Friday, September 22, 2017

It started with a Poncho in Goa

 I like to do various crafts. You can call me craft crazy if you meet me in person.  I mostly do crochet and knit.  I used to do cross-stitching during my in elementary and high school years.
one of my unfinish cross stitch projects 

I was able to make money already out of those back then. I sell my cross-stitch pieces  from 3k+ (PHP). I somewhat lost touch of crochet and knit when I was working in Philippines.  Then when i worked abroad in Singapore, I somehow remembered to just pick it up again when I learned that there are a lot of craft shops around singapore. Well, I didn't really know that one til after 2 years of working there.  So was it a good or bad thing for me? Both.  Bad, I wasn't able to learn that earlier but good because I would have hoarded already so much craft materials in those 2 years.

Sew Lip shop in jurong point shopping center
Coming from work on weekends sometimes we go to this shopping center, and this shop is there just beside Precious Moments.  I am crazy for both yarns and those Precious moments items, especially the figurines. This shop sells cross-stitch threads and accessories too, aside from European brand yarns that they carry.  They also have cheap yarns like from this project that I have which has been sitting unworked and being a work in progress for years! The thread brand is venus and it is in acrylic.

 I really didn't have a lot of time to relearn crochet and knit during my working years there since I am obviously in the office.  It was even a struggle for me to wake up in the morning to go to work when I started to sleep late just to crochet or knit for 2 hours in the night time, just before sleeping.  Those days are over for me.

Office work was like prison to me.  The pressure of deadlines. Even when it was time for me to sleep I dream of work.  That I thought i was really feeling a lot of stress from work.

Now I am over 2 years of living in Goa, India.  To described it, I maybe still financially stress at times but comparing to having a professional life before that I also get a lot of mental stress,  I am better off here at this moment.  I actually have a choice to go to the office, the same office where my husband works.  But then I told him, I would prefer to stay at home and do something else than go to work and travel for a total of 3 hours.

Crafting as a profession started then when I came to Goa.  I really didn't expect such support from local people around the neighboring villages.  I remembered my sister in law just introduce me to her gym trainor just by telling her I make crochet garments.  Then this girl just told me to make a poncho for her.
orange poncho - my first custom order 
 In a local community like here, word of mouth as a form of marketing is still very effective.  Local people around here aren't really that active on social media compared maybe to places where more people have access to  the internet. Most of my customers for handmade items are friends of my family/friends.  A few contact me on social media in facebook or instagram (@knitwerksandcrafts), where I'm most active.  And most of my customers weren't really my friends til they want me to make something for them.  All of them are Indians too, I never had a single filipino friend had me do something handmade for them.  Indians like lace and almost anything that is handmade from home decorations, doilies, baby clothing, garments, etc.

Selling handmade in Goa isn't difficult.  Sometimes some friends of my mother in law come to the house and they see me crocheting or knitting something.  Most, will immediately say can you make for me or for somebody else in the family like a daughter or daughter in law.  But garments are just not that fast to get done.  Since I came to Goa, I have been crocheting garments and the local people loved it.  It is difficult to tell them no that I can't take more orders if I got several on que. Then I have to tell them that I will let them know once I'm free.  But the most difficult thing that gives me pressure when doing handmade garments is that goans always like something new to wear for special occasions birthdays, anniversaries, fiest, christmas, new year, easter, etc.  Maybe I'm a slow crocheter or knitter?  I always tell that at least 1 month's time would be enough for me to make a top.

I will be trying to make small crochet and knit items that could be purchase right away like baby booties, baby clothing and accessories.  But for now, Goa is my happy place.  It gave me this opportunity to make handmade garments for people who not just appreciate by saying it is nice, but would actually wear them.

 kid's dress - 3 year old

lacy wave top

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2016 Projects

So, it has almost been 2 years now of staying in Goa, India.  This is how much I have done for 2016 and custom made orders keep on coming for me.  It is really a different world here when it comes to handmade items and tailored clothings.

December is a wedding season in Goa.  Most of, are outdoor weddings.  Maybe because it is winter and the cool and chilly nights are just a good time to celebrate. It is during this time of the year too that the fabric shops around Margao are so full of people, buying materials for new dresses they want to wear for weddings, christmas or any other occasion they are attending.  Around the mid or last week of November, we are already getting wedding invitations.  Every week a wedding is there until the 2nd week of January!

 A lot of dancing during a Goan wedding.  This wedding was of a goan bride and american groom.

 Looking in my ravelry account, i have done quite a lot of custom orders.  Most of it are garments.  3 tablecloths for a bride who is coming to live with her in laws.  I thought at first that this tablecloths are for decorating while the wedding is coming only recently i learned that these are just among the things that the bride takes with her in her "new home".  Two of my projects were personal ones, the stripes pink/maroon cardigan and the yellow doily, which I put on the center table of our living room.

Pattern: Holiday pineapples by Agnes Russell
Decorated this in our living room

I still have a long list of custom orders for 2017, where most are pending from previous year.  I hope to clear them by first quarter of this year. So that I can get started with a personal project, which is a crochet dress for myself, for my sis in laws upcoming weddings by the end of the year.