In addition to featuring books and authors, I have decided to share some features on some of the bookish small businesses I love! Today’s feature is dedicated to Under the Sea Crochet, a shop that makes crocheted mermaid dolls!
I had the chance to interview the magnificent woman behind Under the Sea Crochet, Laura, who crochets the delightfully detailed mermaids! Laura lives in the sunny state of Florida. During her down time she enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games. Her favorite authors include Sarah J. Maas, Jay Kristoff, Mira Grant, and Laini Taylor. Laura’s favorite video game is the Mass Effect trilogy (she says she will never stop recommending it to fellow gamers).
Read our full interview below to learn more about Laura and Under the Sea Crochet!
Q) When did you first begin to crochet?
A) I started crocheting back when I was about 11 years old, though I made blankets and scarves and they never really came out so great. It wasn’t until the end of 2017 that I really began to work on dolls.
Q) What inspired you to create your first crocheted mermaid?
A) I had just had ligament reconstruction surgery on my ankle and was stuck in bed for weeks. So I was bored and had a lot of yarn from old, unfinished projects laying around. I picked it up and started working on some patterns I had found online (little ghosties from pac man). I guess it was because of the fact I couldn’t really walk for a while that got me thinking about mermaids and I began to experiment with making one.
Q) Why did you decide to open your own shop Under the Sea Crochet?
A) To be honest, I didn’t want to at first. I thought no one would buy them, let alone like them. Then I had gotten a copy of To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo in a book box and made a mermaid that looked like Lira — the main character. People started asking me where I had gotten it and eventually one of my close friends convinced me to open the shop.
Q) How long has Under the Sea Crochet been open? What are some of your business goals?
A) I opened Under the Sea Crochet on my birthday in 2018 and have loved every moment of running this business. I guess one of my main goals is to just make people happy.
Q) What is your favorite thing about running your own small business?
A) My favorite thing about running my own small business would have to be the fact that I get to be creative. I love art and enjoy finding ways to continue to make each mer unique.
Q) How many different types of mermaids have you made?
A) Oh man, I think I’ve lost track at this point. But I think the number is close to 150 at this point.
Q) What are your top three mermaids you have made (if you can narrow it down!)?
A) I don’t know if I can narrow it down that much, but I loved working on the seasonal fairy collection, the OOAK (one of a kind) mermaids I’ve been recently releasing, and the Alice in Wonderland collection.
Q) How do you think of all the designs/themes for your mermaids?
A) I get inspired by things I like and enjoy, and sometimes its someone’s custom idea that gets me thinking about a new design. Those are the ones I can’t take full credit for. But to be honest, it’s also a lot of trial and error. Sometimes they come out great and those are the ones you see. Other times they’re not so great and those never get seen again.
Q) What is most rewarding about running Under the Sea Crochet?
People’s reactions to mermaid reveals and when their packages arrive. I have watched every single unbxing people tag me in from beginning to end and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. (So don’t forget to tag me in them!)
A) Do you have any advice for others who want to start their own small business?
It isn’t easy. Nothing worth it is ever easy. There will be times when you want to walk away, times when you make something and it doesn’t work out, and times where you won’t want to create. But if you push through them and keep trying you’ll eventually see that your hard work pays off. It’s also frustrating sometimes, because even if your job is doing something that you love it’s still a job. But you have to remember why you wanted to open your shop and just breathe. Don’t give up! And be sure to surround yourself with good people who support you!
Q) Can you give any hints at what people can expect from Under the Crochet this year?
A) Mermaids. Lots of them. And quite possibly some new friends that have yet to make an appearance!
Check out Under the Sea Crochet’s website here and be sure to follow Laura’s account on Instagram here! Fun fact – she also does custom mermaids! For a limited time you can use my code UNICORN15 for a discount on your order! Be sure to tag me @theunicornwriter93 in your Instagram photos of your mermaids! 🙂