Saturday, January 31, 2015

Interview with Marie Segares...Undergrounder Crafter and Podcaster Extraordinaire!

Happy weekend to you lovelies!  I have a special guest on Fiber Flux today, Marie Segares!  Marie is someone I have been a fan of for quite some time (not sure if she knows this or not!) and is the Proprietress of the Underground Crafter and recently started a fantastic podcast, Creative Yarn Entrepreneur.  She both knits and crochets, designs, and her new podcast is a great resource for anyone in the yarn world, whether just starting out as a newbie or a seasoned veteran in the industry...the show is packed full of great information useful for all of us! But first, let's catch up with Marie:
Shimmery Valentine Bangles by Marie Segares from I Like Crochet Magazine

Jennifer: Welcome to Fiber Flux Marie!  We're so glad you could join us today!  Please tell us a little about yourself, how did you get your start with crochet and knitting?

Marie: I'm a crochet and knitting designer, blogger, teacher, podcaster, and small business consultant. I got my start crocheting back in 1984 when my maternal grandmother taught me the basics. She was a very skilled crocheter, knitter, and seamstress - she actually went to a trade school for needlecrafts instead of high school during the Depression. She tried to teach me to knit but everything came out as a trapezoid.

I've been crocheting, on and off, since then, but for almost 20 years I pretty much kept to basic scarves (usually all in half double crochet) for Christmas gifts! In 2002, I finally learned to read patterns, and once I started doing that, my crochet skills just exploded and I was introduced to so many great projects, stitches, and skills.

I would periodically try to knit but it always seemed too hard. After my grandmother passed away, I really started to think about it more because she left behind several unfinished knitting projects and notes with stitch patterns on them. I was talking with a friend who is a knitter and she convinced me that I was just psyching myself out. She gave me a great pep talk, reminded me of all I could do in crochet, and I realized she was right! I picked up Nici McNally's Complete Beginner's Guide to Knitting dvd in 2010 and never looked back. Within the year, I was teaching knitting locally and soon after I started designing, too.

Crochet is really my true (crafty) love, though, and I always return to it!

Diagonal Stripes Messenger Bag by Marie Segares
Jennifer: I have been a big fan of the Underground Crafter for some time now, tell us how you got your start.

Marie: I was working full time and going to business school at night when my grandmother passed away. She was such a profound influence in my life, and particularly in terms of craftiness. Right before she got sick, I had taken the Craft Yarn Council's Certified Instructors Program in Crochet, kind of on a whim. But when she died, I felt more connected to her memory when I was crocheting, so I started to get really serious about it. After doing some informal teaching, I decided to formalize my business in 2008, when I was done with grad school and had some more spare time.

Originally, I thought I would be selling my crocheted projects at craft shows, but that wasn't really a good fit for me because I'm pretty introverted and my work schedule at the time was hectic. I ended up focusing much more on teaching for the first few years. My students would ask about different projects or stitches, and that's what got me into designing. I started blogging in 2011 and really enjoyed it, so I've kept it up as well as I could over the years. 

Warm And Textured 1-Skein Cowl By Marie Segares

Jennifer: You have recently started a podcast, The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur (so exciting!), a fantastic resource for those of us building a business in the industry, what was your inspiration for creating this informative podcast?

Marie: Last year, I left my job and became a full time solopreneur. It was pretty terrifying, but totally worth it. (My crafty business adventures are still just part time ventures for me.) I started listening to a lot of podcasts during the day, and I realized the audio format is great for those of us working in the yarn industry, since often our hands and eyes are otherwise engaged! I couldn't find any other podcasts specifically about business issues in the industry. There are some great knitting, crochet, and yarn related podcasts, and others about being a creative business owner. I really felt like there was a void, so I decided to start my own show.

I know this industry can be pretty isolating since most of us are working alone from home, and it can be hard to get reliable information. There are so many things I wish I knew when I was starting out, and things are always changing for online business owners (which many of us are). And, most of us have a lot of income streams. We're not just designing or teaching, we're also writing, or selling our projects online or at craft shows, or dyeing yarn, etc. etc. It's really hard to be an expert at so many different things, and also make sure you are spending time to create the best products for your customers. Plus, the show gives me a chance to interview some great people!

Scrappy Shells Blanket by Marie Segares from I Like Crochet Magazine

Jennifer: What does the future hold for The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur?

Marie: I'm definitely going to keep the podcast going, though right now I'm still trying to find the best day of the week to release an episode so fans can know when to expect a new show. I'm hoping to do some virtual training classes in 2015 on different business topics, but of course I'll need to finish up my videos first!

Jennifer: Of course I have to ask...what is on your hook/needles at the moment?

Marie: I'm working on a Tunisian crochet project that's a bit of a secret. I'm using Rowan Pure Wool Worsted in Pretty Pink, which is so nice for this time of year where everything is gray and dark and cold! I plan to release the design as a freebie on the Underground Crafter blog in the near future, so keep your eyes open!

UPDATE: She finished it! Get the free pattern here...

Thank you Marie for stopping by Fiber Flux today, so happy you chatted with us!

Be sure to stop by her site, Underground Crafter to say hello and be sure to check out her podcast, The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur.

Catch up with Marie for the latest here as well: 

Ravelry * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Etsy * Google+ *

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing this interview, Jennifer! I am a huge fan of your blog, so it is really nice to be included on it.

    1. Thanks Marie! The feeling is mutual. :)


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