Come on in…get to know me. I’m Cari Baker, and I have a love for crochet (creating and teaching). One of my goals is to show that anyone can create useful and beautiful items they believe are beyond their wildest dreams. My jewelry design, Braidlets®, is a prime example. To begin my story I want to…
share some personal info. I’m a native Southern California girl, married to John (retired Atty.) who supports my passion 110%. Yet, his motto stated is (with a Cheshire grin and a wink of his eye), “Honey… I’m not always right… but I’m never wrong.” I reply, “legal mumbo jumbo, so I win!” LOL. We live in Lakewood with our brindle colored, fur faced, eighty-six pound lap dog, Max!
I learned to crochet from watching tutorials on the Internet. I loved the items I created with all the different yarns and colors available. I looked for a job change, so it was logical (to me, anyway) to want to work in a craft store. So, I thought my crochet skills would help me, and it did. I was hired as a Custom Framer (go figure).
What? They gave me the job because of my knowledge of color combinations; they taught me how to frame anything.
When they wanted to start crochet classes, the store manager asked me if I wanted to be their “crochet teacher.” I looked at her and thought “OMG, be still my beating heart” in less than a blink-of-an-eye, I accepted. I was teaching beginning crochet within two weeks. I knew I could teach anyone because I taught my husband who resisted learning for a zillion man-reasons. So, since he didn’t have any valid reason he crocheted a little square. He and I still consider it one of his great learning accomplishments.
I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm and love for the art of crochet. The look of accomplishment on student faces, along with their grateful words was more valuable to me than anything. They learned to crochet, read a pattern, and create their own items for life. They overcame their fear of being “less than” and looking inadequate in ability. Once they learned, practiced, and found out how easy it really was they were astonished. It’s all about “risk taking.”
So, I thought I would practice what I preached which led me to try other mediums besides yarn. I loved beautiful handmade jewelry bracelets, so I tried crocheting seed beads to artistic wire. I then braided 3 single strands together, and I had my signature jewelry design I call Braidlets®. I gave them to family and friends as gifts, and the feedback was so positive I decided to sell them at boutiques, fairs, and the Internet.
Selling on the Internet is a whole different topic in itself, but I was blessed to find a website where the owners and members freely gave me so much valuable knowledge to succeed. I provide a larger selection of Braidlets® in my Handmade Artists Shop CrochetHooked or personal Website. I also provide a free patter of how I crochet beads to artistic wire, and lot’s of information.
I am a member of the ‘Crochet Guild of America’ and recently joined a charity called ‘Crafting for a Cause’. In addition, I am a VERY PROUD member of the Handmade Artists’ Forum, dedicated to supporting handmade and handmade artists from around the world.
Website/Blog – www.crochethooked.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Braidlets
Twitter – http://twitter.com/crochethooked
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/crochethooked/
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