2/06/2018

Meet Salena Baca Crochet Artist, Teacher, and Entrepreneur




Every month I'm bringing you an Artist I think you'd love--because I love them! 

This week let me introduce my lovely friend Salena Baca. She is an extraordinary person, crochet artist, encourageR, and business woman. Grab a cuppa and relax in a warm blanket while we chat.






Salena's Facebook page has 30,000+ followers with tons of activity.  She's also here on Craftsy and here on Ravelry.




 Where did you grow up and do you think this had an impact on you as a Maker?


I was born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, which absolutely influenced me to become a maker! My particular craft (obsession?) is crochet, which I learned in kindergarten along with a slew of other crafty skills, like: gardening, painting, sculpting, singing, dancing, and baking. My education in Hawaii followed the Waldorf style of teaching, so every element of our lessons was paired with some type of creative expression; we sketched and wrote our own textbooks, we make beeswax sculptures while listening to Grimms Fairy Tales (yes, even the amazingly gory ones, like Bluebear), and math was taught with stories of gnomes and elves. My environment taught academia with art, as if they were one in the same; we were born and raised to be makers!




click here for free patterns






You also sew, why did you decide to focus on crochet art?
Do you feel a bigger pull towards working with yarn?

The first hobby I learned was crochet, and it was also the first hobby I became extraordinarily proficient in. I understood yarn, and the fabric I could create with crochet. Crochet was a natural fit for me, and I just learned it quicker and with greater ease, than any of my other hobbies.




Do you make daily? What is your favorite thing in the world to make?  What is your LEAST favorite? LOL! (My slipper request?! HA!)

Now that crochet is my “day job”, and not just my hobby, I don’t crochet every single day. But, I do work in crochet education and theory EVERY SINGLE DAY. My favorite things to make are wearable accessories (hats, cowels, scarves, shawls), because there is a satisfaction in making something quickly that I can wear and enjoy! I don’t enjoy making the same thing more than once, and if I do make something more than one time it’s either a pair or I REALLY LOVED IT!


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Salena also made me a ton of crochet headbands, as I'm wearing here at Undley Pumpkin Patch. Photo courtesy of Danielle MC Photography. My BFF Natasha is concentrating like a boss in this photo.




I vividly remember your slippers! And, I vividly remember that it was the pattern that was a bit, well, off and very hard to decipher. It’s patterns like those slippers that led me to pattern writing, and crochet education!


Free the masses with education, and spread peace and love through creative competence (or, well, some version of that)!


Salena, this sounds revolutionary and you know I dig that. :)


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Here I'm wearing my Baca Hat--at Stonehenge. I don't mess around you guys.








We met in England, and I remember the exact moment --can you believe that? Do you find the market different now that you're living in the US again? How has it affected your business or personal outlook?
You enchanted me, and I have always adored you! You really are one of my favorite people to know, and just knowing you brings me so much joy! Truly.

I stalked you for a long time before we met in person, so my judgement may be a bit off about our first meeting… It was at one of the base Bazaar's though, right? You were (are) my favorite person to stalk!

Oh, England. I really felt home there; I loved the people, the culture, the cities, the food, the tea! There was not one thing I did not absolutely love about England, and living in there did allow me to build my crochet business into something that, I felt, defined me. Living in America again now has changed my business mindset; for the better, really. I’m no longer in England on what seemed to be a long, lovely holiday; In America, I’m back in reality, and this is a job.

I love this job, and this work, but there is a real difference.


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Do you sell ready made items or do you take requests? Do you find this invigorating or draining? (I will edit this one to read better and be less harsh.)

Not anymore! While that was a really successful business model for me for a long time, it’s not one that was kind to my schedule and my body; I just can’t crochet things for other people all day every day! While it was very invigorating at first, it did become draining. The silver lining though was that I quickly learned how to maximize my time, efforts, and income; teach others to make what they want!









I know you have a couple books out and have been featured in magazines- can you list them here for us please?
I’ve been published over 70 times since 2009, writing articles and submitting patterns for various books and magazines. In addition to being published, I also started a few crochet publications and published a few of my own books! Here are some of my favorites, and most noteworthy:
  • 014-2017: Happily Hooked Magazine, Content Coordinator / Director of Relations
  • 2014-2016: The Pattern Pack, Founder / Editor
  • Book, 2015; Crochet for Christmas
  • Book, 2017; My Crocheted Closet






  • Do you prefer specific yarns or tools? Brands?

I love commercial yarns that are accessible! Some of my favorite brands are Red Heart, Knit Picks, Lion Brand, and Valley Yarns. As far as tools, my favorite brand of crochet hook is Susan Bates, and I really love to have my handles covered with poly-clay designs from hand makers I find on Etsy!



What is the simplest project a newbie can get started on and make successfully in your opinion? How many skeins would this take?
I love to each people how to crochet, and there are WAY too many things to consider as a beginner before you dive into your first crochet project. I’m working with Craftsy right now to build a crochet class, and it should be available in March / April 2017! In it, you’ll learn more about tools, yarns, foundation stitches, stitch anatomy, counting stitches and rows, and you’ll see what it takes to make flat and round projects.





Where do you see Baca Creations in three years?

Gone are the days of “Baca Creations”! I changed my business model when I moved back to American in 2012 and I now focus on crochet education and resources to help crocheters help themselves! I write crochet patterns under my brand Salena Baca Crochet, and I’m also the founder and lead educator at the American Crochet Association. I have a lifetime goal of assuring that crocheters have resources that make each generation better adapted, and better skilled, than the last.

It’s my goal to assure each generation leaves crochet in better, more capable hands, than the previous.





Will you move next door to me please? LOLOLOL
I’ve waited so long to hear those words, YES!!!!! Seriously though, can I visit you?



(YES!)









5 comments:

  1. I have struggled so many times with trying to learn crochet and failing, though I can knit pretty well. I’m definitely going to check out her Craftsy class when it comes out!!

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  2. I love this. What a great interview and a wonderful idea! Am sending a picture of my fav Selena creation !!

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  3. What a very interesting interview! Salena was one of the first designers I found on Ravelry. I love her style of pattern writing and find her patterns easy to follow. I have made more of Salena's designs than any other designer! I have learned so much from Salena and wish her much success in the future! Salena, you are my favorite!!

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I appreciate every comment, thanks so much for taking the time. It means A LOT to me. :)