t until several years later that I really started to make garments with crochet, I was around seventeen years old, and I have been crocheting ever since.
I used to have people tell me that my crocheting was very good and I should sell my items. I was just crocheting for family and friends at the time. Then, in 1995, I had a friend approach me and tell me about a boutique owner in Wrightwood, CA, which is in the middle of a ski resort town, who sold things in his shop similar to what I make; she then set up an appointment for me to meet him. He asked her to have me bring a few items already made that I would be willing to sell if he liked them. I took the trip to Wrightwood, and he saw my finished garments, then told me he had never seen such quality work before, and asked me where I hid my threads. I just laughed, and he bought everything I had with me, and put the items in his shop for sale. He started ordering from me, and at that point, I didn’t have to purchase yarn anymore to make the garments for him, he just paid me for my time. It just so happened that he also sold yarn in his boutique, which spanned about 3 or 4 stores wide, and he gave me all the yarn I needed for each item he ordered, and then some. I sold to him for a very short time, as it was very time consuming. But, I continued to crochet things as gifts for family and friends, and even sold a few items to friends at church.
Then, in 2003, the eBay internet world opened up for me, and through a friend that I met, I got into the world of eBay boutique designer groups. I have been involved in those types of groups as well as opening an Etsy shop; then Facebook groups started up, and I have been selling on those groups and in my own Facebook group ever since.
I have been selling my finished garments for several years, and this past year I decided not to sell my finished garments any longer. I still have customers who ask me to make items for them, but I made the decision to slow down and take more time for my family. I may open up my shop again for sale at some point in time, but for now I am content to just design patterns for both crochet and knitting garments in my spare time. I sell my patterns online on a few different sites like Etsy, Ravelry, Craftsy, and YouCanMakeThis.com.
Facebook garments page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sugar-Hiccups-Boutique/97934941385
Facebook patterns page: https://www.facebook.com/SugarHiccupsBoutiquePatterns
And, here are some of my favorite crochet items that I have made; some are from patterns, the rest my own designs:
2. What is your “inspiration story” — where did your interest in crocheting all begin?
I guess my interest in crocheting stemmed from learning as a kid. When I was seventeen years old, it was re-kindled. I honestly don’t remember exactly how it happened, I just know I wanted to make a blanket for a baby one day, and I remembered that my aunt taught me to crochet. I think I even had the original crochet hook she gave me still, but my memory about it is a little foggy on that note. My blanket turned out larger on one side than the other, and I don’t know if I was adding stitches every row or what, but I do know I was not doing a chain 1, and it was not my idea of a blanket! LOL
Then, I went to a local yarn shop and purchased some yarn, (we didn’t have Walmart in our area back then), and purchased a couple patterns. I had never read a pattern before, so I learned to read patterns on my own, and started making things with them, albeit with lots of errors at first, but after a while, I got the hang of it, and made a lot of gifts for people that I knew that were having babies. From that point on, I decided never to buy a baby shower gift again. I know all you crocheters totally relate!
3. What is your dream project?
Hmmm…that is a good question. My dream project for crochet was basically wanting to make everything I saw. When the internet hit, I searched and searched for patterns. I decided after seeing someone who was making crocheted bikinis that I could do that, and I met someone who was doing a fashion show for Moon Zappa, (not sure if anyone remember’s who she is, but she is the girl who did the song, “Valley Girl” in the 80’s). The show was in September of 2003, at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, and it was to help raise money for a short film project called, “Ugly”, that Moon Zappa created for the American Film Institute, “AFI”. To this day, I am not exactly sure what the film is all about, lol, but I know it had to do with knitting and a man in a chair. :) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373409/
I crocheted bikinis for some models to wear on the runway, and it was a pretty fun experience! I got to meet Moon Zappa, took a couple photos with her, and she thanked me for participating in her show. It was a real highlight of my crocheting life!
4. What has been your greatest challenge so far and how did you overcome it?
Gauge is EVERYTHING when it comes to making a garment. I remember when I was seventeen making a crochet pineapple sweater and it turned out several sizes too small. So, I guess my greatest challenge when it came to crocheting and knitting garments to wear was understanding gauge. Once I was able to do that, I could make anything from any pattern, and it really made it so much easier to write patterns also.
5. What is the greatest gift that crocheting has given you?
The ability to create awesome garments for people, and to unleash the designer in me that has always wanted to create. I love hearing when someone appreciates what I have made for them, whether it is a customer, family member, or friend…it is very pleasing to me to know they enjoy it!
6. What words of wisdom do you have for someone beginning to crochet?
Never give up! Just like with anything, it takes time, practice, frogging, and more practice! Repetition is the mother of skill, so repeat often and enjoy the process, it is very rewarding! Also, make what your heart desires rather than always making what others ask you to make for them; it will really keep the love of crochet, (or even knitting) alive. There is no better way to kill the desire and passion for your crocheting than to do things you don’t want to make. So, my advice is to always make what you love, and you will continue to enjoy what you do! :)
Heather Macias – Sugar Hiccups Boutique
(Thank-you Heather for taking the time to do the interview)
Debbie (life & crocheting have a lot in common: it's all about one stitch at a time.)