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Q&A: Student runs crochet online business

Caledonia junior Sydney Pitchford crochets a sweater for herself Oct. 14 in her apartment bedroom.

As the COVID-19 quarantine started, Caledonia junior Sydney Pitchford, decided to try and teach herself to crochet. 

Now just over half a year later, Pitchford is the owner of "Sydney Pitchford Crochet," an online business where she sells crocheted goods. 

Central Michigan Life sat down with Pitchford to discuss her online crochet business. 

CM Life: What do you enjoy about crocheting? 

Pitchford: I really enjoy how calming it is, its very relaxing when I’m feeling anxious. Which is helpful during COVID-19 I think that’s why I started crocheting so much. And I also enjoy seeing things come to life in my hand that I’m making out of just a piece of yarn and a hook. 

How did you get started crocheting? 

I started crocheting at the beginning of this year when it was winter, and it was cold so there wasn’t much to do. I wanted a new hobby and so I decided to teach myself and I’ve been crocheting ever since. I’ve only been doing this for a year, but it became so much fun for me that I got really good at it fast, because I continued to learn new stitches and work on new patterns. So, it has been a very fast progression of my skill level. I keep teaching myself new stuff everyday by practicing and seeing other people’s work. 

What made you decide to turn your hobby into a business? 

I decided to turn my hobby into a business after I saw the love other people had for my work. They were very excited to see me progress with my skills and the saw the shirts and the different objects that I would create and they would ask “Hey do you sell this stuff?” and when people would ask if I sold it I would originally do it for friends and let them buy a piece from me. Eventually the demand grew and grew so I turned it into my own little side business.

How do you balance being a student and an entrepreneur? 

I panic, a lot. I try to make sure I spend equal time on both, so I don’t just focus my business or just focus on school because then it’s a lose lose situation. If I don’t do my school work on time then I’m screwed so I try to space out my time and plan ahead so I have enough hours in the day to get my school work done and also work on orders. 

Are there any benefits to being a student as well as a small business owner? 

Definitely, I don’t have to go out and work in the fast food business or any of those jobs, and as much as I respect those jobs, for me personally I have so much anxiety that jobs like that have caused me health issues in the past. So, this is a great compromise for me where I’m still able to make money as a student but I don’t have to worry about getting up at a certain time to go to work, I can work from home.

Do you have any suggestions for others?

Everyone should have a hobby that they enjoy that can calm them down when they’re anxious or even take their mind off COVID-19 and schoolwork. It’s really helped me, and I think that everyone would benefit from having something in their day that they put time aside for.