Top 5 Reasons Why Tamara Kelly Is More Than a Crochet designer
Moogly Interview Part 2
I started Part 1 of my interview with Tamara, owner of the Moogly blog, by describing my personal experience with her patterns and my passion for her blog. If you missed it, you can read Part 1 here. As I began the writing of Part 2, I realized that I didn't want to write a stereotypical interview article anymore. Though I may have gathered my interview information the old fashioned way by creating a couple pages worth of questions and answers, I realized that I wanted this interview to go a tad deeper. Instead of simply reporting information, I've decided that I want to tell you the top 5 reasons why I think Tamara Kelly, a 42 year old mom of three from Iowa, is worth even more to the world than what the title "crochet designer" implies.
Reason #1: Tamara Has Dedication To The Things She Loves
One of the first things I learned about Tamara is that she has been crocheting for 17 years. At first glance, that is impressive because crocheting doesn't come easy to everyone but I think it is amazing for an additional reason. To be a mom of three kids and to have stuck with something for that long without losing interest is a sign of true dedication. What makes it even more inspirational is that no one else in her family crochets! That means she taught herself, learned all the different techniques and then stuck with it as she began blogging and designing her own personal brand of crochet designs. Her blog is now extremely successful and the beautiful designs, like the ones in this post, just keep coming, with no end in site.
Reason #2: She is able to communicate with the person who matters most
Believe it or not, Tamara and her husband work together on the Moogly blog. Let me say that again. They work together! How it works, in the most simplest terms, is that he's the technician behind the scenes and she does the creating and writes the patterns. This little nugget of knowledge just makes my heart so happy and speaks to the quality of their relationship. With stats that say about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce it is so encouraging to find a couple who not only have stayed together but are also willing to work together. Little fun fact, Tamara is living in the state with the lowest divorce rate. 2.4% divorce rate to be exact. Not everyone has the ability or the desire to work with their spouse but Tamra and her husband can and do. With a job that requires a such huge amount of healthy communication, I am inspired by the love and respect this couple obviously has for one another.
Reason #3: She's Not Afraid To Try Something New
Many of the patterns Tamara designs revolve around hats, scarves, cowls, blankets and bags. There are some household items and adorable baby designs sprinkled around in there too. Yet, when asked about the future, she revealed something very exciting in one of her answers. She is planning on stepping outside her designer comfort zone this year! She plans to start exploring adult garment designs! In the world of entrepreneurship, having the ability to make calculated risks is a sign of someone who will be successful. An entrepreneur needs to be innovative and innovation starts with risk.  The fact that Tamara is willing to brave the rigorous requirements and strict criteria most women apply to their clothes shows a willingness to be an innovator. This shows strong evidence that she and her blog aren't going anywhere for a long, long time. I highly admire her for this brave decision and I'm also extremely glad this is a part of who Tamara is because I can't wait to try out making some of the new patterns she will come up with!
Reason #4: She Doesn't Allow Fear Or Insecurity Keep Her From Being Successful
In her answer to my question "what she had to overcome when she first started out", Tamara revealed that she has to battle some insecurities despite all her success. Her exact words were,
"I think the biggest thing I fight, both then and now, is Imposter Syndrome. I'm naturally not a terribly confident person - and I'm very shy in person too!"
Her words resonated with me so much. Here is a woman who is writing a pattern to be published by the Crochet Guild of America, runs an extremely successful blog, has designed hundreds of her own original patterns, has a flourishing YouTube channel and is often seen in videos and interviews on social media. She also has been awarded 2013 Craftsy Blogger Award for Best Tutorials, Yarn Box Top Crochet Designer of 2013 and 2013 Top Blogger on All Free Crochet Afghan Patterns.  You would never know she felt insecure or shy watching her videos. Tamara may have her moments of feeling like an imposter but I think it's possible to label this emotion in another way. To me, what she describes as imposter syndrome, can also sound like a sign of someone who has a humble appreciation towards the things she has achieved and the recognition given to her. Her lack of arrogance serves to enhance her beauty from the inside out. In fact, if it wasn't for her humble heart, I may have never even been given the opportunity to interview her and for that I am so thankful.
Here is one of my favorite Tamara interviews where I had the privilege of watching live and even getting to interact with her:
(Video credit to Power Purls Podcast with Kara Gott Warner)
Reason #5: Tamara Is A Woman Whose Genuine Generosity adds to her success
Of all her shining attributes, this is the one I admire the most. I want to share with you a few examples of Tamara's generosity that I got to experience first hand.
