Hello Friends! It is cold out today so I’m here to tell you about one BBB2012 vendor who wants to help keep you cozy & warm! Ana of Toil & Trouble will be selling beautiful knit accessories along with hand-dyed yarn from lace weight to bulky.
First things first: What’s your name, what’s your business name, where are you from, and where are you currently located/crafting?
Hi! My name is Ana Campos, the fiberista behind Toil and Trouble. My home is in Salem, Massachusetts and I have a studio at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell.
How did you get your start? Please tell us a little bit about how your business went from an idea to what is is today.
I admit I never set out to own a business. I started knitting to help me keep sane in graduate school, and eventually I had more knits than a single person should own. I opened an Etsy shop on a whim and haven’t looked back since.
What inspires you the most to create?
I honestly feel like I don’t have a choice. My mind is always whirring with ideas and I often feel like my hands can’t keep up. I am a huge bookworm and a lot of my inspiration comes from stories: mythology, folklore, and literature. I’m also a huge geek, completely in love with Ghost Busters and Doctor Who. I find the creative process itself to be the most inspiring – I love the process of developing these stories and characters into designs and color combinations.
What are your favorite materials to work with?
Texture and feel are very important to me. I love working with the softest fibers like merino wool, cashmere and organic cotton.
Do you have a favorite color palette?
I love color! I grew up in Brazil, surrounded by color, so it was impossible not to fall in love with the entire spectrum. I love mustard, rust, and turquoise and my favorites color palettes are the unexpected ones, when unlikely colors come together – like plum and mustard, aqua and rust, mint and orange… but I also love a good gray. A perfect gray is really enticing.
Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?
Danielle of Merriweather Council is my booth mate and she is amazing! Her work is full of color and whimsy. Melissa of Pressbound works on a 100-year-old treadle-operated letterpress and her designs are steeped in cultural heritage. Liz of Made in Lowell makes the cutest felt and polymer sculptures and adornments and is an amazing mentor.
Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business?
At the beginning of this year I created my own line of hand dyed yarn, which continues to develop in unexpected ways. I’m also working on many new designs and I am hoping to teach classes starting next year.
What are some other things you like to do when you are not busy making awesome stuff?
Make more awesome stuff? I do try and pry myself away from crafting every once in a while. I’ve been training in martial arts for 9 years, and I’ve recently gotten into rock-climbing and trampolining. But sometimes it’s nice to just curl up on the couch and play video games with my husband.
What are the top 3 reasons someone shopping at the BBB 2012 should be sure to stop by your table?
1. I’ve been integrating more color and texture into my designs, so come snag some snuggly accessories!
2. Check out my hand dyed yarn! Bright, happy colors and super luxurious fibers.
3. Stop by to enter my raffle!
4. Is it ok to have a 4? Definitely come by and see my awesome booth mate Merriweather Council.
What is your favorite background noise to listen to while working?
Sometimes I like crafting to music (I love Florence + The Machine!), but I just as often work with Walking Dead or Downton Abbey in the background.
Where do you (craft) work?
I split my time between working in my home office and dyeing yarn in my studio in Lowell. I always carry a project with me, so I can often be seen trying to keep my balance on a crowded train while knitting. My husband thinks this is dangerous.
What is your favorite mythical beast and what do you think their favorite crafty past time is?
As someone who is obsessed with mythology, this is such a difficult question! I love Norse mythology and it’s fun to imagine that Niohoggr takes breaks from gnawing at the tree of life to do some embroidery. I also think Medusa would be into pottery.
As a veteran vendor, what advice would you give to a new vendor selling at the BBB for the first time?
Try not to stress about it – have fun getting ready, get a good night of sleep (seriously, it’s not worth it staying up all night to make one or two more pieces), and wear comfortable shoes!