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Off the hook – 10 Questions to a crafter

Off the hook - 10 Questions to a crafter

Today we talk with Jazeera from Off the Hook, Kenyan artisan specialised in crocheting.

  • When and how did you start?

I started in late May of 2020 when I was at home sitting with nothing to do and my mind was going into overdrive with everything that was going on around me

  • Why crochet?

I suffer from chronic depression and anxiety and because of all the circumstances surrounding me at that moment I was not able to visit my therapist. I needed to look for an outlet that would keep my mind busy and occupied as opposed to the overthinking and over analysing that was happening internally

  • Who or what influenced you?

To be honest, I want sure if I would enjoy it, but I was tired of trying everything under the sun from colouring to baking to exercising-but they only kept me occupied for a few hours at most. And then it was back to the overthinking and analysing

  • How did you learn?

I actually learned when I was younger but it was a forgotten art, one of my friends suggested I try learning from YouTube and this is actually what I did

  • Is this what you studied for?

No, it isn’t

  • If not what did you study?

I’m a physiotherapist by profession

  • When did you understand that your passion could become a business?

I’m not sure it will become a big business, but I know that it is helping to keep me sane-the worst that could happen is that I will end up in in a house full of crochet items

  • What is your creative process and what do you like the most?

To be honest, I haven’t developed one yet-its too soon to start thinking about it. I enjoy and it gives me a chance to play with colour and be free of any confines to what something is supposed to be.

  • What is your biggest challenge?

There are too many copy cats who feel that they can give bad quality work and underprice the items just because they want to make a sale. For me, it’s not really about the sales, but more about the love and passion that goes into making an item

  • What is your best seller?

My little elephant so far

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

On a farm with a lot of animals

  • If you could go back at the beginning of your career would you change anything?

No, I don’t think I would because it is where I have been and what I have experienced that has moulded me into what I am and what I am able to achieve today.

Check Off the hook online!!

If you have any questions for Jazeera leave a comment below!!

 

The evolution of a product

I was working as camp Manager in Maasai Mara when one of the Maasai in charge of security gave me a gift; a small elephant necklace carved in cow bones.

What if I did it with plastic from a CD? The idea was stuck in my mind for the entire season.

Once home, I tried to cut the same shape on a DVD but it was harder than expected. The trunk was getting broken all the time, the plastic was not melting together, the colours were fading.

After trying hundreds times the elephant necklace was born.

We started to sell at the camp and it was a huge success.

We got featured on the Air Kenya magazine “Ndege News” and some people came to the camp just to buy the small red elephant necklace.

I was very proud, but not totally satisfied.

My mum told me once that Elephants with the trunks up bring good luck and that is what everyone needs, isn’t it? So I changed the original design.

Cutting was even more challenging than before.  But the result was much nicer.

At the same time, I discovered metal stamping. I totally fell in love with it.

But plastic cannot be hammered…so I wrote something on a piece of aluminium taken from an old broken teapot. I wrote a message to myself “NEVER GIVE UP”.

This is how I started “The Elephant with a Message” that got sold out in very short time at the camp.

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