Seventy-three-year-old Marilyn Sehn of Sandycove, Innisfil has found a way to make extra income during the pandemic through her online macrame and crochet Etsy sales.
Sehn began crocheting baby blankets after being inspired from her seasonal trips to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where she would stay in small villages and visit with locals.
“The poverty in Mexico is so sad and I wanted to help,” explains Sehn. “I would make baby blankets for the new moms in the villages who were giving birth and being sent home with nothing but the bloody sheets their babies were born on… those babies really stole my heart."
Sehn spent several years making baby blankets for the Puerto Vallarta locals and wanted to continue giving back when she returned home from her visits. So, she started making and donating blankets to the Barrie Women’s Shelter. Sehn has donated well over 100 blankets to the shelter.
Eventually, Sehn had enough products to begin selling her creations on Etsy where she created an account called “The Baby Crow” to showcase her talent.
“It’s making a comeback!” shares Sehn, noting that crocheting was quite popular back in her day as a hippie.
Not only does Sehn crochet hats, blankets, skirts, scarves, gloves, pillows, bibs, and toys, she also sells the patterns for all the designs on Etsy.
“I design my own patterns using Excel on my computer and then convert the patterns into a PDF and upload them to Etsy,” explains Sehn, adding that she tests each pattern by hand first to ensure there are no mistakes before uploading the designs. “Row by row, stitch by stitch… it’s really involved work!”
Currently, Sehn has over 167 designs on Etsy, with many sales.
“I never dreamed this would become so busy," shares Sehn. “I have so many mothers and grandmothers buying the patterns online, and they just rave about my patterns!”
Sehn shares that she makes about $5,000 a year from her Etsy sales which helps support her husband and herself while residing in the Sandycove area.
When COVID hit, Sehn began another hobby and learned the art of macrame; a form of knotting cords or string into patterns to make decorative pieces. This newest adventure has also led her to create another Etsy business, “The Knotty Crow” where she is now selling new macrame patterns as well.
“Macrame is so much more time consuming and expensive than crocheting,” notes Sehn. “It’s hard on your hands making all those knots… but I love doing it and have been pretty successful so far with sales online."
Sehn has been donating her crochet and macrame creations as prizes for virtual bingo games that operate in Sandycove.
“I spend most days doing macrame while also being the administrator for a private Facebook group called “Sandycove Chats” for all residents of Sandycove to keep in touch, tell jokes, buy and sell things and just basically not be alone during this terrible virus,” shares Sehn.
To view Sehn’s crochet and macrame creations, visit her Etsy pages: www.thebabycrow.etsy.com