Name: Kelsea Dauth
Social: @coldmtncrochet, Etsy
Stay true to yourself, and stay true to your work, is a tip that Kelsea Dauth of Cold Mountain Crochet gives to every fiber artist. Being true to her passions and interest has served her business wonderfully. Even the name, Cold Mountain Crochet, exemplifies Kelsea's love for nature, the outdoors, and perfect pairing between the cold weather and the warmth that a cozy knit or crochet project can bring.
Inspired by her and her daughter, Aspen, adventures out in the woods, picking flowers and collecting rocks, Kelsea created these Mommy and Me Packs that are absolutely perfect for any parent and their little one. Continue on and stay inspired by Kelsea's fiber arts journey, and download you Mommy + Me Pack patter here.
1. When did you start crocheting? How did you learn?
I taught myself to crochet in 2014, with the simple desire to make myself all the things! I learned by watching YouTube videos. My first project was a beanie, and to my dismay it ended up all crooked and too small and just bad. I then gave up on beanies for some time and made a headband. Thanks to YouTube, and with great frustration, I practiced it over and over again until I actually got it right this time. Then I made my very own design! It was a crop top, which actually fit really well, but I made it with 100% acrylic yarn and MAN was that thing itchy and uncomfortable. I eventually wanted to expand my knowledge, so I spent a couple months learning how to read patterns, it really is a whole new language at first. Finally, I learned to knit, which was only 2 years ago! Thanks again to YouTube for that and with knowing how to crochet already I was able to pick it up fairly quickly!
2. What is your favorite memory involving crocheting?
Learning how to knit! Knitting was always so intimidating to me but I absolutely loved the quality of work you could create with it. The first thing I ever knitted was a braided headband. Yep, I jumped the gun and dove right into knitting cables. I had such great success with it! Since then I have been addicted and try to incorporate knitting as often as I can. Which, might I add, I once heard that it’s good for your hands to alternate between knit and crochet, it helps to break up the monotony of the same finger and wrist movements! SO, I encourage you all to learn both of them and switch it up from time to time.
3. What inspired you to create your own small business?
My partner Byron was a huge inspiration in starting Cold Mountain Crochet. He has always seen a motivated light in me, plus, I have always been an entrepreneur. So, with my legitimate addiction to the craft, why not make into something more? I began by selling headbands to friends. Things moved slowly for quite some time and it wasn’t until I became pregnant with my daughter Aspen that I finally put things into action. I spent over a year thinking of a name before deciding on something that was so obvious! Fun fact; MOSS was actually what I started calling my small business. A few months later Cold Mountain just came to me, and I was like YES! My love for the mountains and the outdoors combined with the warmth and comfort that fiber arts brings to us all.
4. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your fiber arts career?
I would have to say that it was been difficult to do what I love while also making it my own and unique to me, especially since there are so many other great knitters and crocheters out there! The resolution? Just staying true to you, it really is that simple. I stopped making things for the sole reason that others might enjoy it. I made the commitment to myself to only create items that I truly enjoy and love to make. By doing so I am able to create items that are unique, because they come from a deep passion within me and I feel that it is strongly reflected in my work. Function and quality have always been my top priority, with fashion coming in right behind to tidy it all up!
5. What tips do you have for other crafters who are looking to take their art to the next level?
Do your research, there are so many makers who create whole blogs on information about transforming your craft to a business. Don’t undermined your work and don’t sell yourself short. I also mean that literally, price your work adequately, you deserve it. Though it may take time, the right person will always be interested and respect you more for staying true to you. Which is my last tip, STAY TRUE TO YOU. I can’t tell you how many people this last winter asked if I could make them a bun beanie. The reality of it, I don’t wear them and honestly have no interest in them, so I kindly say that I can not at this time, but I can make you such and such! So, I guess I have one more word to give you, don’t be afraid to say no!
6. What’s next for you?
Oh boy, that’s a big question! I plan on releasing two patterns this year (mommy and me pack not included) which is huge for me personally. I also have several events and markets lined up for this spring, summer, and eventually winter, more than doubling what I did last year. It’s intimidating, I’ll admit, but doing these events gives me so much gratification. I absolutely love getting out there and chatting with people (I worked sales and retail before I learned to crochet). It hits a sweet spot to be amongst other makers and farmers, all of us representing what we are truly passionate about.