Introduction - chapter 3. The Journey
Original Happily Ever Crafter was born around 2016. Back then, it was simply an instagram page linked to an etsy store - a way to channel my creativity and sharing it with friends and family. I simply sold crocheted (or knitted) items.
When I first started, I could only do very basic crochet - limited to single and double crochet, I could only make a panel (not even a circle or a ball). At the same time, I couldn't read patterns too! So I just kept doing what I knew and followed short video tutorials.
I still remember my very first custom order; a friend asked if I could make a stuffed monkey for her daughter. I told her confidently that I could (even though I had no idea how), then for days I researched how to crochet 3D objects and looking at endless reference photos.
After a couple weeks of frustration...I managed to create one; now (4 years later) it's still her snuggle buddy.. Simply heartwarming! In fact, I recently just created a stuffed piggy for her second born. Mel and her kids would always have a special place in my heart - they were the pushing force so I could get out of my comfort zone and learn something new.
I moved to Sydney at the end of 2017 and got promoted at my job - which were very exciting for a 20 something young lady. On the other hand, due to the limited amount of time in a day and the increased responsibilities... I had to make the choice to put Happily Ever Crafter into hiatus (for undisclosed amount of time).
That brings us to the Singapore move on 2019 - when we moved to Singapore, unfortunately I couldn't bring my job with me. Settling in to a completely different culture with little support system and no friends was incredibly challenging. On top of that, I am still waiting for my PR and long term visa for the first few months; In Singapore, that means I can't even buy my own SIM card. I remember how craft made me feel - it focuses my mind, it made me happy (if the project turns out great), and it is a therapy on its own. I started to pick my hooks up and started random projects.
Since I got the full creative freedom on our bedroom....I decided the well-lit area of our bedroom would be my first project of: CRAFT CORNER! (Mr. Hubs didn't mind at all and now sometimes sits on my throne if it wasn't covered up in yarns). So I went to spotlight, bought yarns enough for the whole kampung (read: small village); went to IKEA, and bought comfortable things for my corner. When I was finished with craft corner v1, It was beautiful (left).
my craft corner (on the best day, when no craft is happening)
At first I I still aimed for Happily Ever Crafter to be my hobby/side gig. I found a full-time job in hospitality. However, after being immersed in Singapore hospitality work culture, I realised that after work...you barely have time and emotional capacity for family, let alone for a hobby. It took a toll on my mental health - everyday I woke up, I was torn. We came back to Singapore so we can be with our extended family and build our own little family. But we both just kept working away, and never even spend much time with each other. So why are we even doing this?
After weeks that felt like months and years, I was lucky enough that my bosses was very understanding of my mental health and let me go. My prayers will always be with them.
Following that, I realised Happily Ever Crafter could be more than a side gig, and at the same time I could do some "me project" alongside my craft journey. So, I have decided that it is the right time to bring Happily Ever Crafter back to live, this time with BANG! We are starting fresh, with new website, new instagram handle, polished values and vision!
Now I am starting to expand my view and what I do. While I still do mostly crocheted and knitted goods, I am also trying out new crafts, like floral, resin crafts, jewelry making. (sometimes, a combination of 2).
On top of that, I like to make it clear for myself on what I'd like HEC to value. Three things that I value most in Happily Ever Crafter:
Sustainability: I am trying to find new ways to give a second life to items that can't be recycled and otherwise is going to landfill. What I've done so far: I collect old (and then cleaned) stuffed toys, use their stuffings for my amigurumi, and use the leftover fabric as buttons, patchwork, or linings.
Creative Community & Growth: What is art if I can't share it with others? I will be sharing my ideas and craft tutorials in the craftspirations section. I hope with these we can inspire each other and grow together in craft and art!
Boutique Artistry: Every single item is handmade and unique. Just like cooking; even with the same recipe and ingredients, every time we make something they are all different in their own ways.
This brings us to the end of our introductory posts - I hope these posts gives a little background on what is HEC, who is behind it, and how it was made into fruition.
Have a great day and see you next time!