I'm Rachel Taylor, creator of Punki's Closet. My husband and I have been crafting together for ten years, he carves Wooden Utensils and I crochet Keepsakes and Toys.
As many people do once they have children, we slowed down quite a bit in the early days. Children tend to recenter you, put a perspective on what you want out of life.
For us, this was to fuel our creative selves, who we were as a person, aside from partner, parent, employee. I picked up a crochet hook for the upteenth time, determimed to conquer it. Andrew at the time began playing with Paracord, eventually falling in love with wood carving again.
Initially I thought I'd make blankets and hats of the like, I'd never even heard of Amigurumi, or dollmaking. When Punki became attached to my hair to sleep with, I thought, why not a doll with hair? Many Pinterest patterns later, she still plays with my hair and Punki's Closet was born.
Today Punki's Closet has a website, Instagram and Facebook. Everyday he carves, I crochet. An order fills and another comes in. As any maker knows, trying to get yourself out there is more than making. It's designing, social media managing, photography, paperwork.
Add that to a full time job and you have a FULL plate. My biggest hurdle is time management, if you couldn't tell. I'm better at organizing and delegating certain days to certain tasks, with anything it takes experience. A fellow vendor told me each year she focuses on a component of her business, which I thought was a good idea. The two things I'm looking to focus on is my managing skills and packaging/branding.
So who is Punki anyway ? Alizah, our Halloween baby, has always been Punki, shortened from 'Punkin'. She inspires my creations with her imagination and play. She is a part of the process, tuned into each stage a creation is in, suggesting ideas. She helps me pose creations, take pictures and name them.
This year we became part of our local Farmers Market, something I'm incredibly grateful for. Not only is she learning life lessons, I am as well. She sees the process, from a piece of yarn to a creation going home with someone. The money exchanged is traded again for fresh vegetables from each farm booth, buying a little from each to show support to everyone.
As an introvert, Market has brought me out of my shell, I'm more confident in my work and myself. Most of my life I was unsure of myself and my path. Once I became a mother, I grew as a person and realized what I wanted to do. Connecting with others and creating puts me at ease, putting a part of myself out there and making people happy.
Andrew and I both support others in their desire to live happily, free from societal norms and restraints. Supporting small and local business is integral, it's more than buying crafts or produce. It's making a decision. A decision to trust your community and be a part of it. It's sharing with the world the small achievements, raving over the details. Even these days, where our community is bigger everyday with social media, you still make a choice. You choose to support a person or family, not a corporation.
The world could use more connection, love and beauty and I intend to try my best and do my part, for my child and future generations. Let's make a difference, shall we ?