Months ago, after our interaction during her live interview, I took a risk and asked Tamara is she would be willing to give me a recommendation on LinkedIn. Being a professional crocheter, I knew she would have no trouble distinguishing whether or not I knew what I was doing when it came to crochet abilities but I wasn't sure if I would be important enough for her to spare the time to look into or even bother writing something about me. Much to my surprise and delight, she wrote me the best recommendation I could have ever hoped for. To this day it still makes me feel like a million dollars.
But Tamara's kindness didn't end there. I reached out to her a few months later to inquire whether or not she would be willing to let me do this interview with her to which she obviously answered "yes" and then proceeded to take the precious time to type up the answers to all my various questions. Unfortunately, my inexperience at interviews made me realize that there were a handful of follow up questions I wanted to ask. Despite my anxiety over having to bother someone who is so very busy with her own life and business, I decided to ask if it would be ok for me to ask her my questions over the phone. To my delight, she answered "yes", again! I can't lie, I was so anxious knowing I was going to talk to someone I hold in such high esteem but once I fumbled through and spit out my nervously, awkward greeting, I had the most wonderful conversation with her. She was so generous with her time and information. I learned so much! Yet, the biggest thing I learned wasn't specific to one answer she gave me. It was the accumulation of all the little things she does that stood out to me the most.
Not only did Tamara generously give me, an unknown to the world acquaintance, time out of her life and a winning recommendation, she generously gives to so many others. One of my questions I had asked over the phone was what she did with all the finished pieces that she has designed over the years. Her answer? She gives them away. These beautifully designed handmade items, are either donated to charity auctions or given to friends and loved ones as gifts, with nothing asked for in return. Then there's her blog where she works hard designing patterns and gives them away for free as well! She gives so many people the gift and ability to create something special for those they love by sharing her gift and talent. Then there's all the tutorial videos she has created where she explains many of her different techniques and stitches, also for free. Last but definitely not least, since she no longer has the time to sell the finished items she makes, she has dedicated an entire page on her blog to the websites and shops that sell them instead. This gives anyone the opportunity to purchase the beautiful things found on her site, if they can't crochet themselves. It can also be a big help to the crocheters by giving them the opportunity to share in some of the following fans Tamara has gathered with all her hard work. To me, this highlights her true character. A willingness to give to others without holding back. A generosity that can be heard in her voice and seen in her actions. It's no wonder she is so successful. Some might believe to be successful, you have to be shrewd, keeping knowledge and other valuable assets to your business to yourself. Tamara is living proof that someone can be extremely generous to others AND be a huge success.
In all the things I had the privilege to learn about Tamara and her business, these are the things that stood out the most. She has shown herself to be more than a woman who can crochet but also a woman of worth and character. Someone that others can look up to and learn from. Tamara is a woman full of dedication. She's a wonderful wife and mother full of kindness and generosity. She doesn't let her weaknesses hold her back nor does she let fear of the unknown stop her. There are many more facets to the person Tamara is but these are the major reasons why I say Tamara and the Moogly blog are worth knowing and following. I highly recommend her, her patterns, her blog and the items made from her designs to everyone.
There are a few more fun facts about Tamara as well as important links to where you can follow her below but first, a question.
Do you know an entrepreneur or crafter who has really inspired you that you feel deserves some much needed recognition?
If so, tell us who they are, what their business is and why they inspire you in the comments.
we would love to feature them on our blog.
Bonus Facts and Links:
Fact #1: She has a degree in psychology
Fact #2: She is an anti-hoarder...except when it comes to craft supplies
Fact #3: Last year, she lost over 100lbs
Fact #4: It makes her sad to see crocheted items being sold in the big chain stores. Crochet cannot be done by a machine. So each of those items have been handmade by someone (most likely in a sweatshop somewhere overseas) who is receiving little to no pay for the hard work these have put in to that "mass produced" item.
Fact #5: She loves giving support to other creators and their families.
Links to where you can follow Tamara and the Moogly Blog:
Links to Tamara's patterns:
You can contact her by email at: email@example.com
Oh and just in case you were wondering where the word "moogly" came from:
The word “moogly” was coined by our daughter when she was a toddler. She used it to describe anything wobbly, off kilter, silly, or teeter-tottery. When I decided to start a mommy blog a few years later, the name Moogly was a natural fit!
To read the full unedited Moogly interview with all its questions and answers, click here.
American Psychological Association: Marriage and Divorce
Wilkinson & Finkbeiner Family Law Attorneys: Everything You Need To Know About Divorce - Facts, Statistics and Rates
Edward Dovner Entrepreneurial Advice: The Importance of Risk for Entrepreneurs
Moogly profile on Craftsy