Where are you from and what’s your relationship with Staten Island?
I’m from the North Shore, in West Brighton. I have the same relationship to it as everybody else from Staten Island where nobody can talk shit about it unless they’ve lived here too. I honestly like it despite it being hard to travel without a car and that you can’t go anywhere without seeing somebody that you know. After living in the city for a while I do miss how suburban it is.
How has being from Staten Island influenced you as a person?
I love being from Staten Island. I got to grow up next to the best city ever and not strictly be a city kid, I’ve met a ton of people living entirely different lives from mine, and it makes me annoying in a good way. People from the island still get the New York attitude and mindset of being in the city despite having a way more mundane day-to-day life.
What is FortuneCrochet and when did you start it?
FortuneCrochet is my small business where I sell crocheted things. Mostly custom stuffed animals, but also other things like hats and hopefully some clothing in the future, or something. I started it in December of 2020 after I made twelve separate, intricate stuffed animals for a Secret Santa in two weeks. I felt like if I could do that, I could make way more.
How did you get into crocheting?
I crocheted a little bit in middle school but immediately switched over to knitting, and then I was really bad at it and I stopped. So I actually got into it my first semester of college. It was my friend’s birthday and I would always joke that he looked like Kermit, so I wanted to make him one for his birthday. He loved it and still has it. My favorite thing about it is just that you could kind of just make anything you want. And I like how it feels too.
What’s one of your favorite pieces you’ve created?
My favorite is the capybara. I get tired of doing them over and over and over until I have all of the final ones right in front of me, and then I love them again. But I also really used to love doing Kermits. And then there’s also a Gliscor, which I will never be making again.
What types of things inspire you to make your crochet?
I get inspiration from other creators, from real life, and from the requests in my inbox. I really like getting fun requests. Talking the small details of the colors is half of the fun, and I think it gives my customers a boost of excitement knowing that it’s genuinely custom. It’s important to me that people know that I am also a person, and I’ll do whatever they want for their item to be special for them.
Your crochet is very colorful! What’s your favorite color?
When I’m working with yarn I definitely prefer lighter colors because it’s so much easier to see the stitches and the details. Working with black yarn is a nightmare. In real life though I like pink and bright colors, despite me mostly only wearing darker shades.
How has being from Staten Island influenced your art?
It gave me a good start because I knew people in real life who wanted to buy things from me, which gave me more to take pictures of and post. I also used to hand deliver things in gift bags. I don’t really do that anymore, though.
What’s it like owning a small business?
It’s chill, I like being able to put down on a resume that I started a little business. I make instagram posts as a catalog and TikToks to show off my stuff just for fun. I should be making more, but I’m busy lately.
What’s a challenge that you came across starting your business that you didn’t expect?
I didn’t really expect all of the attention. I have a ton of DM’s that I’m very very grateful for, but in May 2022 when I really blew up I bit off more than I could chew, and I haven’t been able to accept many orders since I accepted 64 at once. But I’m really appreciative of all of these people who want things from me, especially when the crochet community is so large and they could pick a different artist to get something from.
The hardest part is telling people that their order isn’t ready yet. It’s always my fault for accepting more orders than I know I could handle and then procrastinating or just not finishing fast enough. I overcome it by being honest with the customer because there’s nothing else that I could do at that point, and it usually always goes well. I never go ghost on a message and never answer it, I always answer as soon as I see it. I’ve been in my inbox texting people back at concerts and festivals before.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of crocheting?
I like to go to work, I like to bother my roommate, and I like to go out with my friends. I like to go walk around target with my headphones in, and I will do anything for a good dance floor as well.
What’s your favorite place on the Island?
My friend’s houses. Or my neighborhood. Like a good empty schoolyard to hang out in maybe or just Forest Avenue between Clove Lakes and Silver Lakes. Mmmm nostalgia
What advice would you give someone who’s starting out crocheting?
What effect do you want your crochet to have on people?
I just want people to like it! And if they want more or never want to order anything again, either one makes me really happy that they wanted something in the first place anyways.
What’s one of your favorite things that happened in the past year?
This isn’t crochet related at all but I met Matty Healy from The 1975 while I was in downtown manhattan and talked to him on a street corner for a while. I think it was the first time I’ve ever been starstruck, but I was really trying to be normal about it. Matty Healy if you’re reading this, I will make you anything that you want.
What are some of your goals for the future?
I want to spend more time crocheting this year. For the last few months I’ve been juggling two day jobs and I’m a full time college student in my last year, so I really have not been able to crochet for long periods at all. I left one of my jobs and my classes are different now, so I’m hoping that will change things. I also have a ton of TikTok ideas so that’s definitely a good start.
Where can people find you on social media?
Any last thoughts?
I have a lot of ideas for things that I just want to make for no reason, but I don’t because I don’t have anywhere to put them. I think it would be cool to do a little project with Andy of The Parallel Lines and sell cat hats for his band. I got a DM from one of his fans asking me for one, so I’ve been thinking about it ever since. That would be neat, I think.