I have always loved doing crafts, for as long as I remember. As a child, I borrowed books from the library on different projects I could do, I received loom sets and yarn as a gift, and I gravitated towards the arts and crafts section at the afterschool program. However, crafts has always taken a back seat, as a hobby instead of a career. In my spare time, I have picked up crocheting again, learned to knit from YouTube videos and Googled tutorials, and learned more forms of hand stitching. I made baby blankets, baby hats and booties, little felt stuffed animals, little finger puppets, and a donut shaped pincushion.
One day (pre-covid times), a friend came over and as we caught up with one another, she saw some of the creations I made. Cindy claimed that I could sell these, that I was considering doing for fun. I thought it was a good idea to try, since I had just started my maternity leave. I went hard to work at creating a website and posting some of the felt toys and felt pillows I have made, and trying to figure out how to price them. She became my first review on the site. That collection gradually grew, but I wasn’t getting any sales.
I started making other things for fun during my maternity leave and posted them on my Instagram and Facebook accounts (@creative.rosie). The hand warmers and ear savers caught the eyes of some friends, and I had given some away as gifts. But another friend, Barbara from @BBabyCo (she sells baby products that are eco-friendly, personalized, and/or pre-loved – lovely items, go buy some!), encouraged me to put these up on my page instead. I finally got some purchases because this was what people had wanted – ear savers to protect mask loops from hurting your ears. For the rest of the year (from November to December 2020), I decided to make an extra ear saver for every item sold to donate to front line workers. I had donated 36 ear savers, with a majority of them going to a couple pharmaceutical teams at Sick Kids Hospital.
After I made seven sales, I decided to go for it and buy my own domain (creativerosie.com). That would make it easier to type and cause less trouble with tagging products on Instagram and Facebook. Shopify made it really easy to buy a domain. I also created my own logo and made business cards.
Gradually, the collections expanded: I began making baby (like hats, mittens, and the biggest sale: a crocheted and personalized baby blanket), felt ornaments just in time for the holidays, compact soft pillows (filled with lavender or not), and virtual gift cards.
With the virtual gift cards up, I threw my very first contest on Instagram. Several people participated, following, liking, and tagging others. Extra entries could be won by commenting on what they expect to see. A name was drawn randomly using an app. Kaila won and claimed two ear savers.
After 14 sales total, I made my biggest expense: my very first sewing machine. I just wanted a basic machine that can save me time on sewing simple things, like pillows, but didn’t need anything too fancy. I got the Brother XM2701. Once it came, I was excited to try it out. What I like about this machine is that it can do the basic stitches – up to 27 stitch patterns, including a one-step buttonhole, it also has a simple auto threader and a low light. The negative is that it doesn’t stitch thick items. After much learning with tensions and width and stitch patterns, I was able to start making a pillow and 7 masks. I still have lots to learn with sewing but I am glad that there is always something new to learn.