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In my first interview with the best sellers on Etsy, I will talk with one of my personal favorite crochet pattern designers. Her name is Joni Memmott, and she is from Marana (Arizona, United States). She will share her Etsy success story with me.
Joni is camera shy, that is why we agreed to do a written interview. I am delighted that we did, because the interview is so inspiring, I am really happy I can share it.
The name of Joni’s stunning shop is BriAbbyHMA – BriAbby Designs. There you can find 60 fascinating patterns, from hats, blankets, loveys, to animals. She even has a few of them in 5 different languages. I love all of her designs. I think I have practically every one of them in my favorites, and I have bought quite a few. I had a tough time deciding which pictures to post, they are all so stunning.
She is so amazing that she even prepared a DISCOUNT CODE for my readers. The code is: NICETOMEETYA It is 20% off ALL PATTERNS, for entire week (until October 12th at midnight (Mountain Standard Time)!
Joni Memmott is a mother of three beautiful children, as you can see for yourself by looking around her shop. Her daughter Brianna is 7 years old and is her inspiration for many of the patterns she creates. She is the reason Joni learned to crochet and the reason her business has the name it does (her name is Brianna Abigail – Briabby).
How did it all begin? Tell us your story.
Joni: My baby’s eczema inspired me to start my business. She was so precious and perfect, but her illness caused her to have terrible sores on her body, including her beautiful face. We went to multiple doctors and tried various medications. One of these medications had to be applied to her scalp. Shortly after starting on it, her hair began falling out; not just a few strands here and there, but chunks of hair leaving little bald patches on her already sore head. It broke my heart to see my adorable little baby with scabs on her face and chunks of hair missing. Her hair would grow back, but I decided to buy her a couple of cute hats in the meantime.
I hopped on the internet and started looking around. I found some hats that I fell in love with, but encountered two dilemmas. The first: they were crochet hats… and handmade goods can be expensive! (At least by my standards because I’m pretty cheap). My husband was still in school, so buying expensive hats was not an option. But I was committed by this point and wasn’t going to let this slow me down. I then had a stroke of genius. Why don’t I just crochet my own? Enter dilemma number two: I didn’t know how to crochet and was absolutely terrible at all things crafty. I’m not one to give up easily though, so challenge accepted!
I borrowed a crochet hook and bought some crochet thread (this shows how confused I was about the whole thing because I definitely should have bought yarn). A few YouTube videos later I had the basics down. Not too shabby. Then I found the perfect pattern and it was time to get down to business. Crocheting came so naturally to me and I think it’s safe to say I rocked it! (Straight forward bragging is better than the “humble brag” right?) Of course, my baby rocked that hat big time too. Come to find out, crochet is both relaxing and surprisingly fun. I showed my work to my sister, who is an amazing web designer, and she suggested I try selling them. She even offered to make me my own website. As a stay-at-home mom with 2 babies (I had both a 1-year old and a 2-year old) and a husband in school, I thought this was the perfect opportunity.
I bought a few of the best hat patterns I could find, stocked up on some yarn, and picked a name for my new little business: BriAbby. I named it after my sweet daughter Brianna Abigail who is my inspiration. She also just happens to be my biggest cheerleader. There are very few things more satisfying than finishing a project and having her squeal with delight and gush over how cute it is. I am also very lucky that she is so happy and willing to model my products any time (it also helps that she is one of the most beautiful girls in the whole world).
As my business grew I started buying more and more patterns and came to a terrible realization. Great pictures of great designs do not always equal great patterns. After wasting time and money on patterns that were vague and riddled with mistakes, I decided I was going to give pattern designing a whirl. My goal was to create unique designs with simple, yet detailed, instructions. That way even people like me, who started out with zero knowledge and nothing but determination and YouTube, could make incredible things. My first pattern was my unicorn hat and it was a great success! I had people sending me messages thanking me and telling me that mine was the first pattern they had ever attempted. They were so happy with their finished masterpieces and I loved that I had a part in that. I have now designed about 70 patterns and plan to do hundreds more!
A couple of years after I designed my first pattern, my unicorn patterns went viral. I could not believe what was happening to me! I’m just your average mommy, doing what I love and trying to make a few bucks off of it to help support our family. I have now been designing for about 6 years and it has completely changed our family’s life. My husband recently finished medical school, so I was the sole provider for our family for a long time. I have been able to earn enough to support the five of us (as long as we’re not counting tuition because let’s be honest, med school is outrageously expensive) and live comfortably while I stay home and take care of my 3 beautiful children. At the same time I get to make crazy cute things for my kids that make them happy. It’s amazing!
What inspires you?
Joni: My children are my inspiration. I love to make things that make them happy (and
make my little girl squeal) and love coming up with designs that make them even cuter (or “cooler” because my oldest is about to turn 9 and he’d rather look cool than cute!)
How does your every day look like?
Joni: I spend a good part of my day taking care of my kids, but try to fit in some crochet every day (usually after they go to bed I will turn on a favorite show and whip out my yarn). My youngest will start school in 2 years and I am sure I will get a lot more designing done when that happens!
What is your favorite yarn?
Joni: I absolutely love Lion Brand Heartland yarn. It is soft, vibrant and has two complimentary colors (or shades of the same color) beautifully mixed in together. It’s a little thinner than I prefer, but I
try to work it into as many projects as possible!
I am so grateful that Joni took time from her busy schedule to talk to me. Her story is so inspiring. I am thrilled that I got to know her and that I can introduce her on my blog.
You can Pin this interview for later here:
Thank you for reading my blog. Here is a DISCOUNT CODE again NICETOMEETYA. With this coupon, you will get 20% off ALL PATTERNS, for entire week (until October 12th at midnight (Mountain Standard Time)!
I would love to know what BriAbbyHMA pattern is your favorite? Please, tell me in the comments below.
Enjoy crocheting ( I am sure you have a lot of new projects on your to-do list now. I know I do.)
Have a beautiful day.