Today’s interview is pretty awesome! Stephanie from Hookaholics seems to do it all, she crochets, she knits, she writes patterns AND she spins her own yarn! Lets get started!
HI! I’m Stephanie, a 30-something wife and work-at-home mom to five kids aged 2 – 9. We live in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains right outside of Scranton, PA. I started crocheting when my son was a baby. My friends urged me to open an Etsy shop after my second daughter was born. After baby number 4 arrived, I decided to quit my day job and focus on my crochet business. I eventually started to write out some of my patterns and offer them for sale. Most recently, I’ve taken up spinning my own yarn. I love taking fiber and turning it into something amazing. Spinning is so soothing, almost meditative.
What is a typical day in your life?
Life with five kids is CRAZY. Life with five kids and three Etsy shops is INSANITY, but I love, love, LOVE being busy. My typical day starts bright and early, getting kids dressed fed and the two oldest out the door for school. Once that settles down, I answer emails and re-list sold orders. I hang out with the little ones and then after lunch, they take a nap and I get to work! The hook or needles or spinning wheel comes out and I get down to business. I package up orders and hand them off to my husband to take to the post office while I start putting together dinner. The big kids get home and we sit down for dinner and homework and then we rush off to taekwondo. Then it’s back home for baths and bedtime. Once everyone is tucked in, I settle down with my yarn again and off I go! I do my best work after the kids are in bed. Did I mention the copious amounts of coffee I’m drinking all day?!
Where do you get most of your work done?
I have a dedicated dyeing studio in our detached garage. My husband was kind enough to sacrifice a corner of it after he saw the potential mess dye could make in the kitchen. I also have a craft room upstairs but that serves mostly as a yarn and fiber storage area. Honestly, the majority of my work happens from the couch. My guilty pleasure is crocheting or spinning while catching up on episodes of the Maury show.
What is your favorite thing about running your own business?
I love the freedom to create what I want, when I want and how I want. There’s an immense amount of satisfaction that comes from being able to stay home with my kids while also contributing to the family income.
What is the hardest thing for you in running your business?
I am my own worst boss and critic. Any “free” time I have is spent nurturing new ideas, testing out new dye recipes, spinning a funky yarn, or letting my imagination run wild with my crochet hook. It never stops.
What surprised you the most when you started your business?
Honestly? The biggest surprise has been how successful it’s been. I never would have dreamed that I could quit my job and make money doing what I love.
What advice would you give to other business owners out there?
Get fabulous photos of your products. I love working with photographers for pictures. They give your shop a much more polished and professional look. I struggle with photographing my own items, but I’m getting there.
I’ve heard the expression “Follow your Dreams”. Don’t follow them. Chase them. Stalk them. Hunt them down, throw them to the ground, hog tie them and make them yours. Be prepared for a struggle. I promise it’s worth it.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. I’ve had ideas pop into my head at the strangest and most random times. I keep a list on my phone and jot down new ideas as they come to me. When I’m dyeing wool to spin, I find inspiration from the colors of the season I’m in. And Pinterest has some fabulous boards with color palettes.
What do you do when you’re NOT working?
When I’m not working, I’m juggling the needs of three kids. My husband and I and our three oldest kids all practice taekwondo. Sparring with my husband is better than marriage counseling. I love that we all have a common sport that we can all talk about and relate to, and it’s much easier to shuttle everyone to the same place rather than split up for dance/hockey/t-ball, etc.
What did you want to be when you were little and do you think you ever will be?
I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up, but I’m having a blast right now!
If you were invisible, where would you go?
If I were invisible, I’d follow my kids to school and see if they really do act like the angels that they claim to be.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I said before I was married that I never wanted kids.
I’d like to thank Stephanie for a very entertaining interview, and some of the best business advice yet!
Do you know a business I should consider interviewing for an upcoming Small Business Spotlight? Leave a comment or email me with a link to their information and let me know! Wish I would have asked a different question? I will be changing up some of the questions in the future, so if you have something in particular you would like to know be sure to let me know!
Thanks everyone, Happy Tuesday!