Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in handcrafts but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hortense Maskens, Founder of Knitting with Chopsticks, located in Brussels, Belgium.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I design to knit and crochet patterns for beginners looking to take the next step. My goal is to break down knitting and crochet patterns so they're simple enough for you to create exactly what you want, the way you want it. I'm an engineer by trade and a crafter by passion, which means all of my patterns have extreme attention to detail, thorough explanations, and step-by-step pictures.

Tell us about yourself

I'm Hortense, a passionate knitter, crocheter, and hoarder of yarn. My mom taught me the basics of knitting when I was young. Believe it or not, we were at the beach, and I was bored (who knew that was possible at ten years old?). I took those basic skills and added to them over the years, thanks to blogs like this one and the wonderful community of online knitters and crocheters. Knitting with Chopsticks was created as a way to give back to that community and share my easy knitting and crochet patterns with beginners everywhere who want to take the next step.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I turned my hobby into my full-time job, and it still feels like my hobby every single day.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Having to take care of all the parts of your business, even the ones you don't think about, such as accounting, HR, etc.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Just go for it! Stop waiting and thinking, and give it a try!
  2. Don't wait until your product feels perfect to launch; until it's out there, you probably don't know exactly what people want/need, so don't waste time making it "perfect." Get it out there and adopt it.
  3. Focus on the strategies that work for you and that you actually like. Pouring tons of energy into marketing platforms you don't enjoy won't give you the same results and take so much more time than focussing on ones you actually enjoy and that feel natural.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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