If you believe the old tale that creativity and good business are mutually exclusive, then you have not met crochet fashion designer Brianna Sipp! Perfectly meshing old and new, Brianna’s grandmothers taught her to crochet, and a quarantine taught her that there was an online market for her youthful creations. She launched her business while still in high school, so who knows what the college years and beyond will bring? For sure it will be crocheted clothing that reflects youthful fashion trends.
How did you find yourself on an artist’s path? Always there? Lightbulb moment? Dragged kicking and screaming? Evolving?
Since I was little I always loved arts and crafts. I would dabble in everything like painting, drawing, scrapbooking, origami and crocheting. I would always get consumed in one hobby for about a month and then move on to the next. The same goes for crocheting, I would crochet for a month and then take a two-month break. That all changed after I started my business and now I am so much more consistent with this craft and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
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Who or what are your main influences and inspirations? Why did you choose crochet to express your creativity?
Both of my grandmothers influenced me to pick up the hook. When I would visit my grandmother on my dad’s side, I would see all of her work. That caused me to grow fascinated with the craft, so I would go home and look up tutorials on YouTube. To this day, I still turn to YouTube to teach me new techniques and designs because both of my grandmothers have passed away. I continue to crochet to make both of them proud!
How did you get started crocheting for others? Where do you find your inspiration for your designs?
I started crocheting for others back when quarantine started during the COVID-19 outbreak. I have always crocheted on and off prior to this time, but I began to be more active on my Instagram. From there, my exposure skyrocketed and I started to get messages from people interested in buying my work! At first, I just ran my business through Instagram, but I later launched my website as well. I find my inspiration through bohemian fashion, hippie fashion, retro fashion, and other crochet artists! I love scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram to see what other crochet designers are currently making.
As you continue your education, what field(s) will you study?
I plan to study Entrepreneurship in college because I feel like there is so much more I could learn when it comes to running my own business. Over the past year, I have learned a lot by trial and error, but I would love to know as much as possible within the classroom as well.
What do you do to develop your skills? How do you get better at what you do?
I always push myself to make things I didn’t think I’d be able to. That method has made me grow so much as a crochet artist to the point where I can now make tutorials and patterns for other crochet artists. I always turn to YouTube to develop new skills, but I have recently started learning new skills through crochet patterns made by other artists as well.
If we asked a good friend of yours to describe your work, what would they say?
They would say my work is unique. I love to experiment with new designs and I try to make sure that my work stands out.
They would also say that my work is trendy. I love today’s fashion as well and sometimes I even take the styles and designs of popular clothing and crochet them instead! They would also say that my work is youthful. It is a misconception that crocheting is only for grandmas who crochet sweaters, socks, and blankets for their grandkids because crochet summer pieces and winter pieces are taking the fashion world by storm. I like to make things that I would like to wear and I am pretty young so I guess that makes my work pretty youthful and fun, too!
When it comes to creating, are you more of a planner or an improviser?
I a definitely more of an improviser. Most of my creations are freehanded and the vision just comes to me and I execute that idea to the best of my ability. I usually change my designs as I go along, and it never fails to be creative and something that I fall in love with!
What plays in the background while you work? Silence? Music, audiobooks, podcasts, movies? If so, what kind?
I usually watch YouTube videos and TV shows. On YouTube, I love watching commentary videos because they tend to be longer than average YouTube videos. I personally don’t like to waste my time looking for so many videos to watch, so the longer the video, the better! When I watch shows, I live for drama, horror, and thrillers! I can binge-watch a show in one day while I crochet if I’m being honest.
Tell us about your website. What do you hope people will gain by visiting?
I have always been into graphic design and website building since I was in elementary school. It was so fun to combine my two passions and make a website for my crochet business! I hope my website helps people learn more about me and see some of my work and achievements. I also hope that they gain inspiration to start their own business, whether it be crocheting or any other craft. Of course, I hope they also obtain one of my items or patterns through my shop!
What was the biggest challenge that you encountered on your creative journey so far? What did you learn from it?
The biggest challenge I’ve encountered on my creative journey was burnout. When I first started my business, I was crocheting way too much nonstop. Because of this, I started growing unmotivated and struggled to find joy in crocheting. Ever since I gave myself limits and actually lived my life rather than crocheting 24/7, I am so much happier and I actually get excited when it’s time for me to pick up my crochet hook and create something beautiful!
Do you think that creativity comes naturally to people, or do you think creativity is a skill that people can learn?
I think creativity is something that you are born with. In my experience, I was a born creative and anything arts and crafts-related just came to me like it was second nature. Yes, anyone can learn how to do these arts and crafts, but I think some people are genuinely more creative than others. At my elementary and middle school, I was in the “gifted” program which was for smart and creative students. In order to get into the program, you would have to take a test, and most people would fail that test. Because of that, I still believe to this day that creativity comes naturally to people.
What is on your “someday” creative wish list? What’s next for you?
Someday I wish to create something for a celebrity to wear on the red carpet or during a performance! That would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the exposure I would get from that would be crazy! That may be way down the line, but if we are talking within the next year, I would love to make pieces for my university’s gift shop!
Interview posted July 2021
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