Name: Nikki Loud
Click here to visit Nikki's Etsy shop!
When you scroll through the Instagram or Etsy shop of Nikki Loud of @nightowlknots, you would never guess that she began to crochet 2 years ago.With a color palette full of cool blues, purples, pinks and neutrals, each one of her designs is crafted with love, passion, and a passion for discovery.
Learn more about Nikki below, and download her charming Bow Earwarmer Pattern, here
When did you start crocheting?
I began crocheting 2 years ago innocently enough; after years of admiring the beautiful things that my own Aunt would create and coming across a few patterns that really intrigued me I decided I wanted to try my hand at crocheting. So off to my local craft store I went to purchase my first starter kit and skein of yarn to get going because I was pumped.
How did you learn?
I was so excited and wanted to get started right away, so I began by scouring my little book that my starter kit came with, but found that I was having a hard time understanding the instruction/patterns because I am a visual learner.
So I took to YouTube to have others show me how to get started!
Once I had a handle on the initial stitches I pressed on and utilized a bunch of the patterns provided in the book and if I got stuck I would continue to watch videos for each of the stitches until it all just began to click and I was off and running with a brand new hobby.
What is your favorite memory involving crochet?
There are so many wonderful memories involving crochet in these past 2 years, but my most favorite was when I was given the opportunity to sell my items in our local ski shop. It finally made my passion for crochet come alive; to see my own creations displayed for others to purchase in a store was absolutely the most rewarding and exciting opportunity. It is such a great feeling to have my own local community believe in my work and want to display those items for others because they know how beautiful they are and how much others will want them for themselves.
What inspired you to create your own small business?
Creating this small business happened innocently enough. I never really thought that I had an entrepreneurial mind set, but I do and it is definitely something I have always had, but it never truly presented itself until I began crocheting.
Having others tell me how much they admired my work and my dedication to learning and perfecting my creations gave me the inspiration and desire to do something for myself that made me truly happy and I just had to take their word for it and start my own business with my creations. Having a place like Etsy and now Darn Good Yarn to sell your work is just a wonderful thing for us small businesses, that otherwise would have a hard time reaching larger groups of people.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your fiber arts career?
The biggest challenge I have faced so far is putting myself out there. I am not one of those people that likes to be in front of the camera all that often or be one to approach someone else regarding my work.
It has been a long road, but I have definitely made big strides in coming out of my cozy little introverted bubble to speak to others and also reach out on social media as well. I am always so fearful of the unknown and also failure, so it is something I am constantly working to gain confidence in.
Having moved to a new town last May and having to put myself out there and having others be so receptive to me and then additionally to my work, has been the extra boost of confidence that I needed.
What tips do you have for other crafters who are looking to take their art to the next level?
Not to sound like a Nike ad, but just do it! It is scary, but once you put yourself out there and do that thing you are afraid to do or intimidated by, it won’t anymore because you did it.
It is almost like anything new in your life, it is always unfamiliar and undoubtedly uncomfortable, but if you didn’t do it, you wouldn’t be the person you are today. It is always good to learn something new and be uncomfortable before you are comfortable.
You can’t grow without doing new things and you never know if that new thing is something you were destined to have as part of you.
What are your goals for 2018?
2018 is so new and I am so excited about all the possibilities that it has for this little business of mine. I have enjoyed all that this year has brought about for me already, so if I can continue to design and create, maybe do a few craft shows and continue to work with some local shops to have my items displayed in their stores, it will be a great year.
My word for 2018 is simple. I want this word to resonate within this business as much as other areas of my life and plan to continue to work towards creating new designs/creations, learn lots about small business and have fun with my family and friends.
Follow us @darngoodyarn and Nikki @nightowlknots to stay in touch!