At the American Crochet Association (ACA), each of our members has a fantastic story to share about how they learned, what they’ve learned, and what they have to share about their journey.
Interviewing crocheters gives a deeper understanding of the collective wisdom, expertise, and creativity within each of us, and opens an opportunity to share the joys, triumphs, and challenges that come with crochet.
Today we’re sharing a professional member feature to highlight Amanda Woodbury’s crochet story.
In this crochet story, see how the ACA helped Amanda to build their crochet knowledge and skills, and start an inspiring crochet career.
Table of contents
- What is your crochet story?
- What was your first crochet project?
- How long have you been crocheting?
- What else are you into right now?
- Tell us about your crochet business
- Who is crochet coaching for?
- Tell us about your book, the Creative Journaling Experience
- What brought you to the ACA?
- How has the ACA helped you?
- What’s your favorite thing about the ACA so far?
- What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a crochet business?
- Are you interested in starting or growing your crochet business?
This crochet story is a transcript taken from a video interview that you can watch right here:
What is your crochet story?
Salena Baca: I’m sitting here with Amanda Woodbury and let’s start with just your crochet story.
Tell us about Your crochet journey, in any way you’d like to.
Amanda Woodbury: So I started crocheting in 2014.
I had two toddlers who did not want to hang out with me, so I was kind of bored and I was kind of not in a great place mentally, but I wasn’t terrible, it was just one of those I didn’t really know where my life was going other than being a stay-at-home mom.
I was bored a lot trying to figure that out.
And so I was cleaning out my hope chest, that was inherited to me and I found this old dingy musty bag that had stuff in it. And when I opened it, it was just these gorgeous doilies and Books from the 80s and how to make doilies and tablecloths.
I was like, what is this?
This is crazy because there was hooks, there was knitting needles and I kind of knew what those were but not Anything specific.
So I just basically hopped on YouTube every other millennial out there and just deep dived into what crochet was and I started that day with my grandmother’s hook and some dingy old yarn that I don’t have my first project anymore, but I just deep dived into crocheting and then I fell in love with making hats.
And learned that I don’t really like making blankets or anything that takes more than a week.
And so I ended up having a bunch of hats laying around and my husband was seeing me totally hyper focus on this new thing and it was yarn everywhere, there was hooks of different sizes and hats everywhere, and he’s like what are we doing with all this, because it was just in my living room and I was like, I don’t know.
And then, six months later, I had an opportunity to sell stuff at a craft fair and that’s actually how it started into my business side of my journey.
But basically all throughout learning how to crochet and learning, it one stitch at a time, I slowly got out of my shell and became more at extroverted and really started becoming who I really truly am.
What was your first crochet project?
Salena Baca: So you were inspired because of a project that you saw, that was something that you wanted to recreate.
And that was what started your path to crochet, right?
Amanda Woodbury: Yeah, I did.
So the weird thing is I did find doilies on YouTube and I did make a doily.
It was within my first week of learning how to crochet.
However, I would say beginners should not be doing doilies.
Obviously it’s not impossible, it’s just I would not teach It.
Salena Baca: Not advisable as a first step? Yeah.
Amanda Woodbury: And so yeah, that’s kind of when I successfully created a doily, I was just like, Okay, I love this.
This is amazing, this is magic.
How do you take this from this?
And it’s like poof.
I love it.
How long have you been crocheting?
Salena Baca: And how long have you been crocheting?
Amanda Woodbury: Practically every day since 2014.
So we’re going on let’s see, 10 years.
I think actually May was, actually April or…
Salena Baca: Almost. Yeah.
Amanda Woodbury: Mayish was actually my 10th year anniversary.
What else are you into right now?
Salena Baca: Tell us a little bit more about Amanda.
Tell us some fun facts about you that are crochet related or not, because this is a community feature.
I love just kind of seeing what else people have going on in their lives and how else we connect.
Amanda Woodbury: I’m a foodie.
I say that I love trying new foods but I’m also cautiously trying new foods.
I’m kind of like Will I like it?
Do I stay in my comfort zone but put a plate of tacos in front of me and you’re gonna be my best friend forever.
and so I love cooking as cooking is kind of like if my hands are too crampy to crochet.
I’m cooking something instead. And trying new recipes.
I love camping is pretty much my only outdoor activity.
I don’t like hiking so much. Unless it’s less than a mile. Okay, with light hiking.
So that’s what we do in the summertime.
I love going out and getting nature and just releasing anything that’s been holding me back.
So I do a lot of grounding that kind of Mindset stuff with camping.
It’s just so relaxing and rejuvenating. It’s amazing.
I’m also totally into true crime.
I will deep dive and forget about my entire day before I know it.
