1. What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Aniqua Wilkerson and I’m from New York City, the Bronx to be exact.
2. What is your craft? How long have you been crafting? And how did you learn?
I have been crocheting for about 20 years now. I learned at 18 years old from some old battered Home Economics books, before YouTube was available. It was kinda difficult because I didn’t really know what I was doing and I didn’t have anyone to ask to make sure I was doing it right. The best thing about the way I learned is that I learned to read the formal crochet language. I became fluent unintentionally!
3. What is your favorite project?
My favorite project is usually the latest idea I’m executing. Because I specialize in doll making, dolls are my favorite thing to crochet, but I would say right now my Germ E. Cootie design is my current favorite project. Creating it made me crack up because I imagined him not being imaginary 😂! Like all of my creations, each design has its very own personality even before they come off my crochet hook.
4. Who is your crafting inspiration?
I am often inspired by bright colors and sparkles. I love to work with color combinations that are not very common. More importantly, I am inspired by my childhood and my 5 nieces. I wanted to create beautiful Black/African/African American dolls that reflect our beauty and diversity. With a heavy focus on hairstyles, textures, and skin tones, I wanted my creations to evoke pride and appreciation for how beautifully diverse we are.
I started My Kinda Thing March 3rd 2013 with the thought that I was gonna crochet for a living. It sounds funny now but at the time I just wanted to be free artistically. I didn’t have a plan or a specific thing I would specialize in. I just decided I was gonna crochet whatever anyone paid me to create! And I don’t know if that was a great way to start, but I didn’t know how much work it would be to crochet for a living, especially since I didn’t know a single person who had done so! And it’s a good thing I didn’t know, because I may not have done this if I had known how much I’d struggle in the beginning.
5. What advice would you give a crafter who has just begun her crafting journey?
My advice to anyone crafting/creating would be to recognize the value of committing to your art. I was too committed to get side tracked or distracted. I worked through being told that it was an unrealistic goal to be a crocheter for a living. I worked through being told that my prices were too high, even when I was charging $40 per doll design! I learned how hard work ALWAYS wins! The trick is knowing that, and being patient enough to be ready when the hard work starts to pay off. Understanding that just because “they” didn’t say it was awesome, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not awesome! Will you be committed even when no one is looking? Do your best work even if only a few people are “following” you!
6. How can we connect with you?
Here is a list of the many places you can find My Kinda Thing University, my online crochet & knit courses and My Kinda Thing, a handmade company that specializes in one of a kind handmade dolls. The mission is to promote pride and confidence in children of color, particularly girls, and more specifically Black girls, in efforts to combat self hate.
My Kinda Thing YouTube Channel
My Kinda Thing University
My Kinda Thing University Instagram
My Kinda Thing Instagram
My Kinda Thing Facebook
My Kinda Thing Etsy Shop
My Kinda Thing Twitter
Thank you for sharing Aniqua!