Not many 14-year-olds take to crocheting, but Riley Teeter, an eighth grader at Papillion Middle School, not only fell in love with the hobby, she turned it into a business. Crochet Ninja offers an online course and kit to help any beginner learn to crochet in just seven days.
Edge: How did you become interested in crocheting?
Riley: I saw a sign at school for a knitting club. My grandma had always shown an interest in learning how to crochet, so I thought if I could learn, then I could teach her. Plus I like trying new things, so I decided to attend a meeting.
Edge: How long did it take you learn?
Riley: They gave us the tools, but we pretty much had to practice on our own. I tried watching YouTube videos, but they weren’t very good, and it was hard to learn. The first few weeks were really tough, but I kept at it.
Jerry Teeter: She’s pretty tenacious, so she doesn’t stop until she figures out how to do something.
Edge: What made you decide to turn it into a business?
Riley: I didn’t want other people to struggle to learn like I did, so I created a kit and online course made up of my own YouTube videos. They teach how to crochet in just seven days: six main stitches needed for any project. Then I show how to do the first project, which is a snail.
Edge: How did you decide what to include in the kit?
Riley: I looked at what I used and decided to include everything needed to make the snail: yarn, stuffing, eyes, and an entire hook set.
Edge: Were you nervous to do your own videos?
Riley: I was scared of being on camera and worried people wouldn’t understand my instructions, but I’ve seen it work for other people, so I know what I’m doing is helpful. I’ve redone most of the original videos since I’m more comfortable on camera now.
Edge: How did you come up with the name Crochet Ninja?
Riley: I spent a day brainstorming, but Crochet Ninja was stuck in my head.
Edge: Why did you decide to focus on crocheting animals?
Riley: I had seen them at craft fairs and wanted to make them on my own. I started with the snail, and now I also make a cute cow, an elephant, and my favorite is the baby Yoda.
Edge: Where do you sell your animals?
Riley: I did the Millard West craft fair twice and sold a lot of animals, and people can message me on Facebook for orders. I’m watching webinars on how to do Facebook ads. I’m also working on a web site just to sell the animals.
Edge: Was it difficult putting together your web site to sell the online course and kit?
Riley: My dad helped me set up the web site.
Jerry: I own a couple businesses myself, so for me it’s fun to teach her whatever I can and watch her on her journey. We’ve also been able to use my connections to direct order the supplies for her kits, so she can offer them at a fraction of the cost of buying them at a retail store. And I can do about half the stitches myself just from watching the videos.
Edge: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not crocheting?
Riley: I play select soccer, basketball, I’m on student council, and I hang out with my friends. I’ve even taught them how to crochet, which was cool.
Edge: What are your goals for this business?
Riley: This is a dying art, so my main goal is to help people learn how to do it without it being stressful. The web site platform I use gives an award each year to a business that does a million dollars in web sales. I want to get that award in 2022 and go up on stage at their conference in Nashville.
Edge: Did you get to teach your grandma how to crochet?
Riley: I did! She bought my kit and online course!
To purchase the kit and online course, visit www.crochetninja.me, and follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/crochetninja.me.