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Wilma Westenberg of Wilmade
It was a great pleasure to interview Wilma about her journey into designing full time for her crochet blog.
Wilma is a 23 year old crochet blogger who lives in the Netherlands. In 2016 she finished her MSc in Communication and New Media. Wilma quit her job in January of this year to become a full time crochet blogger.
You have a MSc, so how did you fall into the world of crochet?
In December 2014 my grandma sent me a picture of her cute little crocheted Christmas trees she had made for Christmas. I immediately fell in love and wanted to make a few as well. I had never crocheted before but knew I was going to be able to do it. I was still a student back then and had two weeks off, so plenty of time to learn crochet and make things. After two weeks of full time crochet I officially was addicted!
After finishing my third Christmas tree, I made several other things minion amigurumi, cookie monster coin purse, and etc. I never stopped crocheting. In 2015 I created an Instagram account to share my projects and in 2016 I started making my own designs. I didn’t have that much time because I was still going to university, but in September 2016 I graduated so I had a little bit more time to work on my crochet designs.
In January you quit your job to become a fulltime crochet blogger. Do you ever miss working in a corporate setting?
This was actually one of my biggest concerns when I first started working on my own. 'What if I’m going to miss going to an office and having colleagues?’
But to be honest, so far I don’t miss any of that. And if I ever start feeling "lonely", I will try the so-called "flex offices" where you can rent a desk in a shared office space and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs. Great for networking and brainstorm sessions! I really like the flexibility I have now and being able to do what I love most.
In April you shared a really personal update on your Instagram and over on your blog. What gave you the final push of courage to share that part of yourself with the rest of the online crafting community?
A few things actually. I always wanted to share pictures of me, working on crochet projects or me holding yarn, but I was afraid of showing my face. I had never shared pictures before and was scared what people would think or say. The more followers I got, the harder it became. Earlier this year I received a DM through Instagram where a girl asked me whether I have bad days sometimes - she thought my life was perfect.
Well, I’m pretty happy with my life right now, but it sure isn’t perfect. I realized I had become one of those picture perfect Instagrammers to some people which I absolutely didn’t want to be. I learned that the makers community on Instagram is always very kind and welcoming. If there is one place where people can be themselves, it’s within this community for sure!
Your designs are always so original. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Thank you so much! Sometimes I get inspiration from people or events in my life, like the series I’m working on now which is dedicated to people with the same benign tumor as I have. I try to make projects that fit their personality, style or hobbies. Another example is one of my WIPS which is based on my dad’s work (hint: it involves cheese). Some projects are based on events and holidays, like Valentine’s Day. You’ll automatically end up working with hearts and pink/red colors.
You are definitely a person who has been conquering her goals in 2018. Share your best advice in 10 words or less?
Jump on the bandwagon when there is a new trend! You’ll never know where it will end!
In 2016 I didn’t really make that many patterns yet, but when the bun hat craze started, I jumped on the bandwagon and made a few bun hat versions. They went viral (like most bun hat patterns) which gave my blog and social media a big boost and opened a new world for me!
Again a huge thank you to Wilma for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this interview!
If you are not familiar with her or her work I highly recommend checking out her blog and all of her social media that I have linked throughout this blog post!
-Osage County Crochet
I am the sole designer behind Osage County Crochet!