Then I’m like wait, I should probably make dinner.
So I do listen to some podcasts and mostly just watch a bunch of stuff on YouTube and Learn about cases.
Tell us about your crochet business
Salena Baca: One of the main reasons I am reaching out to you not only is crochet a huge part of your life, but you’ve taken the things in crochet that have really helped your life and you’ve turned that into lots of different business ventures.
Tell us about Amanda’s crochet business journey and then tell us about some different business ventures you have in crochet.
Amanda Woodbury: So as there is an umbrella, it’s basically put yourself first, one stitch at a time.
That’s basically the umbrella, that’s what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.
I do personal coaching for teaching you how to crochet, as well as throwing in mindset coaching that will help you to intentionally crochet so that you are putting yourself first.
This is a craft that is only for you.
This is something that’s a very personal journey and it should be for you first regardless, if it’s helping you journal deeper or just to learn more about yourself and personal journey on that.
So teaching is first and foremost, what I love to do and then second to that is writing my own patterns.
Of course, those are really fun.
I try to keep those as simple and not really going beyond the easy level in crochet because again, it ties into patterns that are easy to follow, so that you’re not overthinking everything and you’re really just getting that intentional self feeling when you are crocheting.
That becomes the meditation side of it.
All my designs are very simple and I always make sure that my patterns are written as simple as possible.
Who is crochet coaching for?
Salena Baca: Okay, so it sounds like you’ve got a few different things that you offer.
And the coaching sounds really interesting because you’re taking crochet and the coaching aspect is more like a mindset.
Who is that for?
Amanda Woodbury: Mostly I reach out to people who traditional meditation hasn’t worked before.
They can’t quiet their brain.
They’re over-thinkers, they’re over-analyzers, they need something, their productive people.
Sometimes most of the clients that I happen to get actually also have some kind of neurodivergent issue, like ADHD or anxieties.
And this is something that I teach them to crochet or if they already know what about crochet, I can help them build their skills to a point to where They can intentionally sit down and crochet so that they can calm their brain.
Release their stress work through an anxiety issue.
I’m not a therapist in any way; I want to throw that out there.
It’s just something that I’ve discovered with myself and I just love sharing the gift that crochet brings when it comes to the mindfulness side of it.
Salena Baca: So is this for people who already know how to crochet and they’re just looking for something more, or is this a process for people who are looking for something more and they’re trying to find it in a craft space and you’re offering a crochet resource for those people.
Or is it for both?
Amanda Woodbury: So, it’s for both.
It can cross.
So, usually when somebody reaches out to me for that purpose, I will usually do basically an interview with them, a first meet interview and I will find out what their skill levels are if they already crochet and if not then that way, I can adjust to what they want.
If that’s just more on the mindset, they already know how to crochet, maybe they want to just learn a couple new stitches, I build around that.
And then I also say, okay, this is a technique that you can use with those skills to help you get into a physical meditation or to help you journal deeper.
That’s where my book comes in, as well.
Tell us about your book, the Creative Journaling Experience
Salena Baca: I’m so glad that you mentioned the book.
Tell us a little bit more about that.
Amanda Woodbury: My favorite thing!
It literally is marrying crochet patterns and journal prompts in one book.
These are very specific patterns that I have previously designed, and there are new patterns that are not published on the individual basis that are in this book.
Basically, you pick a pattern that you can not think too hard on so that you’re not focusing on the stitch work itself.
And then journal prompts that can go very deep or stay surface level, whatever you’re comfortable with.
And I’ve created a formula that is basically a 20 minute time out for you to utilize literally crocheting and writing in your journal.
You keep it with your crochet projects and that way you’re like, I need a 20 minute timeout.
I’m overthinking a situation or I need to figure out what is holding me back today.
What is it?
You can pick a pattern, pick a journal prompt, pick time out for yourself, 20 minutes, and get that done.
Salena Baca: So can anyone just pick up this book and start using this journaling process, or should they first go through some kind of coaching with you.
Amanda Woodbury: So, If you already know how to crochet, then you can just get the book.
It is a PDF download you can kind of print at your leisure, what you need.
And you can just go and grab that book from my website and then if you don’t know how to crochet and you pick up this book and you’re like I want to crochet but I don’t know how then there are ways you can contact me and we can set up a crochet journey program for you.
Salena Baca: How is this different from other things that might be out in the crochet world?
Amanda Woodbury: I think there’s a lot of attention on using crochet to stress however I have found that some of the patterns are more complicated and so it can be stressful to even do those projects.
So that’s kind of not working.
What I do is I’m setting out just say, hey, no, there is actually a specific way to de-stress with crochet.
That’s ideally what sets me apart.
