Meet Katrina, aka Carol’s Niece. Taught to crochet by her Great Aunt Carol, Katrina brings her hand-crocheted accessories and scarves to the market in bright, fun colors! Although she never saw herself as an entrepreneur, read about how she made the big change in her life, diving head-first into this crafty biz world!
1. Who are you, where are you from and what do you sell? How are you known at the market?
Greetings! My name is Katrina and I am originally from New York but attended Morgan State University over ten years ago and never left. I am known at the market for my bright colors!
2. How did you get started in your business and what is your future vision?
My Great Aunt Carol taught me to crochet when I was really stressed out in graduate school. Five years later I found myself overwhelmed and pretty disappointed in my career, so I picked up my hook again. Only this time I wanted to expand beyond afghans. I decided on a line of accessories because the right piece can totally transform any outfit. Not to mention the fact that they really are the only thing I possess that always fits! So, I started working with different types of yarns and thinking about the styles I’d like to see more of. I love the really feminine look of ruffles and high collars. Similarly, I am equally drawn to bright colors and chunky pieces. So, I decided to do a bit of both. My greeting card line was a bit of a surprise to me. I learned this art out of necessity. As my husband and I planned our wedding I decided to make the invitations. Many errors later I hand stamped and embossed over 100 wedding invitations and envelopes which inspired my passion for card making.
My future vision is to have my work for sale in local boutiques. I also aspire to strengthen my online presence and continue to grow the CarolsNiece brand, so that my work will be sold across the US and abroad.
3. Tell us why you do what you do. What is so special about your business?
I had committed myself to the field of urban education for ten years and honestly entrepreneurship was not something I had ever considered. However, being a part of my husband’s personal training business created a paradigm shift within me. I desperately wanted a less stressful working environment and more time for my family, but…I was terrified! Finally, I opened my Etsy shop and was pleasantly surprised to discover that people liked my work. Then I came out to Fenton Street and my first Saturday out confirmed that tiny voice within that said, “You can do this,” so I did, and I have not looked back.
What makes CarolsNiece special is that I offer an affordable way for women to add something special to what they already possess. A flower pin on the same black dress transforms it, a ruffled scarf added to a blazer gives it a bit of glamor or a crocheted scarf necklace added to last year’s winter coat gives it an entirely new look.
4. What is your favorite thing about FSM?
My favorite thing about Fenton Street Market is the people! The vendors, customers, and staff make Fenton Street a one of a kind market. I have always valued and appreciated the way the Fenton Street Market team makes everyone feel special and like we are all a part of something bigger than ourselves. Our customers are engaging and loyal to the market, vendors support and encourage each other and the Fenton Street Market staff makes it all possible. Without a doubt…the people!