Every day I post a crochet item on Etsy that I like. One of the ones I did a little while back was a pair of earrings from PeaceJoyYarn (which, by the way, I think is an awesome name for a store). This Etsy store is run by two creative sisters who were kind enough to take time out of their busy crafty lives to do an interview with me. Let’s get to it …
CrochetBlogger: PeaceJoyYarn is two of you working together, right? What’s the story behind getting an Etsy store started together?
JULIA: Well, we are sisters with no other siblings, so we have always been very close. We have both always loved creating things in different forms and have both dabbled in different creative hobbies. Laura began crocheting about 5 years ago and just really ran with it. After she made about 100 crocheted flowers for my wedding about a year and a half ago, started making blankets for family members, and came up with some really cool jewelry, I told her she needed to start selling it so that other people could enjoy her awesome creations! I am now in my third year of medical school and have a little more free time than I’ve had in the past couple of years, so we decided that if she would be the main artist for our shop, I would help with some of the beadwork and manage the business side of things. We set up shop at a craft fair back in July and did great so we decided to take PeaceJoyYarn to the Internet!
CrochetBlogger: Awesome. My sister and I have talked about launching an Etsy craft business together but it’s one of those things we haven’t actually taken steps towards yet.
So then how long have you been crocheting? Do you remember the first thing that you ever made?
LAURA: I first started crocheting about 4 or 5 years ago. The first thing I made was a scarf that I tried to teach myself from a book … I didn’t know how to count stitches, so although it was supposed to be a scarf, it really ended up looking more like a triangle because I kept missing the last stitch! When I met my husband, his mom taught me a lot about crocheting – including how to count stitches!
CrochetBlogger: I definitely understand that. It took me some trial and error, too, when I first started teaching myself to crochet from a book! You’ve certainly gotten the hang of it now, though! I especially like your necklace and earring sets. Where do you get your inspiration for the items that go into your Etsy store?
JULIA: Laura decided that she wanted to try to crochet some smaller things like jewelry about a year ago and quickly realized that yarn was not going to work for that. She started using embroidery thread to crochet different shapes like squares and circles and then creatively crafted them into jewelry!
As far as inspiration, we really like to make stuff that you could wear just about anywhere. Most of our jewelry is fairly versatile, which I think is essential for a good piece of jewelry! We basically just put shapes and colors together that we like, decide whether we think it would look better with or without embellishment, and then play with them until we figure out how they would look best.
CrochetBlogger: That sounds like a smart, organic, creative process. Do you have a favorite item that your store sells?
LAURA: We really love the earrings. We haven’t seen many others like them, and we like to make things that are unique to our shop. We have gotten a lot of compliments on the intricate crocheting in the earrings, and they have been our bestsellers so far. Also, they can be dressed up or worn casual, so they’re perfect for anything!
CrochetBlogger: What are your plans for expanding what you offer in your store over time? Will you stick with crochet? Add beadwork? Create new items or just new styles of existing items? In other words – what can we look forward to from PeaceJoyYarn in the next year?!
JULIA: Laura has just finished making some AWESOME fingerless gloves for the upcoming fall/winter months. You are going to love them! They are super cute and totally warm. We also have a bunch of new necklaces that are almost ready to be posted to the shop. In the future, we may try to do a little more detail work on the jewelry as far as beading and such, but we also really like the simplicity of the crocheted thread.
Overall, we will probably stick to jewelry and accessories for now. Laura is a hair stylist, so she really likes doing the headbands, flower clips, and other hair accessories. I’m sure she will come up with some new hair fad any day now! She also makes gorgeous blankets. There hasn’t seemed to be a huge demand up until now for those, but we may add some baby blankets just to see how it goes.
CrochetBlogger: Very cool. I’m definitely excited about those fingerless gloves – an accessory I’ve come to love recently!
For your thread crochet, do you have a favorite thread to crochet with? Do you get your thread locally or online?
LAURA: I mainly use cotton yarn purchased at a craft store. I like the Peaches n’ Cream brand because it is thick and holds up nicely for things like hair accessories and dishcloths. For the jewelry, I use simple embroidery thread. I have found that it is the easiest to work with and also to stiffen.
CrochetBlogger: Are there any crochet blogs or magazines that you read regularly?
LAURA: Yes! I read my crochet blogs every day. Here are my favorites: Ambassador Crochet, Affordable Wonders, Happy Together, Gingerbread Girl, Crochet Your Way, Tami’s Amis and Cther Creations, and Workplaycrash. Check them out!
CrochetBlogger: Great choices. I follow most of those although you did name one that I don’t know – Workplaycrash – so I’m going to go check that out ASAP!
Before we end this, what else would you like people to know about you, about Etsy and/or about crochet?
JULIA: We are pretty new to the Etsy world, but so far we love the community of artists online, and we really appreciate your support! We can’t wait to grow our business online and share our hobby with others! We would love any feedback from fellow bloggers, Etsy-ers, or crocheters about our shop and our products. Please check out our shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/PeaceJoyYarn and tell us what you think! Thanks so much for supporting us and wanting to know more about PeaceJoyYarn! Have a blessed day!