Behind the Scenes

*Hi, Jenny Brown has moved to hijennybrown.com.  Please come on over to read this post and see our new content!*

I’m a little bit addicted to business secrets & sneak peeks,  so I was overjoyed when my wonderful friend Nancy of Domesticraft snagged me with this blog tag by April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle (is that name ringing a bell? So that I can cheat on another question, I’ll tell you now that April is such an inspiration.  I love her attitude and her expansive knowledge, and of course, I dig vegetarians!)
OK, so here goes:
Question 1: What’s your two to three sentence bio? (You know, what the heck do you do?)
I’m the awesome crocheter behind Hi, Jenny Brown – I develop crochet patterns, projects, and education that appeal to a quirkier crowd that doesn’t mind a little challenge.  I love crafts of all kinds (although paper crafts do not like me) and love teaching them even more.  I’m also a decent babysitter/friend/aunt/sister/daughter/wife.
Question 2: What’s your favorite part of your job?
Seeing the things people make – I spend WAY too many hours ooohing and aaaahing over the emails folks send or their projects in Ravelry, then spend the next hour showing them to everyone I know.  It’s just too much.  Tied for first is seeing the look in someone’s eye or the way they hold their hands when they “get” the thing you’re trying to teach them.
mom and me tatting - hijennybrown.commom and me tatting - hijennybrown.commom and me tatting - hijennybrown.com
Question 3: What’s your least favorite part of your job?
I guess it has to be pattern testing.
Question 4: What are the top three tools you use the most in your work?
1. Crochet Hook – my favorite is a 4.0 gold hook with a wooden base. My husband bought it in a tiny yarn shop immediately after our courthouse wedding (I know, so romantic!) I have no idea the brand name because I stupidly threw out the wrapper – so if you know, please tell me!
Gold crochet hook - Hi, Jenny Brown
2. Yarn – I’m allergic to wool, so it’s usually cotton, acrylic, or my favorite, a blend of the two.
3. Pencil – I love these cheeky pencils that I bought from the Carbon Crusader a while back.  Although all my patterns are eventually typed and formatted, I usually start out with a crude drawing and a few scribbled notes (that later, I realize, are illegible).
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Question 5: What business goal would you love to reach before the end of the year?
1,000 patterns sold on Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy (I’m SO close and I want it REALLY bad)!
Question 6: Who are three creatives that inspire you?
Twinkie Chan – I love the sweet world Twinkie’s created with her crochet. It is eye-candy to the extreme.  She does so much – pattern design, product sales, craft shows, modeling, product development…on and on.  The definition of inspiring.
Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach– I’m so lucky that I got to meet her in person after fan-girling for way too long.  Michelle’s attitude is infectious, and she’s upbeat and kooky without ever being fake.  Oh, did I mention she’s the smartest and looks directly into your soul? I’m so grateful she got me on track.
Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches – I also met Stacey in person (and yes, she was so kind and I was a total dork).  I so admire the sheer number of cute crochet patterns and kits she creates (how, how, how does she do it?) while keeping that charming smile on her face.  Her blog is chock-full of useful resources for pattern designers, and she’s not afraid to give you a serious peek behind the curtain.
(Can I sneak in a non-internet entity?  Craft Husband, who is crazy creative, mad-skilled with an exacto knife, and the first person I go to when I need to know the “how” of anything – like hanging giant yarn hearts. Thanks to Glenn Elliot for the pic & for letting us cover his building with yarn.)
stretchandjenny
Question 7: What do you listen to (if anything) while you work?
 I usually prefer words to music, so CreativeLive or podcasts (I love After the Jump, the Maximum Fun networkSerial & its daddy This American Life, and Explore Your Enthusiasm).
Question 8: Morning person or night owl?
 Um…if I’m working on a project, I’ll stay up as late as I physically can to finish it.  I sleep as late into the morning as I can whenever possible.
Question 9: How many employees do you have and what are the main things they do for you?
I don’t have any employees, but Hi, Jenny Brown does have a resident photographer: Erin Markan, who is absolutely THE BEST.  We met in college, and although I wasn’t an immediate fan of her music taste, I was quickly enamored with her amazing writing, photography, and daiquiri-ing.  I am crazy lucky to have her as a photographer and as a friend.
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Question 10: What’s your favorite social media platform?
Question 11: What’s your least favorite social media platform?
Twitter – I don’t know why it makes me so nervous!
Question 12: What works best when it comes to marketing your business?
Having really good reviews and finished projects.  I’m looking to expand my marketing efforts, though, so please feel free to share any ideas 🙂
 Question 13: What’s one thing about your business that your blog readers probably don’t know?
I cannot start a crochet project until I see the entire finished project in my mind – colors, stitches, size, etc.  Once it’s there, I can start, but before that, I can’t even pick up a hook.  Of course there are changes along the way, but the end product is pretty faithful to that original idea.
Question 14: If your business were a fashion accessory, what would it be?
 A really comfortable pair of canvas shoes with a ridiculous print (Or I’m just staring at my feet?)
Question 15: What’s your top tip for someone who wants to do something similar to you for a career?
Do your research.  There are a lot of things you can pick up along the way, but there are standards for pattern layout, abbreviations, and language. Also, check Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, and Google to make sure your pattern idea doesn’t already exist (or that your version is different enough from the existing ones – something that can be quite a bit tricky).
I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me, but now it’s your turn!  You can use the post title Behind the Scenes of My Business Blog Tag and the hashtag #MyBizBlogTag so we can all find your post (and please let me know in the comments!)
Here are the questions that you can copy and paste:
Question 1: What’s your two to three sentence bio? (You know, what the heck do you do?)
Question 2: What’s your favorite part of your job?
Question 3: What’s your least favorite part of your job?
Question 4: What are the top three tools you use the most in your work?
Question 5: What business goal would you love to reach before the end of the year?
Question 6: Who are three creatives that inspire you?
Question 7: What do you listen to (if anything) while you work?
Question 8: Morning person or night owl?
Question 9: How many employees do you have and what are the main things they do for you?
Question 10: What’s your favorite social media platform?
Question 11: What’s your least favorite social media platform?
Question 12: What works best when it comes to marketing your business?
Question 13: What’s one thing about your business that your blog readers probably don’t know?
Question 14: If your business were a fashion accessory, what would it be?
Question 15: What’s your top tip for someone who wants to do something similar to you for a career?
This blog post is a part of the ‘Behind the Scenes of My Business’ Blog Tag started by April of Blacksburg Belle. She began this blog tag experiment to build community among creatives, help us bloggers to connect more and get to know each other better. This month’s topic is all about sharing the behind the scenes stuff of our businesses. If you’d like to participate or want more info, check out this posright here.
Bye,
Jenny Brown
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6 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes

