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This week on ACCROchet I’m offering you an interview with Julie King, creator of Gleeful Things. On Gleeful Things you’ll find awesome patterns for hats, accessories & amigurumi, as well as a shop to get these same items custom-made for you by Julie.
Julie lives in California and seems to spend her days being happy and bringing Gleeful Things to life : I love the shop & blog.
I tested a hat pattern for Julie this winter, and Miss ACCROchet and I still maintain it is one of our favorite hats to wear =) I also recently bought another pattern and I’m on my third hat. It’s super exciting interviewing a designer I’m in awe of. =)
I won’t make you wait any longer… here is the interview.
1. What made you start on the Gleeful Things adventure? Why hats?
Gleeful Things came about as the result of an obsession I had with My Little Ponies. That’s a weird connection to make so I should explain!
Several years ago, I was really into collecting My Little Ponies. A big hobby amongst collectors is customizing them (take the old messed up ponies and give them new hair, paint them, and make them an entirely different pony). I was never much good at that so I decided that I would make custom plush ponies. They were a huge hit and that led to me making lots of other plushies of my own design. Around that time, I learned how to crochet and amigurumi was one of the first things that I really took an interest in crocheting. One of my very first amigurumis was a My Little Pony named Moondancer, that I made from a vintage donkey pattern. It wasn’t long before I started designing my own amigurumi patterns to sell in my Etsy shop (RIP). Eventually, I started making hats just because I was wanting some to wear. I never had the intention of selling anything aside from amigurumi patterns but figured I may as well sell the hat patterns since I’d already written them for myself. Couldn’t hurt, right? To my surprise, the hat patterns sold way better than amigurumi! So I started focusing more on hats and now I’m working on bags and other wearables as well.
2. Is there a hat or pattern you’re particularly proud of?
I’m not really proud of a specific hat any more than the rest, but the Pineapple Coconut Slouchy is my personal favorite to wear. I’ve made it in several different colors, always with the intention of selling them, and it never happens. They always end up on my head! It’s just a good style and weight year round. I look forward to making myself more Pinecone Slouchy Hats when it gets cooler. It’s too warm for Summer though!
3. Other than crochet, what other creative avenues do you pursue?
I love to sew and make jewelry! I’m on a pretty tight budget right now since I’ve decided to make designing crochet patterns my full time job, so since I don’t have much money to spend on clothes or jewelry, I’ve been trying to make more of my own. So whenever I have a little extra money, I’ll buy some fabric or beads! I usually just make simple dresses or skirts and beaded or macrame bracelets. I also still make plushies from time to time!
4. Could you recommend ONE favorite handmade shop (ideally something that’s online)?
Picking only one is so hard! But I’ll say Curious Little Bird. Melanie makes awesome plush monsters! 🙂
ACCROchet giggled here.
5. And give us some advice : share one MUST and/or one MUST NOT do for either crocheters, or shop owners.
Must: Be original. There are a lot of people who make the same things and the best way to get noticed is to find a way to stand out. Make sure there’s something unique about your products or try to appeal to a specific crowd.
Must not: Take shitty photos. Making your photos the best they can be makes such a huge difference when selling online. Find a pretty fabric to use as a backdrop, use natural light (not a flash), learn your camera’s settings (this is actually fun!), learn & use Photoshop or GIMP to enhance your photos. It’ll make such a difference! 🙂
Thanks, this was fun!
You probably want to find out more. Find Julie at these internet haunts!
Pattern Shop : http://www.ravelry.com/designers/julie-king
Hat Shop : http://www.gleefulthings.com/shop/index.html
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/GleefulThings