Winnipeg makers find success through social media
By Nicole Brownlee
Local artisans crafting clothes and accessories have turned to Instagram to help grow their businesses while working from home.
“I’ve never paid for advertising and I’ve gained 1,700 followers in six months,” said seamstress Caitlin Coyston.
Coyston, 18, sells homemade crochet tank tops, toques, and other accessories through her Instagram page, Wandering Daisy Crochet. Coyston started selling items in May after followers on her thrifting account ‘liked’ the crochet top Coyston’s mom made her.
“I just got a few orders [at first], but I always encourage people to share their order to social media,” Coyston said. “And then it started snowballing.”
Since her Instagram page took off this summer, Coyston said she always had between 20 to 60 orders in the works. She completes each piece with the help of her mom, Deneen, who taught her how to crochet. Coyston said she’s sold more than 400 items so far.
“I’ve always been very crafty,” said Coyston. “I’ve tried to learn [to crochet] ever since I was a kid, but it’s just a flow you have to get. And with the amount of orders, I had to catch on quick.”
Coyston lost her serving job at the beginning of the pandemic and now fills orders while studying in her first year at The University of Winnipeg.
“It’s hard to balance, but now that I’ve learned [to crochet] I can sit with my textbook open and crochet while I study,” said Coyston.
Another local maker, Galen Morris, started selling handmade polymer clay earrings through Instagram in April.
“When I first launched, I’d been making [pieces] for friends for a while and posting them on my personal Instagram,” said Morris, 22. “It’s been pretty consistent since then.”
Morris said she taught herself to make jewelry with clay through online research and “lots of trial and error.” Morris said she’s made around 500 orders by herself since April and considers Made By G Designs her full-time job.
“I’ve always loved experimenting,” said Morris. “It doesn’t really feel like a job. It’s very relaxing to get in my own space and work on this for hours.”
Morris said she likes to collaborate with other makers in Winnipeg through giveaways to gain more attention on Instagram.
“Anyone starting a home business should not be scared to just go for it,” said Morris. “There’s so much room for anyone who wants to try.”