Erika’s passion for crocheting started at a young age. With lots of practice mixed with passion and talent you get a career you love! She currently has two online stores where she sells her unique pieces. She sells everything from earrings, baby rattles, rugs, to coasters and a variety specialty items that would be excellent gift ideas! Erika’s husband is a Marine Corps Veteran and they are currently in Front Royal, Virginia, not far from Quantico and Fort Belvoir.
When did you start your business & what made you decide this career path? I started my crochet business soon after graduating High School in 2014. I started by selling to friends and family, I then opened my shop on Etsy in the spring of 2015, and I now have a shop on Spouse-ly. I always new I wanted to have a creative job where I was my own boss. I learned how to crochet when I was about 10 years old. In elementary school I dabbled I’m sewing thinking I would be a seamstress, in middle school I spent some time making jewelry, but I always came back to crochet. I ran my business while going to college full-time and working two part-time jobs just to keep myself busy while my, now husband, was starting his training with the USMC. I am now running my business full-time.
Where have you lived & what has been your favorite base so far? With the USMC, we lived off Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. Once my husband got out, we moved back to VA to be with family. I loved living in Jacksonville! Everyone was always very nice and polite, especially in our neighborhood off Piney Green. Everyone looked after each other, which was very much appreciated while my husband was away for trainings.
What is the biggest challenge of being a military spouse & pursuing your career? The biggest challenge of being an active duty military spouse and a business owner is the instability that the military brings to your life. It’s hard to plan ahead where your family and your business will be next year or even next month.
What are some benefits of being a military spouse as a business owner? The comfort of owning your own business during the instability of military life. You own the business, you can take it where ever the military sends you. The business helps you build connections with likeminded business owners and customers.
What are your other hobbies? My other hobbies are listening to true crime podcasts and spending time with my two dogs.
If you could, what advice would you give yourself when you first started your business? Advice I would give myself would be to just start! Don’t wait for the right time, start and give it your all. Find a mentor to walk you through how to market yourself, how the different social medial algorithms work, etc. Most importantly, don’t compare yourself to others, they’re not your competition they’re your community.
Instagram and Facebook: @crochetedbyerika