Today, I’m interviewing Argentinian crochet designer Paola Navarro, also known as Delicious Crochet. She has been selling her signature style of amigurumi patterns in her Etsy shop since 2007, and can also be found on Ravelry (as DeliciousCrochet and on her designer page), as well as on her website, Flickr, Craftsy, and Twitter. All pictures are used with Paola’s permission.
Underground Crafter (UC): How did you learn to crochet?
Paola: When I was a kid, my mom and grandma taught me the basic crochet stitches. But back then, I wasn’t too interested in crocheting or knitting. Then, as a teenager, I became more attracted to this craft and some years ago, I just completely felt for it!
UC: When did you first become interested in amigurumi?
Paola: I always loved designing toys! Even as a kid, I used to sew some dolls and teddies! Then, just by accident, I stumbled across amigurumis and discovered they were just perfect for me, because they give me the possibility of combining two passions: crochet and toy design.
UC: What inspired you to start designing?
Paola: In fact, I always did my own designs, and not just for crochet. And everything inspires me, specially my hubby and nieces.
UC: Tell us about crochet in Argentina.
Paola: In Argentina, both crochet and knitting are almost exclusively practiced by women. Most women learned from a family member, like their grannies, moms, or old aunts. And to a lesser extent, at school.
A couple of years ago, some yarn sellers started teaching adults and kids how to crochet and knit in their stores on Saturday afternoons and this was a great success. Also, you can see some grown women crocheting in doctor’s waiting rooms, parks, while waiting in bank lines, and even in buses! (UC comment: I crochet on the subway all the time, so I guess I’d fit in if I moved to Argentina!) Not so the young women. They prefer crocheting or knitting in their homes. Just some people know how to do both, but knitting is more common among Argentinian women.
UC: Can you tell me about your decision to offer your patterns in English and Spanish?
Paola: Well, as I can speak both, I thought this was a great idea to help my designs reach more people across the world. Most of my buyers are used to crochet patterns written in English, but Spanish speakers are somewhat reluctant to use patterns in a foreign language, specially if they are crochet beginners. And having the possibility of using a pattern in their own language gives them more confidence.
UC: Your pattern photos have a signature style with a white outline and a solid background. How did you start using that style?
Paola: This is a way of giving my photos, as well as my amigurumis, the same signature style and more consistency to my shop. Then, when someone sees an amigurumi photo with this style, they will think: this MUST be from DeliciousCrochet.
UC: You have over 15,000 Etsy sales. (WOW!) Can you share some tips for new Etsy sellers?
Paola: All my designs are original and have my own style. When you see one of my designs, you know its mine even before seeing its name or my signature elsewhere. I think finding your own personal style instead of trying to imitate others and printing it in your creations is something buyers really value.
There are no secrets for running a shop. Just do what you love the best way possible and always take good care of your buyers.
Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing, Paola!