Accountant by day and crocheter by night

By Rosalia David

AFTER being forced to learn how to crochet by her mother, Windhoek-based accountant Helena Uutoni eventually fell in love with the art and started a business named ‘Crochet by Helena’ which is quickly gaining popularity.

“I started crocheting at an early age when I was in grade three and ever since then I have never stopped doing it. I was taught by my mother. It is not something that I always wanted to do. I was actually forced to do it and later it grew on me and got to love doing it,” she said.

Using her acquired skill she makes clothes, crochet dolls, living room sets, dining room sets, toilet sets and house shoes.

She said although she initially had no passion for crocheting, her dream of becoming independent and generating an income to enable her to buy her own stuff like snacks at school, drove her and she started making doll clothes at a young age.

“I grew up in a family where parents don’t believe in giving their children money to buy snacks at school and as a child, I always wanted to have snacks like the other learners, so with my knowledge of crocheting I decided to crochet doll clothes and sell them at school just for me to buy snacks like other learners, and that is how my business started,” she added.

Asked on who her clients are, she said she caters for every size or anything that the client wants. “I make clothes for both men and women including children but anything, whatever order I get, if it can be done, I will make it,” she added.

Her items range from N$25.00 to N$ 700.00, but price can go higher depending on the client’s request.

Curious to know how long she takes to crochet one item, Uutoni said, for a baby set (dress, shoes and headband) it takes her a minimum one to two weeks to complete, however, all this depends on the number of clients she has at that time.

“For socks, it takes me couple of hours approximately three hours to complete them,” she added.

On how she juggles being an accountant by and a crocheter at the same time, Uutoni described her schedule as ‘flexible.’

“Crocheting is a part-time job that I do after work whenever I have clients and apart from crocheting I also do nails during the weekends.  I always draw up a schedule, which makes my work easier,” she explained.

Apart from selling her self-made items from home, Uutoni will also be training young Namibians on how to crochet to be able to make an income for themselves.

“I have created this training programme specifically to help the youngsters and older people who are eager to learn how to create things with their own hands and be able to make profit out of it.  The training will be focusing more on basic patterns, whereby they will be able to create more than two items from those patterns”.