"One of the biggest rewards of being an independent publisher is that I get to choose what I put out there.
I get to choose the voice that I use. I get to choose the audience that Iâ€™m speaking to. Iâ€™m able to say, I am Toni. This is the content that you can expect from me on TL Yarn Crafts, and the people who are here for it are here for it consistently.
Everybody has a different reason why they crochet. Some people do it for their own therapy. Some people do it as an escape from the everyday life and the grind. People want to feel productive and creative, and they want to feel like theyâ€™ve learned something â€” they want to have that outlet. And I love to be that person who opens that door and says, here are all the things that you can do, and you can start with just one thing and go to the next and go to the next, at your own pace and in your own time.
My mom taught me how to crochet when I was 13 years old, over the summer break. I was driving her crazy, and she was like, okay, I need to figure out something for you to do. And she put a granny square in my hand, which is a pretty classic way to start crochet, and off I went. But I let it go to the wayside and only picked it back up in 2010, right after I graduated from college in the middle of a recession and was having trouble finding my footing. I looked to craft to be a grounding thing, to say, well, if everything else is just all over the place, this is going to be the thing that I can control. This is what I can focus on so that I can kind of fill my cup and fill my energy up off of this. And now I can imagine that there are people in my community who are experiencing a lot of the same things, and theyâ€™re looking to craft to be that safety net for them.
My journey from maker to educator is pretty much a straight line. I started selling things at craft shows, and eventually, I designed my first product. I put it up on social media and started selling the pattern. Eventually, it got to a point where people wanted to dive deeper with me and better understand my techniques. They wanted to understand my inspiration. They wanted to understand how I got from concept to that final creation.
And really, thatâ€™s the maker community. Itâ€™s us sharing what weâ€™re working on, asking questions, encouraging each other, teaching each other, learning from each other. Itâ€™s that sense that weâ€™re not creating in a vacuum; we can reach out and touch somebody else that we might never meet in person.”