This post should start with a bunch of pictures of my face making surprised, confused, ecstatic, and bewildered looks! HOW did I manage to become a crochet designer and spend an entire year doing this already!?
How come I didn’t do this sooner? How long can I keep doing this? How did I get so many followers and supporters on all my various social media sites? And, why do I have so many social media sites? 😆
At this time last year I was trying to wrap my head around how to create an interlocking crochet pattern. I managed to publish my first pattern to ravelry on April 1, 2020.
I now have 200 patterns published to Ravelry! Quite a few are also on Etsy. Almost all of my patterns are written for interlocking and overlay mosaic; I did try my hand at “regular” crochet patterns too but I don’t find it as enjoyable.
I have met (online) so many kind and creative people this past year. There are over 3000 members in my Facebook group. I have over 1400 followers on Instagram, over 1800 subscribers on my YouTube channel, and I actually don’t know how to check how many of you are subscribed to these blog posts. And I am failing at being regular with the Mailchimp newsletter 😬 but I really appreciate everyone who has shown their support there too!
Honestly, I am so thankful to everyone who has supported me through this first year. I can’t believe how validating and rewarding it has been. So many little dreams-come-true. 🤩
Plus, his designs are amazing and that inspires me to do the best artwork I can. He started designing only a few months before I did and it has been nice to grow beside each other.
I am also very thankful for Kate Dudman! She has been a source of emotional support, an encyclopedia of knowledge and experience, and a fun friend to chat with. She puts a lot of time and effort into her facebook group, Interlocking Crochet World, and it is a great resource for everyone!
I also put my new friend, Neetsey, to work shortly after becoming acquainted. She has helped me with ravelry and other “business” things but is also a good shoulder to cry on. It is really too bad the shoulder is only online, the internet is still lacking the human touch. We will meet someday! And, her little dog too! 😉😆
I credit my new friend, Kimberly Windsor-Johnson, as the kind push that has helped me keep moving forward. Her encouragement and creativity have buoyed me a few times. And, of course, I needed another virtual shoulder for my many moments.
There have been others through the past year who have shown me how to believe in myself, even when it’s just a single comment. I appreciate the constructive criticism as well as the compliments and I am thankful that not everyone has given up on me.
I have made mistakes this year. That’s to be expected when learning so many new things and filling my schedule to the brim (ok, it was definitely overflowing: started designing, sold our house, hubby lost his job, moved twice, homeschooling my eldest, and a global pandemic? Ya, it was a stressful year lol). I am sorry for the disappointments and I guarantee I will not be perfect in the future either.
I have disappointed myself a few times as well. But I have also grown.
It’s hard to have a plan for the future of “Ashlee Brotzell Designs” when I really don’t know what I expected or what I can expect from myself when a hobby blows up into a job.
First and foremost, I am a mom. I am a wife. My family is, and has to remain, a priority.
Secondly, my own mental health is a balancing act between pushing myself to grow without pushing myself off the edge. 😅 I want to keep working at designing but I don’t want it to be “work”. This is therapy. This is me-time. This is supplemental income.
In short, my goals for the next year are to keep designing, keep trying new things, but with a stronger focus on balance.
I still have a lot of things on my to-do list. Even more on my wishlist. And a lifetime supply of inspiration.
Tune in tomorrow, when I will tell you how we are going to celebrate this momentous occasion!