I’m focusing more on the beginner to easy level things that you literally are mindless when you’re working on it.
What brought you to the ACA?
Salena Baca: You have been part of the American Crochet Association probably since we first started so you’re one of our poster children.
What brought you to the American Crochet Association?
What were you looking for?
Amanda Woodbury: I was Googling crochet things.
I was in the beginning, I think I was within the first three years of my crochet journey and I kind of started in business stuff but I wasn’t focusing on business stuff too much.
And so I just wanted to learn more about crochet and I wanted to learn.
See if there was anything else there other than YouTube and crochet books that you can find at any craft store.
And so, I literally just typed in American crochet because I also had learned at that point, there’s a difference between UK and American terms and all that.
And then your website was the first thing that popped up, so I just clicked on it and was like what is this?
And I was learning more about crochet? Yes, please!
Then I basically just joined and I was like there’s a Facebook group? Okay, let’s go there!
And then I just basically got obsessed.
Salena Baca: And you’ve been with us ever since.
Amanda Woodbury: Yes, yes.
How has the ACA helped you?
Salena Baca: Do you think the American Crochet Association has helped you personally?
And do you think it’s helped your business?
Amanda Woodbury: Wow, there’s a lot I can answer there.
So personally, it definitely helped me realize my own personal skill level where it actually was what I already know.
It kind of made me realize that I kind of learned things backwards.
I was like, so that’s how you’re supposed to learn things.
I was taking the learning path course first because I think that’s what was there; I just deep dived into that.
And I learned so much more about yarn and the tools and different stitches and so much that was in there in those 12 courses and it just kind of blew up my mind.
I was just like there’s all this information there’s an entire industry there’s so much you can do like this is never-ending education, this is amazing.
And then learning how to read patterns, because I learned originally on YouTube and so I was kind of held back by only being able to learn new things by watching tutorials and I kind of started getting books but I didn’t quite understand what they were trying to say and then I would have to search those terms on YouTube and be like, okay that’s what they meant there.
But, going through the courses, I learned how to read patterns properly.
And so now I mostly do everything based off of patterns so that’s where it was personally.
As soon as you started putting up business stuff, I’d already started my journey in business and so once you started putting stuff in, I was like, how I can learn properly in this industry, here’s how to become an instructor pattern writing, yes all of that stuff.
So it kind of was in tune with my journey at the same time.
As you were adding stuff to ACA business-wise it kind of grew with me.
What’s your favorite thing about the ACA so far?
Salena Baca: Do you have a favorite thing about the ACA so far?
Amanda Woodbury: I don’t even know if I could answer that because it’s everything.
I’m actually really into the monthly crochet alongs right now.
So right now, that’s kind of my favorite thing because then it’s like, I don’t have to think about what I’m gonna make next.
I can just see what’s up next in the ACA and then I’ll just make that so right now I would say that is kind of my favorite but overall I would say the professional courses.
Because it does bleed into my personal life as well.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a crochet business?
Salena Baca: I just thought of a last bonus question.
Just hearing you inspired me to want to ask this.
Amanda Woodbury: Okay.
Salena Baca: This is gonna be the last one. I think.
With all of your advice and wisdom and skill, what advice do you have for someone who wants to start a crochet business?
Amanda Woodbury: Make sure that it’s what your heart wants.
And there is no shame in the reason why you want to start it.
If it’s purely because you want to make money then honor that.
And find a solution that works on building your business for that reason.
If sharing your gift and money isn’t the main point, then deep dive into what is at the heart and the soul of your business and start from there.
Salena Baca: That’s really good advice, actually, I like that.
Amanda Woodbury: Just kind of hopped in the top of my head.
Salena Baca: So glad I asked.
You can learn more about Amanda, and follow her work, right here:
- Unravel Your Stress: https://unravelyourstress.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amanda.woodbury2
- Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/people/amandawoodbury
Are you interested in starting or growing your crochet business?
Learn how you can make money with crochet, including the top 3 crochet careers you can start today:
- My Crochet Career: Make and sell what you love, avoid burnout, earn a fair wage!
- Crochet Instructor Training: Earn a certificate of completion that will help you teach crochet with confidence!
- Pattern Writing Training: Learn how to write and publish your own unique patterns!
Enter for a chance to win 1 free PDF copy of Amanda’s book, The Creative Journaling Experience, a $24.99 value, when you:
- Read through or listened to this feature,
- Drop a comment to let us know what you have in common with Amanda.
Each comment counts as an entry for a chance to win. 1 winner will be chosen from the comments after Thursday, 24 August 2023. Giveaway open worldwide. Winner will be replied to in the comments with instructions to claim their prize via email.
Update (25 August 2023): Winner = Jennifer Wallace