I am a fledgling crochet designer who is always looking for inspiration. When I came across KnottyLoop on Etsy, I had to mark it a favorite and visit OFTEN! Mona's designs are so fun and unique that you can't help but know that crochet is not an "old sport" anymore! In reading this interview I hope you get the feel of the warm person she is and when you visit her sites (because I know you will) you'll see how fun she is as well. Enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Mona Lisa Muhammad and I am a Crochet Designer. In 2006 I opened KottyLoop Creations in Bellwood, IL.
What inspires you to do your craft/artistry?
As a child I remember watching in amazement a time-lapsed motion picture of a flower developing from its budding stage to full bloom. I remember being transfixed at its development process. This is how I view the art of crochet. To see the detail within the fibers, to feel the texture of a skein of yarn, to manipulate the yarn until it evolves in a unique and wearable form of art gives me personal joy. I wish I could say that KnottyLoop Creation is the planned summation of whom I aspired to be but that would not be an honest answer. When my children were younger and money was tight, it was necessary for me to cut corners by making some of their winter gear in order to stay afloat.
In 2004, I blew the dust from my crochet needles and began making outfits for my family and friends. The response was overwhelming. The more items I made the more I found folks were lining up to get a skirt or dress of their own. In May of 2006, after many hours of discussion and research, KnottyLoop Creations was born.
I began crocheting from patterns…but it was rare and difficult for me to find patterns that I really loved. They had too much bulk, or they were old-fashioned in design. I woke up one morning well before sunrise with a very clear design in my head. I went to my collection of yarn, selected a yarn that I thought would work and 6 hours later the design was real. I shared this with my family and friends and they loved it. Since that morning, I still review articles and every once in awhile I’ll find a pattern that I really have to give a try…but most of my ideas come to me just as it did that morning.
How do you promote yourself?
Marketing has been the most challenging aspect of my business. Etsy has been a great resource for me. I’ve met some really great people here. I've relied mostly on word of mouth. I also utilize my website, and MySpace to generate interest by posting photos of my latest work. I love to participate in fashion shows, fairs, and anywhere I can think of to get a KnottyLoop Design shown.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to new artists/crafters?
Make the sacrifice, commit to the hard work, learn as much as you can about the business side of your craft, get out and see what others are doing in your field, subscribe to magazines that give you insights, utilize libraries and other additional free resources, understand who your customer is, understand your support system, then commit to even more work. Then if your heart is still in it and you believe in your work, take that step of faith, and go for it. OOOPPPPSSS!!!! You said one piece of advice..LOL!!!
How do you see yourself evolving in the next 5-10 years?
KnottyLoop Creations is still in its infant stage. I’m the President, CEO, Designer, production line and the chief dishwasher. I would very much like to spend more time on the design side (the ideas keep coming) and less time in the actual production. I truly believe that this will come with time.
What are some of your favorite things?
I am the mother of 4 and grandmother of 4 and I have 5 siblings each of whom have children. I love entertaining and enjoying my family and friends…I find nothing more relaxing than chit-chatting and laughing out loud while sitting on the floor and nibbling on some good eats. I’m crazy about anything sci-fi (thank you daddy for expanding my mind to the hidden possibilities and the future promises), I read anything Stephen King (he speaks to my dark side, I guess)…but let’s not forget YARN….there are so many new and wonderful yarns…spinners are getting more creative everyday. My collection (I prefer collection than stash) is truly that of a yarn addict
What is your favorite quote?
“Our very nature is to be alive, aware, creative and spectacularly effective. Let go of your doubts and allow your true nature to shine through” – Author unknown
Be sure to visit Mona at her following spots!