The world of crochet expands a lot farther than people think it does. If you’ve check out other crochet sites on the internet besides AllFreeCrochet, you may have found a blog and magazine called CrochetSavvy. We had the opportunity to talk to them about the work they do on this magazine to get some insight on creative things happening for crocheters.
Here’s a little bit of background from Keturah:
I am LaTonya Keturah Ariel Malinconico, the Founder & Editor-n-Chief of Crochet Savvy Magazine and brain behind the knitFABulous blog. I have been a knitter for almost 6 years and a crocheter for about 4 years now. In my day time, I am wife to a Rabbi and I am a graphics/web designer and self-publisher. I was in the music industry since I was 15 years old and I take my experience with business and apply it to my crafting. I knit, crochet, sew and cook, and I am married with 3 kids and 2 cats. I am from Houston, Texas and currently live in Toronto, Canada. I also lived in Florida for a few years, which is a great place to be.
Q. When and how did you come up with the idea for this magazine? What were the first steps you had to complete for this magazine to really take off?
A. April 2012. The steps that I took were to organize what kind of magazine that I wanted, what my audience looked like and what kind of effort/commitment I wanted to put into it. If I wanted a free magazine, a paid one, a staff, a blog, or what. In the end, I decided to do a blog/digital version. After planning the theme, colors, logo, tagline and all of the things that people would see, I went to marketing. I asked designers if they would be willing to be in the magazine and offered them free ads. A few people said that I was too new and were not willing to be featured. But mostly 80% of the people I talked to got featured the first year. Many of those people are still good friends with me and the magazine really did create long lasting relationship with some of them. Ironically, a few of those who told me no in the beginning are asking for interviews now. Wink wink- that’s the nature of the game, though, right?
Q. How do you find your ‘featured designers’ and what do you value most in them?
A. I find featured designers through social media, word of mouth, Etsy, and Ravelry. Basically when people post photos of their work online- the internet is so big yet so small that eventually everyone gets a chance to see it if you are on social media. Twitter and Facebook showcases designers and new crochet works everyday. Some of my readers would tell me or someone on staff to check someone out specifically. I would and then would contact them about a feature. I pick cover stories based on how fabulous a person is, how they are helping to contribute to the crochet world and if they are new- I look for what potential they can bring to our industry. I value designers that are real, open and easy to talk to. Some people have big heads when they get famous- I do not deal with people like that. And thank heavens none of the people we have interviewed have gotten a big head…yet! =)
Q. What is the process you go through for putting together an issue of your magazine?
A. At first we didn’t have a process because it was a one man show. As I got volunteers for the staff, things became easier. First we draw up an outline of what content we would like to see, then we divide the work and set deadlines. Next, I draft up the design and graphic work for the issue. Finally, our copy editor finalizes our content while advertisements go in last. When we are finished, it is ready to be converted to digital form. The process in whole takes about 2 months per magazine issue.
A. Having a digital publication benefits us in 2 ways. The first benefit is that we are doing everything in house and do not have overhead costs. Digital also means no paper, so we are helping the environment as well as allowing people who read on their tablets and phones a chance to view something that they do not have to haul in a heavy bag or get ripped. Today many people keep a stack of magazines and newspapers right on their tablet where you can easily store 100’s of books, articles and other reading materials. Because of this, we are very popular. People can just download and view anywhere, anytime as they please.
The second benefit is that my magazine is free. We do not charge for our magazine issues; keeping it digital helps us to keep our magazine free. Once you start printing, you almost always have to charge something. Our large audience today is here because they like that we are free. Having a digital publication really helps keep the content viral and makes for free and easy social marketing as well as basically any marketing and promotions online since the internet is everywhere. You would be surprised at the many countries around the world that join us online to download and view our content. I was very surprised myself because half of the places I have never even heard about before.
Q. How did you get started doing charity work? What’s your favorite part about giving back and helping out?
A. I started doing charity work after my mother-in-law passed away from cervical cancer. I started a project called “Addicted to Granny Squares” to benefit cervical cancer awareness. Many people send in granny squares to make blankets for cervical cancer survivors. It was a great concept. After that, I contributed to many pet snuggles because I love animals and actually have cats of my own. I am a mom so whenever someone tells me that they are doing baby hats or something for the kids I also like to give my time and talent to those causes as well.
My favorite part about giving back and helping out is that you meet people and hear their unique stories and situations and make great connections. When I started the granny squares for cervical cancer, I didn’t know that I would get many positive responses from other women who either had tests and lately found out they have HPV or had other cervical problems and could not have children. It was a great way to help other people deal with what they are going through. I love charity work and believe that we all should help others. When we focus on other people’s problems and helping them, our own problems do not seem so big after all.
Q. Does everyone on your team actually crochet? What are some of your favorite things to crochet?
A. My entire staff crochets. Actually two other people on staff along with myself can knit and crochet. I am entirely tri-crafty. I sew, crochet and knit along with other stuff like painting, cooking and decorating. My Assistant Editor, Turquoize Blue, and I are knitwear designers with designs in other publications. Some of my favorite things to crochet are accessories like earrings, gloves, purses and bags and hats.
Q. How did you come up with the fall feature for your magazine and decide on plus-size crochet? What are you looking forward to the most in this issue?
A. We came up with the idea of plus size crochet because we are a fashion crochet magazine that focuses on trends. Many of my viewers said that they in general could not find trendy and sexy plus size patterns. When we researched this ourselves, we saw a BIG size gap within our industry that was not being filled. Who wants to wear some frum and ugly crochet sweaters? No one. Why do the size 0 and size 4 ladies get all of the cute and trendy fashion patterns? People are upset when they try to take these patterns and size them up to the plus sizes, but it turns out to be a long and hard process. By the time they finish, they have a brand new pattern. So we heard out fans and decided to contact a few fabulous plus sized teachers and designers. One of them being Marly Byrd who is known for her teachings in plus size crochet and knitwear. I am very excited to see all of the plus sized looks that we will feature this fall. Everyone deserves to look their best, no matter what size they are. Its quite a controversy, too; some people feel that plus size crochet does have its patterns or sizes and that there should not be an issue. However, the plus size ladies say that the way the industry sizes things can sometimes be way off, and that they want to look, feel and be the best wearing the best crocheted outfits.