Lifestyle Business

Business yarn? How a Gen Z and a millennial mom make good income thru crocheting

BROAD CAST - Jing Castañeda - Philstar.com
Business yarn? How a Gen Z and a millennial mom make good income thru crocheting
Crochet artists Mia De Leon of @CJLA's Crochet Atbp (left) and Eduard San Luis of @Mr.Gantsilyo share how they transformed their hobby into a source of livelihood.

What interest or activity could a millennial mommy and a Gen Z guy possibly share? I probably won’t have guessed the right answer had I not met our two featured entrepreneurs in a recent episode of Pamilya Talk

Mia de Leon, 28, and Eduard San Luis, 23, are both into the art and business of making amigurumi or crocheted stuffed toys. The term amigurumi is a portmanteau of two Japanese words ami meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning a small, stuffed doll. A staple in the Japanese kawaii culture, making amigurumi has become a good income generating activity for Mia and Eduard, who by the way are both Information Technology graduates. They discovered crocheting during the pandemic. 

Mia told us she got exposed to crocheting thru her sister who likes making fashionable bonnets. A solo parent with two kids ages eight and three, Mia was looking for ways to earn that won’t take her time away from her growing kids. In other words, something that she could do at home when she’s not busy being a mommy. 

Initially, she’d make ear savers or mask extenders. Frontliners attach these to their face mask to prevent irritation or soreness caused by the straps around the ears. Until Mia discovered amigurumi, which is more fun to do and with better earning potential. 

Mini-me! An amigurumi doll from Mia De Leon of @CJLA's Crochet Atbp.

Eduard, on the other hand, was looking for a hobby or skill to learn so he could make better use of his time during the pandemic lockdowns. It was thru TikTok that he discovered amigurumi and an interesting observation—crocheting is not only for girls. There are actually many guy crocheters out there. Seeing that other guys are doing it inspired Eduard to also try crocheting. Now, Eduard is known on TikTok as Mr. Gantsilyo. 

Crocheting not an expensive hobby, says Eduard. In fact, for a minimum of P200, one can already buy a basic crochet set in online stores like Shopee and Lazada. A basic set consists of a crochet hook, a tape measure, stitch markers, tapestry needles, and a roll of yarn. 

One of Eduard’s first creations were amigurumi bee plushies, which could sell for about P500 to P600 each. His cute corgi plushies also caught the attention of netizens and sold well especially during the Valentine season. Recently, he has also tried making fashionable cardigans, which he wore and gamely modeled during our interview. 

As for Mia, she prefers to make dolls because she gets impatient crocheting the same yarn color. Her dolls have intricate details, thus, are challenging to do. The most difficult amigurumi she has done so far were Genshin Impact dolls. It took her roughly a week to finish each doll. She usually works for about 12 hours per day, usually at night when the kids are asleep. Depending on the difficulty of the design, she sells the dolls for P3,000 to P4,000 each. Mia happily shares that her amigurumi items are shipped internationally by a reseller on Facebook that specializes on handmade items. 

Mia says making amigurumi has greatly helped her in providing for her children’s needs. “Hindi ako nawawalan ng budget para sa kids,” she says. At the same time, Mia is happy that she’s able to fulfill her roles as a solo parent. 

Learning amigurumi has likewise been a blessing for Eduard, who’s the breadwinner in the family. Currently, he lives with his father who’s a stroke patient. Thru amigurumi, he’s able to support his father’s medical needs. Suffice it to say, their loved ones are Mia and Eduard’s motivation in continuing to make amigurumi art.

Five years from now, Eduard and Mia both say they hope to have a studio where they can showcase their amigurumi art. Mr. Gantsilyo says he also plans to create crocheting patterns, which would be another income generating stream for him. He says it will definitely be fun seeing other crocheters using the pattern he has made, as well as their finished products. 

For Mia, it would be a dream come true to see all her favorite yarn colors in one drawer, as well as hooks in different brands and sizes. 

How can one be successful in this kind of business? Mia shares her motto: “Quality over quantity.” She makes sure that her dolls are well-made and faithful to the preferred look and design of her client. 

She also advises crocheters to think of a target market they’d like to reach or a particular category they’d like to specialize on—say, amigurumi or wearables. Being successful in this business requires not only creativity and skills, but most important, lots of patience. Don’t lose hope if you’re not getting any sales in the beginning. Just continue to promote your products thru your social media pages and thru different Facebook groups. 

Watch #Pamilya Talk and learn how to earn from crocheting!

For those who would like to learn crochet, “YouTube is your best friend,” says Eduard. Just create what you want and always be excited about the outcome of your project. Work hard but don’t forget to rest so you won’t feel burned out in doing what you love to do.  

Eduard and Mia’s experiences teach us that “Crisis breeds opportunity.” They proved that the pandemic is not a hindrance to starting your own business. They also showed us that money is not the only thing that’s important in a business. It has to be coupled with hard work, patience, perseverance, and faith in oneself and in the Lord.  


Watch Pamilya Talk on FacebookYouTube and Kumu (@JingCastaneda – 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. Monday & Wednesday). You can also follow my social media accounts:  InstagramFacebookYouTubeTiktokTwitter and Kumu.  Please share your stories or suggest topics at [email protected]




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