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What Crocheting Lace Taught Me About the Business World

I’ve always been what you could call a “crafty” person. Way before Pinterest, at the age of six, my grandmother taught me how to crochet and knit. Soon after, I learned how to cross stitch, “weave” potholders, make and fix jewelry, and basic sewing skills. In recent years, I’ve taught myself how to make everything from screen printed t-shirts to tie-dyed dresses, rearview mirror “dice” to duct tape wallets, wine cork coasters to wrapping paper…But through it all, I keep going back to crochet. A few months ago, I found a crocheted snowflake doily Christmas tree ornament I’d made in middle school and was inspired to try making lace ribbon. Several hours later, and…I had a pile of lace ribbon!

I’ve found that my time in the business world has some eerie similarities with my experiences making meticulous crafts. When I first saw pictures of lace tape, I couldn’t even conceptualize how thread and a needle could create those beautiful designs. But I spent several hours watching instructional videos (or reading crochet patterns, back before YouTube). Eventually, I not only grasped how lace was made, I was able to replicate several motifs fairly well! What can I say—I’m a sucker for string-related challenges.

Similarly, so many elements of working in business are beyond confusing to me. Sometimes I can’t even wrap my head around what people are talking about, much less catch up with what all the buzzwords. But when I apply the determination that comes so naturally when I’m trying to make something with my hands, things start falling into place. With a lot of focus and open-mindedness, I eventually catch on and am able to apply my own skills to generate work products that really do help the small businesses we work with.

Sometimes I feel like I’m faking it, but then I remember that it’s the results that matter. Yes, it can be discouraging when I can’t figure out how to get that tiny leaf on the flower motif to curve just right, but if I look for help in the right places and don’t give up, I end up with a really cool piece of purple lace that I’m really proud of. Or, you know, a diagram illustrating a business’ trajectory over the next year. Whatever.


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