  1. Beautiful blog post (again!). Question 4 is my favorite. It looks like a Susan Bates crochet hook (bamboo & aluminium) but I don’t think it is (unless you got married a long time ago and they customized the base since then).

  2. Hi Jenny Brown,
    Love this post and your adorable personality. Also, I may have mentioned before that I am baffled and blown away by your abilities. WOW. I am pretty good at most crafty stuff but I cannot wrap my little brain around the whole crochet thing. Knitting either. I can crochet a chain, but that’s is about it.

    1. Thanks so much! You are too kind about my abilities – you can’t believe how terrible I am about jewelry making. Seriously, a disaster. Chaining is the hardest part, so you’re half-way there. We’ll have to meet up sometime on one coast or the other and trade skills!

  3. Jenny, Your posts always brighten my day! I so suck at checking my emails, that sometimes the post notices slip by me. 😦 I’m sitting here with my sister Carol, in Arizona (having a blast by the way!) and we were talking about that very thing you wrote a post regarding the other day. You know the one about YKWYSM? She makes gorgeous swarovski jewelry @ https://www.facebook.com/TheJewelryArtist . . . and people are doing that all that time! She loved the look on your face in that iconic photo as much as I did!

    So anyway, dear friend, another great post! You a fascinating and sweet bundle of crochet goodness that is going places. Leave a yarn trail! 🙂

    1. Nancy, I am the same way! I just today updated my blog reader because I’m missing everyone’ s goodness.
      I was wondering why my ears were burning 🙂 I’m glad Carol can relate too! Her jewelry is so very pretty! (I’ve never been to Arizona – is it nice this time of year?)
      Thanks so much for all the sweetness, Nancy, of course, for the tag! Have a great day!

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