In honor of their fifth birthday, I thought I’d share five reasons that you might wish to support the American Crochet Association:
1. It’s a woman-owned business. Both men and women crochet, of course, but the craft is heavily dominated by women (particularly throughout the course of history.) And yet, a number of prominent yarn and craft businesses are owned by men. As mentioned, this business was started by crochet designer, author, and teacher Salena Baca who now has a team of women helping her grow it. Support these entrepreneurial women.
2. It lends legitimacy to the craft. For too long, the larger world hasn’t taken craft seriously. It hasn’t been treated well by the arts. It’s seen as “women’s work” which has historically been dismissed. But this is a thriving industry. People pay (and earn) good money in the world of crochet. By creating a stringent professional curriculum, the American Crochet Association helps bring legitimacy to the value of this work. That’s something worth supporting.
3. It will be fun. Crochet is fun. Learning new things in crochet is fun. Even if you never want to teach a class or get paid to create your own patterns, you can enjoy setting a goal in crochet and meeting it. The great thing about this craft is that there always is something new to learn, even though you can do a lot with the basics. Push yourself!
“I love the ACA. It's the best 10.00 I spend for myself every month. Salena understands what we want and need to learn and does a great job presenting it. These are the lessons that really need honing in on to help us polish what we already know. I'm not sure if I'll ever use my certificates to find my dream job, but I have enough confidence now that if it comes along, I'd be comfortable applying for it!” - Anne Rivers, Facebook reviews
4. You’ll be part of a community. When you go to college, you develop a network of peers and professionals that often become a part of your life forever. It’s the same thing when you join the American Crochet Association. You’ll get access to private groups where you and other crafters can help support each other in this journey. If you do start to teach or design patterns for a living, these people can be an invaluable support. The online community of crafters is truly one of the most wonderful, healing parts of being a crocheter today, and you can take that to a new level when you join.
5. Do it for yourself. More than any other reason, offer yourself the gift of taking the craft of crochet further. Crochet heals people. It makes people happy. Many crafters tend to put themselves last in life when they could better help others by putting themselves first. Treat yourself to the kind of craft education that will give you pleasure, increase your confidence with crochet, and perhaps provide you with the stepping stones that you need to make a living in the craft that you love.
Interview with the Founder Salena Baca
It’s always helpful to learn more about an organization by speaking directly with the people who work there. Founder Salena Baca answered a few questions for this article:
What inspired you to start American Crochet Association?
Although I was a crocheter, there were so many things that I didn’t know were possible for decades into my craft experience. For example, it took 25 years before I realized that I could work in joined rounds.
As crocheters, we have historically all been self-taught, and even with an infinite amount of free online learning, we are starved of basic foundational aspects in our craft. There is no baseline of education or progressive paths to learn the foundational and advanced skills of crochet.
The American Crochet Association was built to provide that baseline of knowledge and resources, to include a path to becoming a masterful crocheter or confident professional in this industry.
What was it like in that first year and how has it changed since then?
The first year was revolutionary for me. I spent every day researching content, applying new skills, building resources and testing all that I had come across in order to build the Learning Path.
I believe in refined educational resources that are fun to follow and also provide actionable results. It takes a lot of work on my end to make that possible for each and every student. Thousands of hours have gone into everything we are, and all that we offer. Building the ACA is an obsession for me, and I pride myself on the success of every single student and their experience.
Now, most of our core resources, lessons, courses, workshops and training have been launched, so my work has shifted toward growing our student base, and asking ourselves how we can help more people.
What's your number one favorite accomplishment of the past five years?
Achieving the goal of building a baseline of education in crochet. Our lessons have the ability to advance the skill and ability for individual crocheters. Using the ACA as a foundational resource, we are creating a better skilled crochet experience.
If someone knows how to crochet and might want to make a career out of it, but they aren't sure, where on the site should they start?
The Learning Path! Think of this as gaining your Associates’ degree in crochet. You will need this knowledge and training for our professional developments, should you want to begin a career in teaching or writing.
What's the number one thing that you hope people take away from being part of the ACA?
That education and community are paramount! We hope our members use their ACA education to continue the advancement of crochet; in their own communities, and throughout the world.
How do social media and your blog enhance what ACA offers?
Social media is a way we can share experiences, have meaningful conversations, and offer support. We use our blog to share meaningful crochet tips, resources and advice that will better the lives of crocheters exponentially with topics like stitch counting and recognition, using stitch markers and figuring out yarn substitution. You don't have to be a member of the ACA to enjoy any of these resources and social spaces, but we do hope that they lead you to joining for much more!
What do you hope to see from ACA in the next five years?
We hope to continue helping crocheters to reach their full potential. We focus on every individual member, and their experience, to assure that all of our products and services are truly helping and adding value. We take pride in knowing that every experience matters. And so, in the next 5 years, we hope to continue making a positive impact in the crochet world.
To enter for a chance to win 1 free month of the Crochet Learning Path, please:
Comment to let us know what you found to be most interesting in this interview! You may post 1 new comment every day to enter – no limits!
1 winner will be chosen from the comments after 30 November, 2020.
Winner: Crystal Barnett
Purchase Options: Crochet Learning Path