At Woolyknit, we love to see your amazing yarn creations on social media, and each month we like to get to know a small business owner and celebrate their amazing talent. This week we interviewed the wonderful Rebecca, who you may know as ‘Pigeon’, owner of The Pigeon’s Nest.
Rebecca designs and creates crochet patterns and kits with the hope of gifting someone a small moment of creative joy in a world of stress and uncertainty. From creating woolly celebrity portraits to dancing around the kitchen, you’ll find that Rebecca’s Instagram is filled with fun, colour and comfort, all of which she brings to her beautiful products.
In our interview with Rebecca, she shared her advice on making and selling crochet patterns, and told us about the friendships, joy, and stability that crochet has brought to her life.
If you love Rebecca’s designs and would like to purchase one of her patterns or kits, you can find her shop on Etsy.
Scroll to find the full interview!
Tell us a bit about yourself and how YOU STARTED THE PIGEON’S NEST
Hello! I’m Bex, also known as Pigeon… it is a college nickname I never did quite shake! I am a full time crochet designer, fibre artist, mother of two, dressing up box enthusiast and general creative joy seeker, who lives in West Sussex.
I have always made things. My parents used to lament at the amount of craft supplies adorning my bedroom floor throughout my childhood. Name a craft, I’ve probably had a go. I have always sold my makes too. I can remember a friend’s mum taking my hand crafted cards into the staff room at work, and her bringing me back an envelope of coins at the end of the day, and I discovered that utter joy that something I had made, had found a home with someone else.
The Pigeon’s Nest officially started in 2012. I taught myself to crochet that year to fill a creativity deficit that I had whilst working with young people in the care sector. It was a creative job….but I have always needed a huge amount of creative output to keep me sated!
I began selling my crochet the same year, alongside working my job, and then being a mother. I have pretty much built my business in 5 minute slots as and when I can find them. I think my business has had me to itself for 4 months in the past 9 years!
Describe YOUR WORK in 3 words
Fun, Colour, Squish
WHAT IS A CORE VALUE OF YOUR BRAND THAT IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Joy. I am so passionate about people finding joy in the everyday, be it the colours of the crochet snood they pull on that makes them beam from ear to ear, seeing the toy they crocheted themselves from one of my kits in the hand of their child or just simply dancing in the kitchen to their favourite song whilst doing the dishwasher. I found that my creativity has grounded me throughout all the hard times in my life, and has helped me find joy in the smallest of things when the days are the darkest. I am all about encouraging and inspiring people to find 5 minutes of creative joy wherever they can in their lives.
COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR PIEGON PORTRAYS SERIES AND HOW IT STARTED?
Pigeon Portrays is possibly the biggest accident and the thing that brings me THE MOST joy within my work!
I had done some crochet designing for a large craft retail brand and I needed a headshot for their publicity. I decided that I could shoot something myself on my phone, in selfie mode, something fun… and I settled on a crochet vibed Rosie the Riveter. It went down really well when I shared it on socials…and my brain suddenly couldn’t turn off…so I had another go, and another…and another…
I incorporate yarn and crochet into selfie style portraits of famous characters and people. I actually trained to be an actor, so this really does feed my soul!
Madonna is my most recent portrayal and my 26th overall… but I think my favourite is Freddie Mercury…just don’t tell the others.
WHAT IS YOUR PATTERN DESIGNING/TESTING PROCESS? WE LOVED WATCHING YOUR CONFORMANCE TESTS FOR YOUR DRAGON KITS.
Usually my new designs come from customer comissions, which I absolutely love doing. Customers ask if I can do an XYZ, so I have a go! I share my work on my Instagram as I create so I usually have a few more orders for the same as the work progresses!
I recently decided to update all my conformance testing on my crochet creature designs as I made them into kits, just to make sure everything was tiptop and A’Ok. I was amazed by how invested my community was by the conformance testing and how many of them had no idea that soft toy makers have a lot of hoops to jump though!
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU WHEN YOU STARTED TO CROCHET?
That this would be more than just yarn and a hook. That this would be a way into an amazing community of people. That it would make me friends. That it would support my family. That it would teach me life lessons. That it would improve my maths! I guess most importantly that it would give me a doorway to be myself in the comfiest way possible!
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SELL THEIR OWN PATTERNS AND KITS?
Include your time. Please. Every kit you pack. Every redesign you have to do. Every single minute you spend. Calculate your time into everything, because it is the bit that is worth the most….and people forever forget to charge their worth.
Oh, and choose a decent weight paper for your patterns… nice paper always makes everything feel better to work from.
WHAT DO YOU WATCH/LISTEN TO WHILE YOU WORK?
When I am not stood up crocheting at my shelves, with my kids chatting and playing around my legs, I am tucked up on my sofa or at my kitchen table with a true crime documentary or Ru Paul’s Drag Race going.
This year, I have actually managed read a lot whilst crocheting certain pieces. I feel I have unlocked some sort of secret higher crochet boss level!
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT CROCHETING?
To be honest, my boys are 2 and 5…and don’t stop talking. When I am not crocheting, I like to lie down in a dark room and pretend I am alone.