Lockdown opportunities: How one woman’s crochet skills became source of income | The New Times

Knitting and crocheting are ‘old ladies’ habits’, which is not the case with 26-year-old Ines Reine Ishime.

Every bit of embroidery is pleasant; From making slip knots to weaving, Ishime says the whole process is very exciting for her, especially when she’s working on a new project.

“I’m always excited to see the end result, especially when I’m doing it for the first time,” she says.

During last year’s lockdown, she developed her skills after stumbling upon a crochet hook she had had for years but never bothered to use it. This turned out to be the source of their motivation.

Her source of inspiration is the things around her and the people

Little did she know that a hobby she had used as a pastime would become something she would love to do and, more importantly, a business that would help her make an income.

With some basics from her sister, Ishime used YouTube tutorials to hone her newfound talent.

She bought balls of yarn and started knitting. She also started posting her work on social media, and that’s when things started to fall into place.

Ishime is the brain behind SINE Crochet Perfection

She remembers a time when she sewed a hat and a baby sock, took a picture and posted it on her WhatsApp status with the heading “Quarantine Life”. This post earned her over 22 orders.

When she made and reposted a headband, she received 13 more orders. At this point, she knew that an opportunity in her knitting skills was long overdue.

“When I post my articles on social media, miracles happen when the unexpected happens! I’ve received jobs that took me more than two months to complete. I couldn’t believe it, I was so overwhelmed that I started to regret why I published it, “she says.

In June of the same year, she launched her first products. These included headbands, caps / hats, earrings, sweaters, tops, leg warmers / socks and scarves.

Your source of inspiration

Ishime explains that there are millions of patterns to follow since crocheting is a big deal depending on what you want to do. And in order for her to get better at what she does, she makes a point of learning every day.

She says her source of inspiration is the things around her and the people. “Every time I see something beautiful, say an outfit, accessories or decor, I think about whether I can recreate the same thing, but with my hands, a hook and a ball. And I am also inspired by different crochets around the world. “

She hopes to use her work to empower women

She is overwhelmed with the support she has received from her clients so far, which makes her optimistic about working even harder.

“Gosh! People love my products a lot; beyond my expectations. When I started I was afraid I wouldn’t have customers, I was afraid my products won’t be worth the money, but I was surprised how much they are (Products) are valued and how far that goes! “

Nevertheless, new challenges were a thorn in her side, especially in view of the limited delivery times for her customers.

In addition, she had not been able to hire young mothers the way she had planned from the start.

“I’ve always wanted to empower women, especially vulnerable teenage mothers, some of whom suffer unaided. When I started this business, they were the first people I wanted to hire, but the challenge is that it’s not easy to find exactly these people with the skills I want. It requires me to train them and like I said, I don’t have enough time. So I’m still struggling with it, but I think I’m halfway to the solution. “

Your other struggle is with customers who are not satisfied with the prices of their products.

“Some people say my products are expensive, but honestly they are not. What they don’t understand is that a handmade product cannot be compared to a machine-made product. There is time spent on it, the surrender, moments of frustration, failure and so much. But I really appreciate those who understand. It would be nice if everyone understood that. ”

Lessons and future plans

Her biggest lesson since venturing into this business is to focus. She remembers when she had just started she could see what other crochet workers had been doing and she hurried to do the same without finishing what she had started and later found herself with several unfinished projects.

It was at this point that she decided to focus and keep it simple after believing that she was not competing with anyone.

That is why she believes and recommends anyone who wants to start a business to just start: “If there is an opportunity, just start. Of course, you will always be afraid of competitors, fear of the market, and so much more; but if you don’t start you will never know how it will turn out I remember when I was thinking about starting this I saw people crocheting all over the place and my only worry was that people will think that if I do, I will copy them. When I spoke to a friend of mine, she said something that stuck in my mind to this day. She said, ‘Ines, of course you will have competitors, but remember, no one is going to do what you do the way you do. So start. ”

It’s been almost a year since she started and her dream is for her SINE Crochet Perfection brand to be known and recognized for their fully handcrafted products.

“Most of the people who crochet have knitting machines too, so they do both. But my wish is that I will never use machines. I want this to be my specialty. “

dmbabazi@newtimesrwanda.com

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