CGOA Member Spotlight: Lorene Eppolite

Friday, June 17, 2016

I'm Marie Segares and this is the sixth post in a monthly series on CGOA Now! where I feature a CGOA member and tell her story through an interview.

Lorene Eppolite.
This month's interview is with Lorene Eppolite from Cre8tion Crochet. Lorene started designing in 2012 and she loves to make fun and easy accessories and garments. Lorene also strives to make her designs achievable for any skill level. She was named one of the Top Ten Designers by The Yarn Box in 2012 and by AllFreeCrochet in 2013, 2014, and 2015. You can find Lorene on Cre8tion Crochet or follow her on Facebook, InstagramPinterest, or Ravelry, or by subscribing to her newsletter.
All images are used with permission and are © Lorene Eppolite/Cre8tion Crochet.

The Windmill Square, free crochet pattern by Cre8tion Crochet.
Marie: How did you first get started crocheting?
Lorene: My grandmother taught me how to crochet a little bit as a child.  Basically I think it was just chaining and maybe double crochet.  Occasionally throughout my teen and early adult years I would pick it up and play for a little while.  I never made anything more than scarves or glorified baby blankets (one stitch, one color and when I ran out of yarn, the project was over, lol). 
This all changed when my best friend was expecting her first child, who just turned 6 this May.  I wanted to give her a gift that she could keep as an heirloom, so I decided to make her a baby blanket.
I was pleased with how well it came out.  The stitches were nice and even and it looked really pretty.  I decided that I wanted to make her a matching hat, so I just started playing around.  The first hat was not as pretty but it wasn’t so bad either.
Sea Breeze Summer Slouch, free crochet pattern by Cre8tion Crochet.
Marie: When did you start designing?
Lorene: I started designing at the same time, but only for personal use.  It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I ever even looked at a crochet pattern.  I taught myself from looking at pictures and lots (and LOTS) of frogging. 
I was just selling my finished items but people kept asking me for the pattern.  I decided to start a blog with my own free patterns, and it’s been history from there.
Bulky Striped Cowl, free crochet pattern by Cre8tion Crochet.
Marie: How long have you been a member of the CGOA? What’s your favorite thing about being a member?
Lorene: I joined the CGOA in 2013.  Until then I had never heard of the CGOA.  I googled “crochet professional membership” and they popped up.  This was at the time when I was really getting into designing and blogging and I wanted to be affiliated with a professional group.  I was so happy I did because I learned about their next conference, which was being held in my own state.  Only 5 hours away, and in a town where I had family.  My husband thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to go, but little did he know where this opportunity would lead me.
I had found some success before the conference but this was definitely one of the catalysts to my business booming.  I met some wonderful people in the industry as well as meeting lots of lifelong crochet friends. 
Saffron Sweet Shawl, free crochet pattern by Cre8tion Crochet.
Marie: You started out as a maker and have shared many posts on the business of crochet on your blog. What tips would you share with a crocheter just starting to charge for her/his work?
Lorene: Two things really, well maybe three.  1) Do not sell yourself short.  Learn about pricing, and learn about your demographic before pricing your items.  You can start by reading my Selling Your Crochet, a 6 part series that teaches you everything you need to know about getting started, from what to sell, where to sell, how to market yourself and more.
2) Make sure your work is of a high caliber.  Practice seamless crochet, invisible finishing, or other techniques designed to make your work professional.  Be sure to weave in your ends, well.  You don’t want them slipping out after you sell your item, or worse, having it unravel. 
3) Take good photos.  Nothing sells your work better than great photos.  Use props when possible, have an uncluttered background and make sure your pictures are in focus.  You don’t have to have an expensive camera, nowadays cell phones take excellent photos. 
Unique V-Neck Cropped Vest, free crochet pattern by Cre8tion Crochet.
Marie: What are your favorite types of crochet projects?
Lorene: Hmmm, this one really depends on my mood.  I LOVE tops, tanks, tee’s, sweaters, etc.  But I also love cowls and shawls.  I love fashion so it just seems natural to me to create items you can wear.  While I’m not so much into home decor or amigurumi, I have made a few of these types of patterns and it is fun to mix it up sometimes.  
Winter Waves Chevron Cowl, free crochet pattern by Cre8tion Crochet.
Marie: What are your favorite types of crochet projects for relaxing?
Lorene: When I want to relax I make hats, or cowls.  Something a little more mindless, that follows an easily repeatable pattern.
Flower Power Flip Flops, free crochet pattern by Cre8tion Crochet.
Marie: What are your favorite types of crochet projects for challenging yourself?
Lorene: Garments with a lot of shaping and fancy edging.  I like crocheting from charts, much more than patterns, so occasionally I’ll find a nice lace or edging chart online and play. 
Pop of Pink Vertical Chevron Bag, free crochet pattern by Cre8tion Crochet.
Marie: What are your favorite types of crochet projects to give as gifts?
Lorene: The things I give most often as gifts are scarves and cowls.  I love that they are one size fits all.
Cathedral Window 12" Square, free crochet pattern by Cre8tion Crochet.
Marie: What are you working on in 2016? What's next for you?
Lorene: So many things, never a dull moment.  Most of what I’m working on is under wraps, so I can’t share a lot about it, but it will be an exciting time for me.  Lot’s of growth and expansion is on the horizon. 
One thing I can share is that I am working on being more disciplined with my designing and blogging.  Over the last couple years, between having babies, raising kids and just general craziness, I have been too lax with organization and consistency.  I hope to release a new free pattern every week, just as soon as the craziness of getting ready for CGOA conference in 2016 is over.  I’m heading up the design competition with my friend and fellow blogger, Jessie Rayot of Jessie at Home. 

Thanks so much for sharing your love of crochet with us, Lorene, and for the volunteer work you do for the CGOA Design Competition! Readers, you can enter the competition through June 30, 2016. Find more details here on the CGOA website.

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