We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Zimmerman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
It really starts with doing something out of love and passion. I have always been into art and expressing myself creatively. In college I majored in Visual Arts and then worked professionally as a graphic designer for many years. When my oldest son was born, I started crafting with him almost daily and when my second son was born I began crocheting outfits and toys for my boys. My passion for creating only intensified with the birth of our daughter, seven years ago. Crocheting was something that started out as a hobby but then I began to develop a love of pattern writing, designing, and teaching. When I started my blog Repeat Crafter Me, I had two goals: The first one was to share all of the crafts and crochet projects I was doing at home. I wanted to give others tutorials and techniques so they could re-create what I was making; bringing creativity and joy into their own homes. Secondly, I wanted to learn how to create a website and grow a brand [and business]. Fortunately, this has become much larger than I ever imagined. Being both a Crochet Designer and Blogger, my focus was really in a niche. The truth is, I started out by posting a lot of craft tutorials, crochet projects, and crockpot recipes. Eventually, ideas for crockpot cooking and crafting reached a limit for me; at least in comparison to the opportunities I saw with crocheting. Crocheting now dominates my focus. Truthfully, ideas for coming up with new designs, coupled with new and exciting partnerships with yarn companies have been intensified by the growing popularity of yarn arts. Especially during the current COVID pandemic, many are looking for things they can do at home to keep busy. Crocheting and yarn crafts are fun for all ages! It keeps your hands and minds busy and gives you a real satisfaction of creating something unique and useful. At the end of the day I love what I do. In fact, my struggle these days is more centered around how do I ensure that I allocate enough time to do enough projects I feel passionate about instead of doing projects to meet deadlines. The possibilities that come with social media have been great, but also have presented a challenge in protecting my brand in the process. Ultimately one of my chief challenges is how can I reach a wider audience but still stay personally connected to the fabulous crochet community that I adore!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being a yarn artist and, more specifically, a crochet designer has been incredibly fun and rewarding. I enjoy creating cute and seasonal designs from easy stitches and techniques. When I started as a crocheting almost 10 years ago, I wasn’t sure where I was going to take my blog but I knew I wanted to provide patterns and tutorials for free and that element of teaching has continued over the years, expanding to instructional books and videos. Slowly my craft blog (that started as a hobby) turned into a fulltime business. I didn’t know much about running a business so I’ve learned a lot along the way. I’ve been blessed with a lot of support from family, friends, fellow crocheters, yarn companies, and nationwide craft stores. One of the most rewarding parts of being a published crochet designer is seeing others recreate my crochet projects (like hats, scarves, stuffed animals) using my patterns. They can then sell their finished items at craft shows and small online store fronts, essentially creating their own small businesses!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We are blessed to live in such an action packed area. There is so much to do and see in Southern California. Of course Disneyland is at the top of my list. Fun for kids and adults! And yes, I and have crocheted Minnie and Mickey Mouse Ears for all to wear! My family and I are huge sports fans. We love attending football, baseball, and hockey games. I am originally from Seattle so whenever the Rams play the Seahawks or the Angels play the Mariners, we are there! Once a year there is a fun baseball game event called Stitch N Pitch Night where all the fiber arts enthusiasts sit in the stands and knit, crochet, and stitch! We can’t forget about visiting the beaches, eating at incredible restaurants, and checking out all the great places to shop!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My kids are the inspiration behind so many of my designs and creative ideas. My husband has been incredibly encouraging since the day I came up with the idea to start a crochet/craft blog. And the crochet community along with many fellow mompreneurs and blogging buddies have all given me so much support and motivation. Their positive comments, feedback, and guidance keep me going!
Other: Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/repeatcrafterme
Picture of me holding alligator and zebra plushies: Photo Credit: Melissa DeMers Photography