Cristina Grant is the founder and maker behind Macpiglet.
I met Cristina at the Granny Would Be Proud vintage and craft fair at the Hillhead Book Club in Glasgow’s west end. Her stall was beautifully put together with an array of lovely items all at great prices. She was so friendly and chatty that I was surprised to find out that it was Cristina’s first makers fair. I was really keen to feature her and hear about how she got into crafting and her experiences getting to this point.
Cristina is a mum of two with a passion for creative crochet! From hair clips to owl hats and pirate bunting, Cristina uses soft pastel colours and wearable design to create a really eye catching stall.
How did you get started with crochet and making these items?
I started with the owl hats and blankets when my two children were young then I found I was being asked where I had bought them by other parents at their nursery. When I said I made them they asked if I’d make one for their kids and pretty soon it started to take off. Having two small children it can be really therapeutic too! It’s my time to just sit and relax and it keeps my hands too busy for the chocolate and wine!
What drew you to crochet in particular?
It’s so versatile, I found it really easy to pick up and I love that with just a hook and some yarn you can make so many different things.
Speaking with other makers I’ve found that once you get hooked you start to see everything in that medium, would you agree?
Yes! I started going around shops and seeing things I liked and thinking, ‘I could make that’ or seeing items labelled as crochet and thinking, ‘that’s not crochet it machine knitting!’ It’s given me a lot of ideas.
How have you found the Glasgow craft community so far? Do you think there’s an appreciation for craft here that’s especially good?
I find that people are just so happy to share skills or patterns and tips. I mean, I can adjust patterns I find online to customise them or make them my own but I’ve met people that will just give you patterns for free and are really glad you like them and want to use them. They’re so good though that if they sold them they would sell so that’s been really positive that everyone’s so open. I have a friend who sells baby clothes and she’s sold at fairs all over the place and though there are of course many fantastic fairs out there she says whenever she comes to Glasgow there’s always a great response. I think as well that if you do sell here people want to support you; they choose to spend their money here because they appreciate the skill behind it.
So how long have you been showing at fairs like this?
This is my first one! I was really nervous this morning but excited. Once I was here though it’s been great, it’s really chilled out and friendly and I’ve sold stuff so that’s always good! I’m really enjoying it.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to book their own stall?
Don’t bring too much stock! Also stick to your prices – you know how long it’s taken to make or the cost of your materials so stick to what you know it’s worth. I’ve never had anyone say ‘that’s too expensive’ or anything; people appreciate when it’s handmade that you’ve really put time and effort into it. Also it’s good to have a range of low and high priced item. The lower priced ones don’t make you much money but you do sell more of them and it makes your stall accessible so then people will remember you or might talk to you for a while and decide to buy something else too.
Of all the things you’ve got on sale which is your favourite or most personal to you?
It has to be the pirate bunting, there’s a bit of a story behind it. My son Harry who’s 4 loves pirates, anything pirates and he thinks it’s great! He’d seen that I made the owl bunting and asked if I’d make him a pirate one. So I found a pattern and started on it, it took ages! It was a real labour of love and once I’d finished I hung it up in his room before going to pick him up from school. He was being quite naughty on the way home and nagging and being difficult but we got home and he walked into his room. He saw the pirates and just burst into tears! He was so happy that I’d made it for him and I think since he’d been annoying mummy all the way home and I’d done this brilliant thing for him he didn’t know what to do with himself! He loves it though and I’m really glad so when I see that pattern I just think of how happy he was.
So would you say there’s a real added value to buying something handmade?
Absolutely. For Christmas for example I made a lot of the gifts I gave and I was really touched to receive a thank you card from my aunt. I don’t usually receive thank you cards or expect them even but she was so appreciative of the time, effort and care that went into making her gift that she felt she wanted to write to me and thank me. It’s definitely something much more personal. For the fair too, I’ve already met a lady who’d really like an owl hat for her grandchild so she’s chosen the colours and paid for it already and just asked that I post it out to her when I’ve made it. You couldn’t get that personal touch and complete choice from a shop. It’s definitely got added value to buy from makers and to be able to meet the people behind the items.