I think I’m so fond of Taylor Bento because she reminds me of my own daughter! I first met Taylor on Instagram and thought she was the cutest thing ever! I love her joyful, fun personality and her designs truly are a reflection of her! There seemed to be an immediate connection between us and that could be because of our love for crochet bags!
Have you ever made one of Taylor’s jute bags? Their unique design and fun stitch patterns are irresistible! Taylor doesn’t just design crochet patterns, she also produces YouTube tutorials, and encourages the crochet community by offering great crochet business tips! Want to get to know her better?
Okay, without feather ado, let’s read our conversation and get to know more about Taylor!
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When did you learn to crochet and what was your ‘why’ for learning crochet?
I learned as a young girl with my great-grandmother but didn’t pick it up again until I was an adult. The fiber arts have always been a big part of my family so I learned to cross-stitch, macrame, and knit. I saw a friend crocheting one day and I was fascinated. I gave it a try and the rest is history!
Will you share with my readers what you did before starting Bags by Bento and what launched you into starting a crochet business?
I got my master’s degree in business while I worked in finance. Marketing was my focus in business school so after I finished my degree, I transitioned to managing the marketing for a financial firm. I really didn’t enjoy the competitive nature of the corporate finance world. My workplace was very toxic and after several years of trying to adjust to their expectations, they suddenly fired me. At the time, I was embarrassed, scared, and confused. I had no idea what to do next. I focused on my family for a while and rediscovered what makes me happy. I started crocheting again! The thought of going back to corporate gave me intense anxiety so I started exploring the possibility of charting my own path. I was in a unique position. I had nothing left to lose! I went for IT.
What was the process like moving from the corporate world to the crochet world? What were your biggest concerns or fears? What surprised you the most about the crochet community?
It was a relief to work for myself, but I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to make it on my own. I pushed through the imposter syndrome and approached everything with curiosity and playfulness. I wanted to have fun!
I jumped in headfirst to the crochet community. I was pleasantly surprised with how welcoming, warm, and friendly the crochet community was! I expected people to view me as competition. Instead, I found the most wonderful and supportive friends.
What was your very 1st crochet design? Could you share the inspiration behind the design?
The honeycomb bag was my very first crochet design. I’m a big fan of minimal style and wanted a bag with a geometric shape. The hexagon and jute texture reminded me of a honeycomb!
Can you describe your design process?
Typically, ideas hit me when I need something! For example, I was looking for a cute laptop bag when a design idea for a crochet laptop tote came to mind. When I get an idea, I put it in my notes app on my phone. I schedule design time in my weekly schedule. During that time, I do some research on what yarn would work best for the design and order/shop for what I need. Next, I plan out the pattern. I created a pattern template for all of my designs in Canva. I fill in any details I have about the materials, etc. I sketch out the design and write out the steps I think will work. Then I start crocheting! I play with the design until I’m happy with the result. At this point, I send the pattern to my fabulous tech editor, Cherie.
Awww! Thanks Taylor! I love working with you and editing your designs!
Check out my tech editing services page HERE
Tell us about a time when you got “stuck” in the creative process. How did it challenge you and what was hatched from it?
I’ve had some challenges going back to some of my original designs and writing patterns for them. I’ve learned so much from classes, experience, and practice over the last few years. My design skills are much better now, so going back to older designs was such a mind crunch! Working through the challenges makes me a better designer and crocheter.
What are your favorite resources in your crochet toolbox?
YouTube! I use video tutorials all the time to remind myself how to crochet certain stitches or techniques. When I first started learning about crochet design, I took classes through Craftsy.com to learn how to read patterns and charts. My local library has a lot of crochet books! I use them often to learn new skills.
How do you stay organized to balance life and business things?
It works for me to plan out a week at a time. I have an idea of what I want the month to look like, but I keep it flexible. I use Trello to manage all of my business tasks.
Speaking of balancing life and business, can you share with us about your family and family life?
I’m married with two kids (3 & 5). I started my business when my daughter was a baby, and it had its challenges. I started Bags by Bento for ME. I needed an outlet and something to enjoy outside of being a parent. I gave myself a lot of patience. I try to keep work time and family time separate rather than multitasking. I find that I get more done with higher quality when I don’t try to do everything at the same time!
Have you ever dealt with disappointment in the crochet industry? If so, how did you work through it?
I’ve been disappointed at times with my capacity to create and design. I see other crochet creators and designers coming out with several patterns a month and would put myself down. Comparison usually leads to disappointment! I would love to produce more designs, but I am a multilayered human with a lot of responsibility and other passions/interests. I’ve also come to accept that life ebbs and flows. Sometimes I get a burst of creativity and energy. I ride the wave and make the most of it. Other times, I’m putting one foot in front of the other and taking things slow.
As a crochet designer, what advice would you have for an aspiring crochet designer?
Experiment and play. Get involved in the crochet community. Test designs so you can learn the process. I have a video on my YouTube channel about learning to design!
If someone is new to crochet, which of your patterns should they begin with?
I have a PAGE on my website dedicated to new crocheters with the perfect beginner pattern! Washcloths are a great way to practice you skills, learn the basics of pattern reading, and make something useful. My laptop tote pattern is also beginner friendly!
If you’re not aware, many in the crochet community look up to you as a role model. Who, in your life, would you say is your role model and why?
Toni from TLYarn Crafts is someone I admire and look to for inspiration! She has a created a beautiful community and business that’s vibrant and joyful.
Do you know how to knit, cross stitch, or weave? If so, which one is your favorite (next to crochet, of course)?
Yes! Fiber arts run in my family. I’ve tried a little of everything. I’ve been really into macrame lately when I’m not crocheting. I also like to knit from time to time.
What crochet goals do you want to accomplish this year?
I would love to have one of my patterns published by a major publication. I’m also hoping to launch a crochet business marketing course!
Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are the top 5 things you’d like to check off in your lifetime?
Travel internationally with my kids
Get a tattoo.
Move to a big city.
Write a book.
Go to Italy with my Husband.
What’s your all-time favorite movie? Book? T.V. Series? Podcast?
It’s too hard to choose one! I’m an avid reader! One of my favorite books is the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins-Reid. I love Elyse Meyers’ Podcast. I will watch anything reality television (Survivor is one of my favorites)
If you could travel anywhere in the world (all expenses paid), where would it be?
My in-laws live in Mozambique. We haven’t been able to visit recently because of the pandemic and cost. I would jump at the chance to see them again!
To find out more about Taylor and follow her on social media, please click the links below!
Would you like to get 15% off Taylor’s patterns? Head to her website and use code ‘COMMUNITY15’ at checkout!
Have you made one of Taylor’s patterns? Which pattern is your favorite? Maybe you haven’t made one of her patterns yet, which one would you start with?