Monday, May 12, 2014

Never in a Million Years Did I Think I would Open an Online Shop!

Hi, I'm Mary and the owner of an online shop on Etsy called Purse O'Nality by Mary. Never in a million years did I ever think about opening an online shop. But here I am. I would like to tell you how it all began. This is part 1 of a two part series.

The Beginning

I taught my daughter, Michelle, to crochet when she was in her teens. Like any other teenager, she picked it up for awhile, then moved on to other things. Somehow, she managed to finish a blanket. Michelle would teach others how to crochet by letting them work on this blanket. It was just a simple single crochet stitch. It wasn't until years later when were were in the waiting room of the Mayo Clinic that she learned how to double crochet and treble crochet. From that point on Michelle was crocheting constantly so it seemed. She started designing her own things. I was amazed that she didn't ever need a pattern. She said they were too limiting. But then again, Michelle is my "free spirited " daughter and an artist by nature.    


So about three years ago, she designed a purse for my granddaughter for her birthday. Although she liked it, the purse wasn't being put to use. Her mother, my oldest daughter, decided to use it. She got lots on compliments on the purse. However, she thought some improvements on the purse would make it sellable. So one day in July when the family had a get together at my oldest daughter's house, she and Michelle began talking about the purse. This peaked my interest since I crocheted. I wanted to see if I could crochet a better purse.

The purse that started it all!
A few days later, Michelle and I were in the Purple Iris Yarn Shop. I inquired a out getting some yarn to crochet a purse. Peggy, who taught knitting and crocheting lessons at the shop, directed me to some Fantasy yarn in a pink variegated. It was 100% cotton and so that made this purse washable. I didn't really have a pattern in mind, but Peggy and I discussed needle size and a crochet stitch. I also decided to use the current purse that I was using as a basic guide for the size of the purse. I had really liked that purse so it seemed logical to proceed in that direction. My next step was to figure out how many chain stitches is needed to get the required width of the purse. 

When I had completed the front and back of the purse, I used my sewing talents to put a lining into the purse. I used my sewing machine to sew 3 open pockets for miscellaneous items on the lining of one side of the purse and a nice size pocket with a zipper on the other side. I also sewed in a zipper to enclose the main inside compartment.                                                                                                                                                         

Inside of Purse  
Well, I'm not a fan of hand sewing so whenever I can use my sewing machine, I will always take that route. I had never machine sewn crocheted yarns pieces together, but I thought I would experiment and see what happened. I set my stitch length for a little longer stitches and thought that if it didn't work than okay, fine, I would hand sew the sides together. Well, it worked! What I didn't know at that time and what most people don't know is that yarn is a fiber just like cloth. Therefore you can machine sew yarn pieces together. Isn't that great?!

When I finished the purse, I got lots of compliments from friends and family. I decided to take it down to the Purple Iris Yarn Shop where I had purchased my yarn and show it to the owner, Jana. Jana had just stepped out and Peggy was minding the store for her. She really liked the purse and asked me how much I wanted for it. I told her and she bought it on the spot! Then she ordered 2 more!!

 She wanted them as Christmas gifts for her daughter and daughter-in-law. I was shocked to say the least. So that's how I got started making purses. In part two, I will tell you about how I found out about Etsy and my decision to start my own shop.

 Please feel free to browse my shop by going to: