Awesome Fun Q&A Time!
Who is Beth&Joy?:
Well the name Beth & Joy came from a long string of failed names. I have been through several names, some were specific to my craft while others were more general. Though none of them had that comfortable fit I wanted. I started looking into settling on a (dot)com, but I didn’t know what I really wanted to call it. What did I want to really represent my business?
Firstly, I knew I didn’t want something craft specific. I do mostly knitting but I also dabble in jewelry and bow making. Within that variety I didn’t want anyone to be put off. If I had a name specific to knitting and someone happened to go to my etsy page or website around a time that I’m doing a lot of posts about bows or jewelry and expecting to see knit items and only interested in that and kind of write us off their bookmark list. Though I suppose it could be a blessing on the flip side, if they came looking for a knit hat and they instead found a pair of earrings they couldn’t live without.
Second I knew it had to be something that was general but also personal in order to stick. I had used general names before but they didn’t feel like home, I had no real sentimental attachment to them. Of course it is pretty trendy right now but I really liked the idea of the ones that use a combination of a ‘name & name’. So after trying a few combinations I decided to go with Beth & Joy. Beth being my middle name and Joy being my daughters middle name. This name means a lot to me personally because I am raising her alone and she is so young (Kindergarten this year!) and pretty much everything in my life has to revolve around her. Becoming a parent really gives understanding to that phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” because really it does and doing it alone isn’t easy. I make a lot of things and while she is still a little bit young to do too much helping, her little “aww it’s so cute!” is like the stamp of approval for me.
How long have you been crafting?:
I come from a crafty family. My mother was always sewing in my childhood. Not a day went by that she didn’t have some project going. My aunt crochets and makes beautiful wire wrap jewelry with big colorful stones. My cousins do jewelry making, one of them was making chainmaille for a time. Even my grandfather had a hobby of wood carving and they were beautiful!
The craft I really learned was crochet at the age of nine from a neighbors grandmother who was also teaching her. We moved shortly after and I lost interest. Though in high school I really started to take a serious interest; and with the explosion of the internet I could look up other crafters and how to’s. I had to relearn it really, but it didn’t take long. I spent a couple years doing that but I really loved the way knitting looked. I was however quite intimidated by the needles and the use of both hands in tandem. I did decide to go ahead and try it when I saw a basic how to in a copy of Martha Stewart Magazine. I already had 2 pairs of needles that had been my grandmothers (go figure, she dabbled in crafts too) and plenty of yarn from all the crochet. I tried it and gave up within a day on three separate occasions over about two years. Finally on my fourth try I found and watched a few videos on a knitting help site and the realization hit me… I could knit holding my yarn the same way I hold it for crochet. In my humble opinion in either knit or crochet the way you hold your yarn as you work really makes or breaks your ability to learn the craft.
If you don’t crochet, you generally hold the yarn wrapped around the fingers of the left hand you work (also holding your work with your left hand) and work the needle with your right hand. Everything that I was trying to learn knitting from always presented it in the traditional english style or also called ‘throwing’. Which is where you hold your yarn around the fingers of your right hand and pause to ‘throw’/wrap your yarn around the needle at each stitch. I tried so earnestly but I just couldn’t get a grip on throwing while trying to balance my needles too. Seeing this these videos really threw the door on knitting wide open for me and I’ve been knitting ever since. Of course dabbling in many other crafts in between.
Where do you draw inspiration from?:
When Etsy was still kind of new and it was gathering attention, before it was big and well known. I used to browse the shops and treasuries. I would sit in on labs and browse peoples shops who were in the lab with me. I pulled a lot of inspiration from seeing all the different types of craft and beautiful handmade things that I could NEVER make. I looked at all kinds of crafts, crafts I didn’t even know were a possibility like hand painted silk scarves, tatting, actual metal working, and funky cool but awesomely functional furniture. Also the really funky sewn clothing that are from the new little designers that started to pop up. I was also really into project runway at the time too. Another inspiration for me is vintage. I love how trendy vintage has become because the selection used to be so limited but now there are all these beautiful timeless pieces that really capture their eras, but are still quite functional. I think probably everyone likes the most romantic eras. I miss how beautifully feminine all the clothing and accessories were in times past. I haven’t totally figured out how to translate vintage style into my own work yet; but I will admit I’ve taken up an interest in lace knitting and really loving it.