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  • Mom Who Found Success In Crochet Dolls Say You Only Need P500 To Start A Business

    She started making toys and clothes for her daughter before turning it into a small business.
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
Mom Who Found Success In Crochet Dolls Say You Only Need P500 To Start A Business
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Geraldine Balunos
  • Having a hobby is not just a form of self-care while enjoying our free time, it can also inspire us to start a small business and earn a little extra on the side. That's how mom Geraldine Balunos started Playthread, a gift shop that sells handmade crochet dolls.

    “I started crafting in 2013, when I was still single. I am self-taught and was inspired by the different crochet projects on Pinterest. Fast forward to 2018, I rekindled my love for crochet when my husband Jay asked me to crochet a sleeve for his power bank,” the mom of one shares with SmartParenting.com.ph.

    These are just some of the items Geraldine made for her daughter, Katniss. The yellow duck is one of Katniss’s favorites.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Geraldine Balunos

    Geraldine wasn’t a hundred percent into the idea of making dolls in the beginning because it can be time-consuming. “Feeling ko ang bagal gawin kasi mabusisi ang bawat stitch. When I got pregnant though, doon na ako naaliw,” relates Geraldine.

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    “I made toys for my daughter, Katniss, and her monthly outfits. I was inspired to make a doll for her that will eventually serve as a keepsake to remind me of my pregnancy and her childhood days,” she adds.

    Playthread’s dolls are priced at Php700 to Php2000+ depending on the complexity of the design, the yarns to be used, and other factors to be considered in making them.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Geraldine Balunos

    After posting a doll she made for Katniss online, Geraldine received inquiries, prompting her to turn it into a source of income. “I want to share it with other moms because it’s special to have a piece that can serve as a companion to their little ones while growing up.

    “Hindi lang sya basta doll, it’s about the feeling of having something they can carry and cuddle with their little hands,” she explains.

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    Each design can be discussed between the customer and Geraldine.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Geraldine Balunos

     

    Managing a small handmade doll business

    Geraldine, her husband Jay, and their daughter, Katniss.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Geraldine Balunos

    A stay-at-home mom, Geraldine runs Playthread alone — from conceptualizing the designs and turning them into dolls, to taking photographs of the items and promoting each on social media. She’s able to accomplish all these and more with the unwavering support of her husband.

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    “The key to my success and small wins is my husband. It helps to have someone who inspires me and helps in so many ways. He does the cooking most of the time while I attend to inquiries from customers and work on the dolls,” shares Geraldine.

     

    Twinning! Katniss is wearing clothes made by Geraldine and cuddling with a doll made with the same colors.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Geraldine Balunos

     

    Crocheting dolls can be challenging but since the mom of one loves her craft, she delights in improving her skills with each doll she makes.

    “Every doll I make is unique. Iba’t-iba ‘yung outcome, iba-ibang colors. One doll can take up to 3,000 stitches or more. I take inspiration from Scandinavian design. I want it easy on the eyes and neat na when a kid carries it, it’s simple but classy,” she says.

    Geraldine says Katniss is showing interest in crocheting at a young age. “Minsan she tells me 'Mommy, crochet ako,' and she mimics what I do,” she shares.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Geraldine Balunos
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    Despite the time required to finish the dolls, Geraldine makes sure she still spends time with Katniss, whether it’s by playing or singing with her. “She’s already 2 years and 5 months old but I am still exclusively breastfeeding her. Multitasker ako. I crochet and breastfeed at the same time,” the mom adds.

     

    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Geraldine Balunos

     

    For fellow moms or parents who want to turn their hobbies into a small business, Geraldine says that patience is key. Starting a venture can be challenging but you need to be open to learning the ropes and improving your craft.

    “Those who want to learn can watch tutorials online. As long as willing ka matuto, very beneficial sya, especially now that most of us are staying home,” suggests Geraldine.

     

    Playthread’s dolls are categorized into “Mini Me,” which are dolls based on a photo of the customer’s child, and “Animals,” which feature bunnies, cats, and bears, to name a few. Geraldine also makes dolls for boys like lions and sheep, as well as clothes for babies.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Geraldine Balunos
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    With Php500, crochet materials can be purchased online through Shopee or Lazada. Getting started with small items like pouches, earrings, and small accessories can help you practice your skills.

    “Kung binabalak ninyo na maging hobby ito, five-star sya as a gift, especially now that the holiday season is fast-approaching. If it’s made by hand, it’s made with love ika nga nila,” she muses.

    To see more of Geraldine’s handmade dolls, you can follow Playthread on Facebook: facebook.com/PlayThreadPH and Instagram: Instagram.com/playthread. 

    Celebrities like Sunshine Cruz love to crochet, too! Check out her pieces here.

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