Maker: Adwoa of Adwoa Design
Crochet dolls with personality is the key design niche that Adwoa is hitting. After establishing herself in her career it seems to me that she sort of stumbled into this hobby and has found such joy in it! Meet Adwoa and check out her art!
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Adwoa, it’s a Nigerian name but I was born in Oakland CA and grew up in Hayward CA. I currently live in Fairfield CA. I went in the Air Force at 18 and became a Medic. I continued in Nursing and progressed to a LVN and I’m currently an RN. Most are shocked to learn that my passion was discovered a few years ago, I love doll making. I look forward to leaving my “day job” and pursuing my passion full-time one day.
What do you make or do?
I enjoy making dolls in the form of Amigurumi/crochet. I make the perfect gift with personality (crochet dolls of people). I enjoy the reaction that we get at craft shows. The smiles are endless and it’s a wonderful feeling when someone recognizes the likeness of the doll. I’ve also developed a passion for creating stop motion videos with the dolls. The reaction to those videos are priceless as well. The videos have proven to be another form of a creative outlet.
Where can we find your creations?
My website is still a work in progress but can be found at www.AdwoaDesign.com. I currently have an Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AdwoaDesign
I recently signed a contract with “Made By Mommy” in downtown Fairfield CA. It is a new shop filled with handmade items from Mom’s (and Dad’s) like me.
Is there an interesting story behind the name of your business?
The name of my business can be confusing to some since I create from the base patterns of other designers, and then I add my own style to the dolls. (Crediting them of course). Adwoa is my first name, so I assumed that it would be an easy to add domain. My name was not popular when I was a child, but through the power of the internet, I have found that internationally, it is more common than I thought. 🙂
How long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
I started crocheting in 2009, and I look forward to doing it full-time. Unfortunately I cannot quit my day job just yet.
When you’re not making things, what do you do?
When I’m not making I spend time with my family. My husband and sons love sports so we usually attend live events or watch at home. My youngest son loves trains so you may see us on the Capital Corridor headed to Sacramento. We also rescued our Australian Cattle Dog Marley. He has trained us well and has us throwing the tennis ball to him in the backyard as often as possible too.
Is creativity a luxury or a necessity for you?
I would have to say both. Crocheting (and knitting at times) helps me relax. I can really decompress working on some mindless stitches. When I go to some of my favorite yarn shops it definitely turns luxurious! When I have a little extra allowance money I splurge on silk and alpaca yarns. I have no idea what I’m going to make with them, but the projects seem to find me.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to lead a creative life?
I finally ignore the comments from others concerning my work. Some would ask why I want to sell dolls when I’m a Registered Nurse. The fact that they cannot understand my passion is not my responsibility and I finally came to that realization.
Did someone in your family, a friend or teacher introduce you to your creative side or have they helped you along the way?
During a lunch break at my day job, I noticed a group of co-workers stitching away. I loved the energy in the room and sat with them. They were all Rehabilitation Therapists and had experience teaching the needle arts and were willing to teach me. I’m so thankful for their patience. They gave me the foundation that I needed.
Where do you find inspiration?
Music, mainly Hip Hop has greatly influenced my work. I also get inspired from natural haired African-American children. Dolls representing our culture and features are under-represented and I’d like to change that.
What’s on the horizon for you and what you do?
My website has been a WIP and I’m finally seeing it being completed soon. My next product line will be released this Summer, hopefully before Patchwork Oakland. I’m also very excited about a local downtown Fairfield store “Made by Mommy” that will have some of my products as well as the products of other Moms and Dads who make handmade items. I also have a very special project that I’m working on with an influencer but I don’t want to say too many details since nothing is written in stone yet. If all goes as we think, we both will be very pleased with the results.
If money wasn’t an issue how would your life change with regards to your art?
Definitely! I would have my brick and mortar shop downtown selling my dolls and having crochet lessons daily. I’d also like to have quality yarn available since we don’t have a yarn shop in our county other than the big box stores.
What would be your perfect day off?
Coffee, walking my dog for a mile or two. Returning home to create dolls until lunch. Having fish tacos for lunch. Continuing my projects, fulfilling orders until my boys get out of school then going into Momma Mode until they are content and doing their independent activities. Making dinner and enjoying it with the family. More family time until bedtime for the boys. Check in with the Hubster and give him my undivided attention. Then return to my Stitch Lab to finish up more projects until I’m sleepy.
What inspiring advice would you give to other creatives be they established or just starting out?
If they are established, I’d say be careful who you share your vision with. I made the mistake of over sharing and realizing that I shouldn’t expect others to understand my vision or even be supportive of it. What we do is outside of the box and takes an extreme amount of courage that the average Jane (or John) doesn’t possess. Just show them by being as successful as you can.