When I first saw Amanda’s work on her Facebook page, I was stunned. The hats were so adorable and I will admit, I am jealous of the skill level that Amanda possesses. She is such a nice person and it was so great talking and interviewing her.
Okay so just for a starter question, describe your business, what it is that you create?
I make handmade creations out of yarn. I make hats, accessories, clothes, and stuffies (stuffed animals). I have created a bunch of products based on characters, animals, and can do custom.
All crocheted. Forgot to mention that one.
I’ve seen your etsy shop. You do some great work.
Now a fun question: If you received a million dollars, no strings attached, what would change in regards to your products?
Thank you! It’s fun. My Etsy shop only has a pitch of what I have made.
Oh my goodness a million dollars would so wonderful. It would help my husband and I. I could make this business my full time job. First I would set up an actual shop for local customers to come. I am asked all the time if I have a store. In that store I would be able to hire a couple of people to run it so I could continue making stock. My other dream is to have a better system for shipping. Probably in the store. It would be a dream. For sure I would also be able to advertise much better then I do and ship overseas better.
Do you have an idea of that dream store’s name?
My business name right now is Je T’aime Boutique but I have so many customers that struggle saying it that I have actually been thinking about changing it. I unfortunately have not come up with anything yet but I know that if it changes that will be what I want the store to be also. I know I want either a panda or penguin in the name.
I love pandas. They’re fantastic.
Tell me about your creative space, what are some parts of it that are absolutely necessary and what makes it you?
At the moment my husband and I live in a three bedroom apartment and one of the rooms I made my craft room. The most important part of it is my yarn shelf. It is a bunch of different cubes put together. Each one has a different color of yarn. It is so key to be organized especially with all the orders I have been getting. My other favorite thing in my craft room is my stock bookcases. I make the best sellers and put them in binds that way when I get an order all I have to do it put the product in a mailer. Makes it so easy and nice.
Stock bookcases? That’s great.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
My favorite part is the details. That is what makes the hat different and unique. For character hats, that is what helps make them look like that specific character. The great thing about yarn is that if you do not like a detail you can take it off and redo it until you like what it looks like.
Do you ever hit walls when you’re working? Blocks of creativity?
I sure do. At that moment I have to take a break. I like to go to the movies or hang out with my husband. He always makes me laugh and gets my mind off of it. Then I return and it always seems to come back. A prayer always helps too.
Prayers do help a lot.
What does your average day look like?
Haha! If only I had an average day. Just playin’. An average day for me would be out the door by 7:15am. I am a nanny during the day to the most adorable kids. I am normally off anywhere from 3-5:30 depending on the day. As soon as I am off I come home and immediately get started on orders. I average about 2 to 6 orders a day. Some products I can whip through in about an hour and a half and some can take up to 4 hours. I am a night owl and stay up at least until midnight working.
Wow, I’m impressed. How do you stay focused?
And how do you balance both jobs?
For me to stay focused, I put on a good TV show. I love what I do so the majority of the time I am able to stay focused. On those few occasions where I am not, I make sure I have snack foods. I am a snack food junkie. It always seems to help.
Just a few more questions and then we’re through.
What are a few things that inspire you
Balancing both jobs is difficult at times. I really try and focus on the kids while I am there. I have been with them for two years. The baby turned two in December. The oldest is turning 16 and because they are getting older they have decided once school ends they will not need me anymore. I am sad but this will give me some time to focus on other things in my life.
I have many things that inspire me. My faith for one. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am in my life if it wasn’t for my beliefs and the Lord helping me through. My husband is a big inspiration. He is such a hard worker. He is for sure a role model. He is also very supportive. My family is another one. I have several adorable nieces and the cutest nephews. I love creating things for them (and of course my siblings and parents). They are my models. My husband and I do not have kids yet. We are hoping to adopt this year and then I will have the cutest little model for pictures. Lol. Walt Disney is a huge inspiration. He created something so amazing from nothing. He never gave up on his dream. I have many quotes by him all around my apartment.
Walt Disney’s one of my inspirations as well!
So think back to when you started crocheting. What has stayed the same and what has changed in your process. And then as you look forward, what would you want to change or do you like how you’re working right now?
I was actually looking at some of my earlier work. I laugh at it now. It was pretty awful. Lol! I have grown a lot and my work now is much better quality. For the future, I want to get faster so I can get more products out.
Depending on what project you’re working on, how does your creative process change?
It’s actually pretty consistent. I always start with the base hat. From there I can work on the details. Some of my hats I stitch logos on and some times I do those before I crochet the actual hat.
Thank you so much for doing this!
It’s been a big help!
You are so welcome. Anytime!!!!!
All photos were used with permission from the original owner.