BEHIND THE BRAND – TWOCENTS HANDMADE
Meet Alaina. She has been attending our markets since the early days. She is always down for a laugh and is a true light and joy at our market!! Here are a few important details about her and her amazing brand TwoCents Handmade.
When did you start your business and how did you come up with the idea?
TwoCents was born on the 11th of May 2016. I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember – it’s genetic. I was taught to knit by my Great-Grandmother & my Mum, and Cross Stich and Macramé by my Grandmother. Crochet was self-taught. It was these generations of amazingly talented women that were my inspiration to turn my hobby into something special. I found that after becoming a Mum myself, there was truly little I did that was just for me. TwoCents is my “me time”. Another little fun fact… People often ask why “TwoCents”. It’s the name my Dad gave me as a youngster, so I couldn’t think of a better way to link what I do to who I am.
What does your daily life look like and where do you find the time to create?
It’s a crazy mess! They do say that “mess” is essential in being creative, so I must have the recipe right. TwoCents isn’t all that I do. I’ve worked in our family Building Supply company for 21 years now, so work/creative balance is sometimes a little blurry around the edges. I have an incredibly supportive Husband that lends a hand with making my business cards, product tags and anything else I throw at him, and two beautiful kids that help me pack my creations and load the car ready for Market Days. They are always there to lend a hand at the end of a Market Day to help me pack up my stall too. My crochet time happens under the cover of darkness. I am a night owl. Everything “creative” comes to me at night, and yes, even in my sleep.
What keeps you going when things are tough, or you have a lack of motivation?
I do often suffer a loss of what I call “Crojo” (Crochet Mojo). Usually a cup of coffee and some surfing through Instagram or flipping through the pages of a good magazine is usually where I find the kick in the pants I need. Sometimes the best medicine is to walk away and blow out the cobwebs behind the wheel of my RX7 at the Racetrack. I don’t think I quite have the antidote right just yet, but it’s a work in progress.
What is the main thing you have learnt while running a small business or passion project?
My OCD is not helpful! Worrying about how your creations will be received is also counterproductive. I have learnt to be kind to myself when a project does not quite go to plan. It’s all trial and error. Some days are a win, and some are a total failure. It is all part of the journey. Being the hands behind TwoCents has pushed me well outside what I had considered my comfort zone, and I have loved every minute, every experience and everyone I’ve had the blessing of meeting along the way.
What does each sale mean to you?
It means the world. You can see that the nature of Crochet can take a person back in time and bring back forgotten memories. It means my creations have a purpose, and a place in our world. Each time someone purchases one of my pieces, it reinvigorates me to keep creating. TwoCents was never intended to be a cash cow. I wanted to be a part of the handmade minority and give purpose to how people shop. Shopping small, shopping local and supporting families is what this is all about. This little biz I’ve created finances my children’s love of Racing. TwoCents is one of the primary sponsors of both my littlies Go-Karts and I am extremely proud of that. My children understand the value of what I do, and that I do this for many reasons. This journey has taught them the importance of family, that what you make with your own two hands holds a lot of value, and that even though the art of crochet is considered Vintage – it still has a place in modern society.