OffDHookCreations – Yarn Business Interview
I’m so excited to introduce you to Dee of OffDHookCreations! When I first saw her lovely crochet doll creations I was floored! They are the cutest things ever and she doesn’t make more than one of each. She keeps her creations unique and will even make custom dolls for her customers. Below is a brief interview I was able to grab with her between creating with her hook!
What’s your name?
What’s your business name and how did you choose it?
My name is Dee, so I decided to play on words. My creations come off a crochet hook and thus OffDHookCreations was formed.
How long have you been in business?
I don’t really consider myself a business but I started this new journey in Oct 2014, opening an Etsy store so that it was more professional.
I think what makes what I do special or different from other doll makers is my reasons for creating my dolls.
I make unique, one of a kind dolls, that represent the diverse population surrounding us, with as many human features as possible. I began this journey several years ago.
I originally learned to crochet when I was 16yrs old. I actually taught myself from a book ( yes a book, long before the Internet). Then after my daughter was born I stopped crocheting for years. I picked my hook back up after years of not crocheting when I watched a child being removed from their house by CPS (child protective services) leaving everything behind. My heart was broken! I was tired of looking around and seeing the misery and suffering of people less fortunate then I was/am. So I decided to help in some way, however small. I wanted to share happiness, love, & smiles with as many people as I could with my crochet dolls.
I’d always loved making dolls/toys, so I decided to combine my love for creating and helping others. I began giving dolls/toys to local police/fire stations, children’s hospitals, emergency rooms, domestic violence/ homeless shelters, etc, so the kids would have something comforting to hold on to. Recently my journey changed direction when I joined Instagram and people began to see my dolls. Soon I had a few requests to make my dolls available to the public. I honored that request, but still wanted to give to my charities as well. So I switched the way I gave to charities. This allowed me to donate specific things requested, as well as dolls, clothes, and monetary donations. Then my journey changed again. I found that I was able to create special browndolls for browngirls all over that wanted a doll that looked a little more like them. Making dolls for little browngirls has become, as big a reason for my dolls, as bringing a smile to a person’s face. It’s been the struggle of generations of little browngirls, to not only have a doll that looks anything like them, but to have pride in and be excited to have a doll of color. For as long as I can remember browndolls have been unavailable, limited, or not as beautiful as dolls of a fairer complexion. For generations little browngirls have suffered with wanting to be something they are not and not seeing the beauty reflected in their mirror. I only hope to make a small difference. Maybe the commercial market will finally get it!
There was a brown skin doll with braids and beads, that I made several months ago, that changed everything for me and made me see that I ( my dolls) could make a small difference. A young lady that I know to have struggled dearly with her dark brown skin and kinky hair, looked at this doll and said ” she looks like me when I was little and she’s BEAUTIFUL !” She has been Proud of her dark brownskin ever since. She has looked at herself and other girls like her in a far better light, even finally seeing her beauty for what it is. FINALLY!!!! It was a POWERFUL and EMOTIONAL moment and one that changed my path forever!
I’ve always made diverse dolls, this just showed me how powerful a doll could be! Now it’s my goal to make each one more beautiful and diverse then the last.
What was your biggest obstacle when starting your business?
Actually saying I “sell” my dolls. I wish I could just give them away to everyone, but I’ve realized the people that “Adopt” my dolls have the means to pay for them. That by doing things this way, it allows me to contribute to charities in a completely different way now. I call it adopting because I want my dolls to find their forever home and be loved. Each doll comes with an Official set of Adoption papers for the little (sometimes bigg girls) girls to have and cherish.
You can’t make everyone happy, no matter how hard you try or you would like for them to be.
What’s your favorite thing to do in your business?
CREATE!! I love pushing concepts and boundaries!
What do you LEAST like doing when it comes to your business?
Nothing. I love everything about it but I guess if I had to pick something it would be letting someone down.
Where will your business be in 5 years?
I’m not sure, but I hope that I can continue to make people happy even if it’s just offering a kind word. And that I can continue to help those less fortunate then myself.
We would all like to know what’s your superpower?
Smiles and photos of little ones with my dolls!
Where can we find you online?
Is there anything you’d like to share about your business?
Each doll has a heart inside the stuffing so that the doll brings love to their new owner/ parent when they arrive! I hope you look through my gallery and enjoy! 💕