There isn’t much that connects my home town with Miami. We definitely don’t share a climate, more’s the pity. In particular, there is nothing at all to connect my crochet to Florida. Until now that is.
Zumba and Crochet Do Mix
I’ll grant you Zumba and Crochet don’t seem the most obvious bedfellows but in an effort to build myself a better fitness level than a geriatric sloth, I go to Zumba classes. I would never have dreamed of walking in to a class if it wasn’t for my Husband, who is a Zumba Instructor! I’m a career introvert and battle fierce socialising demons, so new things and new people are not in my comfort zone. Thanks to Mark’s intervention I now attend two classes per week and count some of my fellow dancers as my most AWESOME friends.
It’s thanks to those Zumba classes that I met Rosina, who challenged me to crochet the very first Mini Me.
Hi lovely, I have got a wee project for you coz I know how you love a challenge ?? My hubby Roy will be 50 on March 15th he’s a fly fisherman, do you think you could crochet me one. I have enclosed a picture for you. Anything resembling this would be fantastic !!
I know, it took me a minute to process the question too. So I did what I usually do to buy myself some time. “Leave it with me and I’ll see what I can do.” Ten days later after lots of Googling and Pinterest research I came up with the foundation of a plan. I don’t even want to share how many times I ripped things out and started over trying to get the basic shape right. Flipping heck what a responsibility I felt. It’s fraught with problems, not the least of them being, what if the Mini Me looks nothing like the person? Or worse, it looks like a badly executed surrealistic nightmare and I offend someone? By the time I finished my anxiety level was off the scale. Because I’m a big fearty (another good Scottish word) I sent Rosina a photo trying to manage her expectations.
She Loved It
Rosina (and Roy it was to turn out later) were thrilled with the results. It seems that Rosina only expected a generic fisherman, not one that looked like Roy in the photo! By misunderstanding what I thought were her expectations, I’d stumbled upon something a little bit special. Thanks to that first wee project and the reaction it received later on Facebook, I’ve made eight of them to date. So all the effort it took to make that first doll was time very well spent.
Fast forward to last weekend and a Zumba Masterclass event. While I know spending a Friday night at a two hour, high energy exercise class isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. Trust me, I wouldn’t have believed it either a few years ago, but I had a blast.
The whole event was terrific. Great company, great music, great dance moves, great fun all round. Mark was as excited as a kid at Christmas. If nothing else happened that alone would have been enough to make me smile. But then we met Loretta.
Dancing Queen (and King)
Loretta Bates is a force of nature. She’s kind, beautiful and talented, the sort of person you’d love to hate if she wasn’t so blooming lovely. She made a whole room of people feel special. Mark danced on stage with one of his Zumba heros! It was a standout moment and one we’ll never forget.
By the end of last song I was a sweaty, smiling, exhausted mess. The next thing I knew it was over and the venue lights came on, “Little Loretta” was about to make her debut. While I’d spent weeks studying promotional photos online, trying to give her mini me some personality, now there she was standing in front of me and I was petrified I hadn’t done her justice. I tried hiding in the crowd but I didn’t get away with it. Thankfully both Meg (the lady who ordered the Mini Me and super event organiser) and Loretta, couldn’t have been more gracious. I even caught a little skip of delight as Loretta held up the doll for the 200+ strong crowd to see.
I’m sure the cheers and applause were for Loretta (the life size version) but I was beaming none the less. I had managed to made something utterly unique and it had made it’s new owner smile. In my book that’s a great big tick in the win column. The whole drive home and the rest of that night I was on top of the world.
I’m not sure why, but I hadn’t taken the time to consider what would happen next. Moreover, I hadn’t even thought something I’d made was going to be travelling all the way to the USA. Or that Loretta (who is pretty darned famous in Zumba circles) would want to show off her new thank you gift. I was still riding the high from my happy customers. Something I do very often.
Then I checked Facebook the morning after. Meg had shared a photo of BOTH Loretta’s on her page with a link to my page too. Loretta had posted a photo on her Instagram feed. Mark had also been busy and tagged my page on Facebook and Twitter. My notifications were dinging like crazy with congratulation messages and a few new orders. I was overwhelmed. The reaction was wonderful and totally unexpected.
What started out as a little challenge has turned in to a big adventure in creative crochet. Since making Roy the fly fisherman, I’ve managed to adapt the pattern to make ice hockey players (including helmet, stick and skates), a dancer (complete with tutu), a football player and now two Zumba ladies. Every one of them has been a joyful outlet for my imagination and a persistent call to raise my game.
It is in no small way thanks to some outstanding people taking time to share and comment on pictures and posts that I’ve now surpassed one of my 2019 business goals already, and it’s only February. Wow! I’ve had more enquiries and orders than I have ever dared to dream. I have great plans for 2019 and thanks to all this I’m on course to have my best year ever.
Now I need to stay focused, work hard, be humble, set new goals and dream bigger. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
Until Next time
Be productive, be brilliant, be kind.