I want to introduce you to Vanessa Chan of The Pudgy Rabbit. Vanessa is a fellow crochet pattern designer and maker of amazingly adorable critters. I happened to get to know Vanessa through Hudson Valley Etsy. She’s doing wonderful things. Here we go!
Jess: What is your business? What do you do?
Vanessa: I sell do-it-yourself kits and patterns to make amigurumi, which are crocheted little creatures. Each kit comes with all the supplies needed to make your own softie, including a how to crochet booklet, so if you wanted to learn a new craft, the kits make it super easy! I do everything, from designing and writing the pattern, to packing each kit, and shipping everything out.
Jess: How did you start?
Vanessa: I started my Etsy shop right after I graduated college as a way to keep myself going creatively as I was job hunting. I was crocheting all these little animals and toys and thought it would be fun to put them up online and see if I could sell them. Over time, I moved from selling finished items to creating DIY kits so that people could craft their own toys and learn how to crochet at the same time. Right now I’m working on new designs and product lines for the shop and getting the kits into more brick and mortar stores.
Jess: What is your favorite part about what you do?
Vanessa: I love developing new designs and patterns for future kits and researching what people would want to see in the shop. I also love getting feedback from customers and hearing about what they liked or didn’t like about the kits because it helps me make improvements.
Jess: Where do you want to be in 3 years?
Vanessa: I hope to have expanded into selling other DIY crafting kits such as sewing or knitting. I also want to have my kits in various stores around the U.S.
Jess: If you had to give yourself advice on business, what would it be?
Vanessa: To know that you don’t have to say yes to every single opportunity that comes your way, it’s ok to turn things down sometimes. When you’re first starting out, you tend to want to go for anything and everything that might gain your business exposure. I think it becomes easy to spread yourself too thin, the quality of your work suffers, and you might end up spending time on something that doesn’t really benefit your business in the long run.
Jess: What is your favorite dessert, dance move, guilty pleasure, and celebrity crush?
Vanessa: Favorite dessert would have to be ice cream. I’m kind of a spazzy dancer, so I don’t have a specific move, I’m generally just shaking it all over the dance floor =) I love to binge watch entire seasons of tv shows on Netflix while eating chips in bed. And right now my celebrity crush is Chris Messina, aka Danny Castellano from The Mindy Project. Also news anchor David Muir.
Jess: What is your favorite achievement?
Vanessa: I have my first crochet book, Happy-Gurumi, coming out in April this year. I’m really excited and proud of everything that’s gone into the book.
Jess: Share a random picture of yourself. Tell us what’s going on in this picture.
Vanessa: I was hiking last fall at Minnewaska. It was beautiful out, a perfect fall day, and I was happy to be outside!
Jess: Do you like long walks on the beach? Yes or no.
Vanessa: Yes, preferably with a cup of ice cream!
I’ve decided to start sketching my interviewees… well not really them, but an inspired drawing taken from the above interview. So here is my Pudgy Rabbit inspired monster sketch.
You can find The Pudgy Rabbit all over the web… check out Vanessa’s links.
Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/thepudgyrabbit