Jacinta Mew is the crafty mastermind behind Hattie Loves. She makes incredible crochet creations to fund her ever-growing collection of tattoos and pretty dresses. Today, we chat about her calling as a “hooker” and the importance of one-of-a-kind.
Tell us a bit about yourself and about Hattie Loves:
I’m Jacinta Mew. I’m live in Bendigo with my hubby Dylan and our little 13 month old Harriet Louise (Hattie Lou). I’m 25. I have worked as a barista for the past eleven years, currently working in a very busy coffee roasters in Bendigo’s CBD. Coffee is a big love of mine. I’m also a lover of everything mid-century like home decor, cars, music and of course the fashion, hair styles and makeup. I am a collector of tattoos like my husband. We are foodies. We are homebodies.
When Harriet arrived, and during my ‘nesting’ phase late pregnancy, I was feeling very creative (also heavily inspired by my beloved Pinterest). I wanted to just make EVERYTHING for little Hattie. I adore anything handmade, vintage, wooden etc., so I aim to surround Harriet with these things over tacky plastic. I tried my hands at sewing, even paid for lessons too, as I had plans to make adorable little frocks for her. Sewing; you either have it, or you don’t. I don’t. Still wanting to create beautiful things for Harriet I came across Amigurumi on YouTube. It’s basically crochet on steroids. I had never seen crochet on a level like this. Crochet cacti, sock monkeys, dinosaurs, food… anything and everything. So I watched YouTube videos to teach myself the basics of crochet and Amigurumi and I am ‘hooked’ (‘scuse the pun).
I crocheted every chance I got (which was every nap time – and Harriet was a fantastic sleeper…) I loved this nanna handcraft and I was actually really good at it. I decided to start selling my work (I needed something to fund my expensive addiction to tattoos and pretty dresses). I came up with the name “Hattie Loves – Kustom Krochet” (after all she was the reason I wanted to learn crochet. She’s a constant source of inspiration). The spelling of Kustom Krochet is deliberate as it reflects my love of kustom kulture (think skulls, rockabilly, hot rods, tiki, day of the dead etc) and also because everything I do is custom made.
Your “one of a kind” attitude is really great; what makes this so important for you and your business?
Ever since I started, I have been inundated with custom orders. I’ve loved every minute of crochet this past year. Recently I actually did a direct swap for a crochet cot blanket for a tattoo – the wife of a very talented tattoo artist from Melbourne is expecting and wanted a blanket. She noticed my slogan “will crochet for tattoos and pretty dresses” and suggested her husband tattoo me in exchange for the blanket. Naturally I thought this was a very fair deal… And I also thought it was fitting to get a crochet tatt. I got a really badass woolen skull, with crochet hooks and old school roses with “hook fast, die warm” in a banner. It’s so amazing.
I have a very strict “one of a kind” type of deal with Hattie Loves products. I never crochet the same thing twice. Nearly every piece is a one-off. My customers go out of their way to have something unique made for them, therefore out of respect, I will never reproduce the item for anyone else. No two customers will ever have the same product. This ensures a unique product. A one off piece of art. Same goes with any patterns I use. I only use the patterns for references for small amounts of the overall projects. I will never copy them and sell the finished product as my own. I will always put my own quirky spin on any project. I am always happy to stick with a pattern if the customer brings one to me, though I will never claim it as my own design.
What is your favourite creation so far?
My favourite thing I have made to date would be a giant T-rex dinosaur I made for Hattie’s birthday (not for sale as I bought someone else’s pattern)… But this was why I started, to make amazing things for Harriet. You can’t find dinosaur toys for girls anywhere, so I just made one.
Also, I recently crocheted a set of The Avengers dolls. I had an order for six dolls: Thor, Captain America, Hawk Eye, Black Widow, Hulk, and Iron Man. They were my most popular items for sure! I have some favourite original pieces like a day of the dead fox cushion inspired by the art work of Jubly-Umph, day of the dead skulls, cacti, a flamingo, a crocheted jar of peanuts and another jar of pickles, a shrunken head for a rear view vision mirror… Just anything quirky and I will crochet it!
What’s in the cards for Hattie Loves in the next few months?
I am currently booked out until Christmas time; my boss has me crocheting around 20 massive industrial light shades to fit in his new business. It’s a little different from my toys but again, a very unique project. I can’t wait to see them in the new bar. They will look amazing. When I finish that project I think I would like to take the time off and experiment with markets. I just need stock first, which is hard as everything has been made to order so far! I have plans for more great unique crochet items for Harriet including faux taxidermy and a hobby horse to name a couple, the hobby horse will be cute. That’s the next one…
All I need is a clone of me and an 8th day of the week just for crochet – I just want to crochet everything but there just isn’t enough time!