I got into crochet as a child when I spent summers with my grandmother, who exposed me to handmade crafts. Grandma was a retired teacher who spent her late years crocheting something for everyone. She crocheted afghans and I latch hooked rugs. We bought our yarn supplies. Others knew us as the craft hookers.
In no way did I know what career to pursue when entering college. According to grandma, books came first. I had no time for a social life. Dallas and Falcon Crest were my Friday night television friends.
I sewed clothes as a hobby. Little by little, patterns and shapes floated in my head. They dominated my study time in college (1989-1991). To me, crafts were not a secular business.
I worked various jobs after two years of college. I served five years in the United States Army as a cook. It taught me to work hard. We had to complete a production schedule after every meal. For example, we needed to know how many pounds per 100 of meat we needed to cook for at least 500 people.
Know how many people to feed and order food rations. Follow the recipe card. Inspectors visited our mess hall. In civilian terms, a cafeteria to make sure we followed standards. Make sure the food temperature met the correct standards. Dangerous temperatures reside at 40-140 degrees F. Most of all, make sure no one gets sick. Customer service is important. This lesson taught me the value of customer satisfaction. True grit works!
I served a 1-year tour in Korea as a specialist, the rank of E-4. I worked the job of a sergeant. This is equivalent to a boss in the civilian world. Bosses in general still have to answer to a higher boss. It taught me how to talk to people. I can't talk down to them any old way I want. Treat people with respect and communicate with them.
After serving in the US Army, I started two failed small businesses. The first one was a small home-based sewing business called “Custom Fitting Designs”. We lived in government living quarters. My husband still served in the army by this time. I created custom clothes for a small clientele. An officer’s wife brought me her fabric and sewing pattern for a formal dress to wear at an Officer´s Ball with her husband.
In my second business, I embroidered company logos for a lady who had a taco restaurant. Machine embroidery is good for customers who live in your local area. A late friend of mine, Alma, taught me how to machine embroider for fun. Alma and I worked together in a fabric store. I ordered from manufacturers and cut fabric in the home decorating department. Customers needed help choosing their drapery and upholstery colors for their living rooms.
I bought a 7570 Pfaff sewing/embroidery machine, the same as Alma’s machine. Buying the identical model to her made her teaching me easier. Digitize your designs. Alma was 57 years old when died from a massive heart attack. She suffered from diabetes and failing health.
Learn customer service and a career path will take shape. Learn from your customers. Welcome to the platform where we learned customers' likes and dislikes. Working in a fabric store had its perks and downsides. I received employee discounts on fabric. Fleece was in big demand, and I stashed my share underneath the cutting table. Work quickly and efficiently for customer satisfaction. The job paid a small income but I needed to make extra money.
One customer I waited on sold her finished Renaissance garments on eBay.” I can do that.” Craft selling sites on the Internet charged large fees. I sewed and sold crazy quilt square throw pillows on eBay. One night in 2006, I encountered a handmade selling venue called Etsy, the handmade version of eBay. The rest is history!