I’m a wife, a crafter & creator, a baker, a lover of both eating & cooking, connoisseur of written word, adorer of cats & critters, a Connecticut-dweller, & most important of all, a follower of Christ. I believe that I was created by a creative God to create creative things & crochet is my go-to method to reflect that!
My mother’s side of the family is tremendously artistic & crafty. It was my grandmother who taught me to crochet, as well as knit, in elementary school. She graciously let me make a mess of her yarn stash on repeated occasions & tried to help my tiny hands learn the art she knew so well. At the time, I found it frustrating because I aspired to make elaborate & colorful things, but couldn’t quite get past making an uneven & lumpy line of stitches that looked like nothing I was imagining. Due to this frustration & the fact that I thought “granny hobbies” weren’t “cool” I dropped any further aspirations of yarn crafts for a long while. But all throughout childhood I was obsessed with any craft item I could get my hands on. I often got up before 5am so I had time to do craft projects before school started. The desire to create has always driven me.
In high school, I picked knitting back up, & made a few small items, like hats & hand warmers. As Etsy was gaining popularity, I found myself browsing through yarn crafts & rediscovered the beauty of crochet. I had my Grammie Margie give me a brief refresher course & the obsession that is now my passion took root. Within 3 weeks, I had completed a twin-sized blanket made up of granny squares. I was sort of embarrassed about it, still holding to the “crochet is for old people” belief; but I didn’t stop. I wanted to make hats. I wanted to make toys. I wanted to make everything.
The first thing I ever made with out any instruction, entirely just winging it based on pictures I had seen or finished items I had liked, was a bright orange ear-flapped hat with braids & pom poms, & most importantly FOX EARS (foxes are my favorite animal, & that hat is the reason for the fox logo I use today). I was so proud of that hat. From that point on, I couldn’t stop crocheting.
A few years later I was married to my husband, JoJo, & at the time we were living on a military base in Washington state while he was finishing up his time serving in the Air Force. I was only working a few hours a week as a nanny & I had a lot of free time on my hands. Separated from my friends & family for the first time in my life, loneliness was creeping in strong & I needed a hobby to fill my time! I was constantly making trips to the yarn store & making items for myself & my family to wear & enjoy. It was my husband who suggested: “you know, you could make money selling these”…& so Bella’s Custom Crochets was born.
I dove head first to selling custom items on Facebook & participating in small craft fairs in my area. The items I was making were solely my own unique designs which I was creating freehand. The joy it brought me was so unlike anything I knew before. I was made to make stuff! I steered clear of patterns & found the greatest joy in being able to create custom orders for people with my own imagination. I loved being able to look at some pictures or an item in a store & being able to say: “yeah, I can make that for you!”
Flash forward again, our time with the Air Force ended & we moved back to our home state, bought a house & settled down. I took a job waitressing full-time, & put crocheting for profit on the backburner for a while. I think I even told JoJo he didn’t need to hold onto the domain name for the website he had bought me years prior because “I just didn’t see crochet as something more than a hobby.” He wisely ignored me, knew I was afraid of failing, & kept pushing for me to pursue my secret business dreams.
But in 2017, the passion flared up again. I began pouring all my free time outside of work into crocheting. By the time the year ended, I was fully ready to pursue owning a small business & all that came with it. With the start of 2018, I registered as a small business, poured all the time & effort I could into not only making items, but growing the Bella’s Custom Crochets brand, launching an etsy shop, & producing my first ever pattern.
So, thanks for being a part of my journey & supporting me as I pursue my dreams. Behind every handmade item is a passionate maker, & behind anything with the Bella’s Custom Crochets brand, you can know that there is one happy girl, joyfully pursuing her purpose, untangling yarn, hooks-a-flyin’ & spreading the coziness, one stitch at a time!