Netherlands-based Marinke Slump (aka Wink) is a crocheter and the girl behind the popular crochet blog, A Creative Being. She's also a crochet instructor for Crafttuts+. Today we chat to her about her brightly coloured 'boho chic' work, working from home and her marketing strategies.
QHow did you learn how to crochet?
I taught myself from a crappy amigurumi crochet book only three years ago. I still blame that book for my 'weird' way of crocheting.
QWhat are your favourite tools and equipment?
My favourite crochet hook size is 4mm, and I have a lot of different brands in that size. The one I always keep coming back to is the Clover Soft Touch. It has a wonderfully comfortable grip and the hook is silky smooth and never ever snags on my yarn. I have this really awesome handmade crochet hook roll, and I would be lost if I ever lost it!
QDo you read any blogs for inspiration?
Any? Try 350! I read as many blogs as I can. I love finding new-to-me blogs and I love coming back to my favourite blogs. For me, blogs are a constant source of inspiration and a great way to stay in touch with trends.
QHow would you describe your style?
Hippie boho chic. Even though my style changes a lot each season, the boho style seems to be the one constant through all of my work.
QCan you tell us what's on your desk right now?
My iMac, camera, notebook, a stack of new mandala designs, books waiting to be reviewed, my favourite music DVDs, and about a million yarn labels!
QDo you have an inspiration wall? Can you tell us what's on it right now?
I do! Although it's not so much an inspiration wall as an accomplishment wall. I keep old pictures on it of me and my family, little notes from buyers and interesting people, and drawings/sketches. Sometimes I just sit back and look at everything, it helps to keep me centered and grateful.
QDo you work from home? How do you keep a good work/life balance?
I do work from home, but sometimes when I'm really busy and have to send lots of emails and write blog posts, I rent a desk at an office space near my home. I find that planning in advance helps a lot when working from home. When you're at home it's easy to get distracted; having your week planned out really helps you to focus and stay on track.
QWhat's your best tip for marketing your work?
I've learned that there isn't one set way to promote your business; you have to use a combination of everything that is out there, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Most companies don’t realize the value each social network can give you, and just repost the same thing everywhere. That gets boring really fast, and it's definitely not the way to gain momentum!
You have to realise that stats aren't everything. For me, my blog stats are the most important (because of the content, it’s my core business and I have ads on there), but I value my social networks just as much. If you have a lot of followers on Facebook, those people are just as important as your blog followers. If they interact with a post on Facebook but not your blog, that’s fine! Just embrace the fact that you’re getting interaction. Social media was never meant to be just a driving force behind the traffic on your website or blog.
QDo you listen to music or watch TV when you're crafting?
Definitely. I listen to music via Spotify if I'm doing blog posts or writing e-mails. When I crochet I usually watch movies and TV series. Depending on the project though; when I really need to pay attention to what I'm doing, I usually just listen to music, or a music DVD! Those are the best.
QWhat's the best thing about your job?
I get to play with the most amazing yarns every day! In the summer that's not such a great thing, though! I just love that I get to be creative every single day. Without that, I think I would go crazy!
Thank you, Wink!
You can find Wink's awesome crochet tutorials for Crafttuts+ here. You can also follow Wink online at www.acreativebeing.com, her Facebook page with 7000+ fans; and her Etsy shop where you can find her patterns.