Hello friends! I am so excited to share this month’s edition of Hooked In because A) I made a new friend I want to introduce you to, and B) my new friend just interviewed me on her podcast!
If you are not familiar with my Hooked In series, here’s the deal: Every month, I post an interview with a crochet designer friend of mine. I want you to be able to meet some new crochet friends and not be only bombarded by my blog posts and design style, so this is a really fun way for me to promote my fellow designers and break up the monotony of you having to read only my posts!
So… let’s get to it!
Today, I am honored to sit down with Elizabeth (Biz) Mareno.
Welcome to the Straight Hooked Blog! I am so thrilled to have you here today. To start, what is the name of your business and where can we find you?
Bizzy Crochet and Design
How long have you been in business?
How long have you been a crocheter?
What made you decide to take the leap and start hooking for money?
I went full-time as a designer in 2020. I decided to take the leap because I needed to get out of the toxic office environment that I was in, and I wanted a career that brought me joy every day. It has been a lot of work, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What inspires you?
I have three major inspirations: Nature, My Family, and Nerd Culture (books, movies, etc)
What is your biggest struggle with your crochet business?
My biggest struggle is in the “business” side of things. I love to create, so there is no problem there. But I have had to get very purposeful about making sure that I have office time every day to work on the backside part of my business. All the tech things that I have had to learn has been very daunting some days. However, I’m the kind of person that doesn’t take “no” for an answer- and I will push myself out of my comfort zone and learn things so that I can do my job better. I can’t say that I love technology, but I don’t hate it. Honestly, where would any of us be in our businesses without it?
Why is crochet important to you?
My pet answer would be because it makes me happy and feel fulfilled. I get immense joy from taking a ball of string and creating something new with it. However, the older I get the more crochet has become a connection to those that have come before me and paved the way for me to succeed as a business owner in something like playing with string every day. From those that always believed in me, to those that couldn’t see my vision and I have had the chance to surprise with my success, it’s been an interesting journey so far.
What is your signature design?
Signature design, gosh that’s a big ask. I’m not sure that I have a single signature design. I think that I mostly known for my inspiration sampler blankets. I don’t like to just make “things”, I like to create a story. I’m a sucker for texture and I believe the more there is the better the design. I also love to work with abstract thoughts in my designs. I like to find stitches that resemble a character from a movie, or something in nature, and create a blanket involving those stitches. I don’t like to create patterns with obvious characters so you can look at it an recognize it right away. I want you to have to think about it a little bit. I find that those types of projects keep me the most interested, and many of the people who use my patterns have said the same. They love watching the story of the pattern play out as they create.
What is your favorite yarn to work with?
I have several favorite yarns. Worsted weight tends to be Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn. I also love their 100% WW cotton line as well. I have recently discovered that I adore DK yarn and I use a variety of those. Yarn Bee Sweet Delight offers a great color variety and a soft finish. Stylecraft Special DK is the same, but I have to order that. And Paintbox DK Cotton is one of my favorites for clothes.
What kind of hooks do you prefer?
I prefer Clover hooks with the rubber grips.
How are you changing the world with your crochet?
I feel like I’m changing the world with my crochet by offering patterns that challenge new crocheters to increase their skills, while also providing something fun and interesting for experienced crocheters. I provide a great deal of support for my patterns. It is my goal to have crocheters feel empowered to take on anything after working on one of my patterns.
If you could do anything without the constraints of time and money, what would it be?
I would host fiber arts retreats where people can come to get refreshed and make real life connections with people inside of the fiber arts community. I love to love on people.
What is your favorite crocheting snack and beverage?
My crochet snack life is pretty boring. I usually just drink water all day because I try to avoid sugar (it’s not very nice to me). And if I eat anything while I’m crocheting it has to be something that doesn’t leave a residue on my fingers. I don’t even use lotion because I can’t stand the thought of touching yarn with anything on my hands. I know, I ‘m odd. BUT! If residue weren’t a thing, my favorite snack is string cheese and fruit.
What are your hobbies? (Other than crocheting, of course!)
Wait, people do other things besides crochet? Back in the day I used to scrapbook and make jewelry. And last year I bought myself a macrame kit because I was determined to learn something new in 2022. It’s still sitting there unused. So, it’s now my 2023 project. I also knit when I need a break from crocheting. Other than that I enjoy world builder games on my PC and watching murder mystery documentaries.
Where do you love to crochet?
My favorite places to crochet are my office or my living room.
What do you like to watch (aka have on in the background) while you are crocheting?
My favorite things to have on in the background are either movies or murder mystery documentaries. My husband is convinced I’m taking notes.
Tell me about the exciting things you have coming up in your business:
In 2023, I have a free Spring CAL that will take place in April, and I’m working on a new set of blanket designs I will be releasing at a later date this year. I have also started a new Podcast this year promoting other fiber arts designers and yarn dyers and you can find all of my previous interviews on my YouTube channel under the LIVE tab. It is my intention to spread the message of “community over competition” within the fiber arts community.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share more about yourself and your business with us today! I have had a lot of fun getting to know you recently.
Did you hear that Elizabeth invited me to her interview series as well? Check out my interview, along with other friends of ours that have sat down for The Buzz with Bizzy Crochet (just click the photo to be magically transported to the interview):
Can’t get enough Hooked In? Check out these previous Hooked In interviews:
With Carroway Crochet
I know I keep teasing about new crochet designs, and I promise they are coming! Be sure to subscribe to the Straight Awesome Newsletter so you’ll be among the first to know when the next pattern arrives!
Until next time,