She was so precious and perfect, but her illness caused her to have terrible sores on her body, including her little angel 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 beautiful 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 60 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 5 years and it has completely changed our family’s life. My husband is in medical school, so I am the sole provider for our family. 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!
If you’d like to check out all of my designs, you can visit my website or Etsy shop. If you see any of my designs and think to yourself, “I must have that!” but aren’t up for attempting to crochet it yourself, then I think it’s time to hit up grandma or that awesome crochet friend who owes you a favor. If all else fails, check out the vendors album on my Facebook page where you can find many crocheters anxious to make something for you. Thanks for reading my story!