NAME: RESHMA ALFUS
Reshma Alfus was a crocheter long before she became a knitter. After picking up knitting in 2016, she became inspired to start her own small business, learning the trials and tribulations of business, with each and every stitch of her needles.
Living in the moment is something that Reshma is focusing on for this year - oh, and starting her very own fiber jewelry line! Using the first yarn Darn Good Yarn ever sold, Reshma created this stunning Sari Not Sari Clutch pattern!
1. When did you start crocheting? How did you learn?
I learned crocheting from my mom over 20 years ago. I watched my mom crochet and learned the skill as she made intricate patterns come to life. I finally taught myself how to knit in early 2016 and have been addicted ever since.
2. What is your favorite memory involving crocheting?
One of my favorite memories is actually of my mom crocheting. I have no idea how old I was but I remember watching her make a stuffed pillow doll for me. I had this Barbie doll that kind of fell apart and my mom decided to fix her up by crocheting this really neat pillow for her body and she attaching the head, arms, and legs to the pillow. It wound up being one of my favorite “stuffed” toys. Sounds kind of creepy when you think about it, Barbie limbs attached to a pillow, but it was really cute! But I have lots of memories of her crocheting all sorts of things like dresses for my dolls and sweaters for me. I was just in awe all the time that she could create these amazing pieces with yarn.
3. What inspired you to create your own small business?
I have this philosophy that we should be doing what we enjoy. We spend so much of our time at work and I think that life is too short to be stuck at a job or have a career we don’t enjoy. I was at a job I absolutely hated and that’s when I decided enough was enough and it was time for me to start my own business doing what I love; working with fiber!
4. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your fiber arts career?
Managing time. I run my entire business from home. I’m also a stay at home mom so finding time to get everything done is always a challenge. There’s no dedicated “work time”. Each day varies and going from a 9-5 type job to a totally unstructured work environment takes some getting used to. I set boundaries and make lists otherwise I don’t think anything would get done.
5. What tips do you have for other crafters who are looking to take their art to the next level?
JUST START! I know, I know, easier said than done, right? But seriously, I think we always find ways to talk ourselves out of anything that is even slightly scary or new for us. But the things that are scary or make us nervous are always the best things. Take that terrifying first step. Even if it’s a little step, it’s still a step in the right direction and you’re moving forward. It might not be perfect in the beginning, there
will be lots of questions and you’ll end up making lots of changes, but that’s just part of the experience. If you’re looking to write your own pattern, get that notebook and a pen and start writing. My patterns always start off as a jumbled, illegible mess. They’re just scribbles in my little idea notepad and don’t resemble anything approaching professional. But making it perfect on your first go isn’t the point. If you’re looking to start your own business JUST DO IT! When I was thinking about starting Hello Lavender my main concern was ‘Why would anyone want to buy knitwear from me when there are tons of other people selling knitwear’? I had to remind myself that there are hundreds of jewelry designers, hundreds of fashion designers, hundreds of footwear designers, etc. but that doesn’t stop us from buying multiple pieces of jewelry from different designers, or multiple pairs of jeans, boots, sweaters…I think you get the point! There are tons of people selling knitwear but I bring my own point of view and sense of style to my pieces. Don’t be afraid to change as you go, either. Within a year of having my business I’ve already had 2 different logos and I’m on my 2nd website. Don’t worry about having it all figured out, because you won’t. You learn as you go!
6. What’s next for you?
Oh boy! Lots of stuff. But I’m also trying to enjoy being in the moment more. I feel like as business owners we’re always looking at what’s next and what new thing can I launch but we forget to enjoy the now. I’m trying to be more present and enjoy every stage of this business. Growth will happen, new items will be created, I feel like that’s just a natural part of owning a creative business. But since you asked…I’m currently working on a new fiber jewelry line that I’m really excited for!!!