Eat your cake & wear it, too!
I love designing in food themes because I've had an obsession with faux/toy food since I was a little girl. The colors and textures of food can also stimulate all your other senses and happy memories. It can be very nostalgic!
My best friend's gramma taught both of us how to crochet when I was ten years old. I grew up in a very DIY family, and I'd crochet dim sum dolls for my grandparents or finger-knit a million snakes for Christmas.
In 2005, deep into my career in publishing, I moved to a neighborhood in San Francisco called Glen Park, where we'd experience that infamous San Francisco fog, especially in the summer. I wanted to find a cute scarf for myself and also avoid wearing TURTLENECKS to stay warm. Channeling my family's mantra, "Go home and make it!" I went home and made it!
I started to write down my own crochet patterns for the first time, experimenting with different ideas. Cupcake scarves? Toast scarves? Salad scarves? Yes and yes and yes! I then launched www.TwinkieChan.com on a whim, just for fun, to sell all the extra scarves I had made. I had no idea that other people would get as big a kick out of my designs as I did!
Each piece starts as a sketch in Photoshop so that I can more easily determine shapes and colors. The color, texture, and weight of a yarn is so very important to me to get that project just right. I then begin the process of crocheting a prototype, jotting down notes as I go, sometimes ripping out hours of work, and starting over again. Some of my scarves are quite detailed and take many hours of work to complete from start to finish.
In order to fulfill your custom orders on time, maintain shop stock, vend at craft fairs, and also have time to create new designs, I now have a handful of crochet helpers or "elves," who go through a selection and training process with me before we decide to work together. They are all super awesome girls who are also often my friends, and we all love crocheting and cute culture! All the businessy stuff and shipping is still done by only me, so you know your Thank You sticker was stuck on by me! :)
Recognizing that my handmade crochet accessories are not always in everyone's budget, I also released a book in 2010, "Twinkie Chan's Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies," to share some of my most popular crochet patterns with fellow crocheters. I have also been working really hard for 3 years on launching an accessories and clothing brand called "Yummy You! by Twinkie Chan," to make my designs more affordable and accessible. The apparel industry is an interesting ball of wax, and I am still learning every day. In the meantime, I continue to enjoy creating and crocheting a colorful world for you :).