It's FRIDAY! This is a very special Friday, because today I am introducing my new series of interviews with my crochet friends. Every month, I will be featuring a different crocheter so you can get to know some new friends too! Honestly, one of my most favorite aspects of being in the crochet business is the community. I have never worked in an industry where there are no competitors, only encouragers. We all help one another to succeed, which is just so amazing. Imagine if a retail store like Best Buy actively encouraged you to shop at Walmart or Amazon. Or if a restaurant suggested you might want to eat at the place across the street next time, because their menu is exquisite. This just doesn't happen in any industry other than this. (Full disclosure, the only portion of the maker/designer community I am a part of is the crochet section, so it might be a crafting community thing or just fiber arts or crochet.) All I know is that the crochet business owner community is packed full of amazing people who are also talented and willing to help one another. This month, Pam Carr from Carroway Crochet has generously given us her time and answered tons of questions so you can learn all about her amazing life.
Hi, Pam, and welcome to the Straight Hooked blog! I am so excited to learn more about you. I have a whole barrage of questions, so we'll just get right to it:
What is the name of your business?
How long have you been in business?
I started my crochet business in January 2015 when I opened an Etsy Shop. It was called My Beautiful Life and I sold my crochet products as well as my art and there was no real clear vision at that time.
What made you decide to take the leap and start hooking for money?
I actually returned to crochet after many years when my Mum passed away in the September of 2014. I had just returned from eight months of solo travel around the world at the end of June, 2014, when I got word she was ill in England. I went to see her and in the September we lost her. While in the UK my ex-husband was diagnosed with cancer and when I came back to Canada he was seriously ill.
SO when they say that crochet is therapy, I can say I took full use of the therapeutic aspects of crochet as I was literally cocooned away in my room at my daughter while my four kids came to terms with losing their dad and I was grieving big time.
By January I had made so much stuff my friend suggested I open an Etsy shop and that was the start of it.
Later I changed the name of my shop to Carroway Crochet, to make its purpose clearer, and put my art in another shop. Carroway is a word I created. It is a combination of my Dad’s family name of Carr, and the end of my Mum’s maiden name, Galloway. I put them together to get Carroway and it rhymes with Crochet, which I thought was magic. Lol
How long have you been a crocheter?
I learnt to knit as a child and I taught myself to crochet when my Dad needed a lap blanket. I was far away in Canada and made him a special blanket to keep his legs warm. That was the first thing I crocheted. That would be over thirty years ago.
What inspires you?
I am constantly looking for new and fun ideas and stitches. I love exploring and creating funky and colourful things as well as some classic items. I am just excited and inspired by colour and the creative process.
What is your biggest struggle with your crochet business?
I just started my blog at the end of January and I think my biggest struggle is not having enough hours in the day to do what I want to get done.
What is unique about your business?
I think my business is kind of unique as I am an older member of the crochet community. I hope I can be an inspiration to other older women that they can act on their dreams and build a successful business in any way they choose.
Why is crochet important to you?
Crochet is fulfilling in so many ways. The act of crocheting soothes and calms me. It inspires and sparks my creativity as new ideas pour in while I work. It challenges me mentally as I grade sizes while writing a pattern. It nourishes my need for beauty with all the colours and textures that are the result of my hook working with the yarn. It is a blessing in my life.
What is your signature design?
The design I am known for on Mayne Island is my Freedom Beanie. It is the runaway best seller and I see them everywhere I go, even on the ferries travelling back and forth to the mainland.
As far as patterns go I would say my most popular designs are my bralettes and shorts.
What is your favorite yarn to work with?
I love Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick for winter hats, gloves etc. I also really like the Mandela light weight yarn with its gorgeous colours for summer items.
What kind of hooks do you prefer?
My favourite hooks are Boye hooks.
How are you changing the world with your crochet?
Since starting the blog I have really felt the opportunity to share my ideas and designs open up. I feel that through my blog I can really serve others in a way I was hoping to when I first started Carroway Crochet. It was a process getting to the point where I was confident to go full steam ahead with the blog. I have had numerous blogs before, but never really committed to them. They were for my kid’s entertainment, or concerned with education, or my music career, and more recently my art. Only the art has stuck and I do have a website for that still.
My Carroway Crochet blog was started five years after I opened my Etsy shop and the timing felt significant. Alongside the blog, I began sharing my patterns and my skills via my new youtube channel, thus helping others become confident crocheters.
I was ready to bring all the elements together and offer a full package to enthusiastic crochet addicts. Spreading joy through crochet creativity is my dream.
If you could do anything without the constraints of time and money, what would it be?
I would complete the last finishing touches to my natural home and get the landscaping done and the decks and balconies finished. Then if I truly had no constraints of time and money I would build a gorgeous studio creative space/gallery for my visual art and fibre art creations.
What is your favorite crocheting snack and beverage?
Tea is without a doubt my number one beverage. I don’t usually snack while I crochet but ginger biscuits go well with tea lol.
What are your hobbies? (Other than crocheting, of course!)
I am an abstract artist, and I have been a singer songwriter most of my life, as well as a children’s storyteller and performer. So being creative is my thing. I really am trying to focus on crochet right now lol.
Where do you love to crochet?
I crochet on my couch and in bed.
What do you like to watch (aka have on in the background) while you are crocheting?
I love British dramas and mysteries. Also movies that are mellow and have a good story. I am not into horror or violent stuff.
What exciting things are coming up in your business?
I am excited to have a poncho pattern being published on the Joy of Motion blog on June 30th, and another guest designer blog post for KnitzNPurlz on July 10th featuring her T Shirt Yarn in a cute kitchen set I designed with a french press cozy, coasters and a bowl. Then on August 11th I am blessed to be a guest blogger for É Claire Makery. This is a thrill for me.
In July I am hosting Hooked On Summer, a four week pattern giveaway with a summer theme. This will be my first crochet event of this kind and what I love is that it is supporting both crochet designers and makers. It is a win win and I hope to offer loads of free patterns as designers come on board and join in the fun. Feel free to contact me if you have a pattern or four you would like to have included in Hooked on Summer.
What else do you want people to know about you and your business?
I would love to let people know that I am all about community. I really have hopes of growing my facebook group to embrace fellow crocheters and meet whatever needs there are within the group.
Likewise, with my Carroway Crochet youtube channel. I just recently hit the milestone of over a hundred subscribers and the comments have been very heartening. Both are in the early stages right now so that growing my facebook group and my youtube channel are a focus for Carroway Crochet right now. Feel free to drop by and join me there, I’d love to meet you.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share about yourself and your business, Pam. Your house is so cool! I am so excited for everything you have coming up in your business over the next few months, and I am looking forward to participating in the Hooked on Summer giveaway coming up next month!
Want to get to know my friend Pam a bit better? Find her here:
Contact Pam: [email protected]
I really hope you enjoyed meeting Pam today. Every month, I will be featuring a new friend, so make sure you have subscribed to the Straight Awesome newsletter and stay in the know! (Don't worry, I rarely ever mail more than once a week, and if I do, its because I have something really awesome to share with you)
Next month, I will be featuring Helen Wilkinson from Sunflower Cottage Crochet, and she will be introducing a really fun crochet challenge for us!
Next week, I will have a brand new FREE pattern to share with you as well. My testers absolutely loved the pattern, and I am sure you will too.
Until next time,