When many of us were inside watching Netflix and gaining weight during quarantine, Tianna Simmonds was busy learning how to crochet. The 18-year-old spent days at the feet of the greatest teacher -YouTube, to perfect her crocheting skills. Two months later, she turned that skill into business she named Crochet Castel.
“I knew I wanted my crochet business to be international and well known. And so I began to picture it as a Castle with a Kingdom(my customers) but instead, I used the word ‘castle’ in another language to add uniqueness hence, ‘Castel’,” she told BUZZ.
Although young, her business is steadily charting its own path of success. One of her major highlights so far is having dancehall artiste Shenseea don one of her pieces in the music video for her hit single Lighter.
“My vision for Crochet Castel is to expand to different aspects of the fashion world.”— Simmonds
“The name of the piece is ‘The Sidechick Swim’, giving it this name pushed me to make a way to have her wear the piece seeing as she’s the singer of The Sidechick Song. Simmonds revealed that she messaged Shenseea on Instagram, and she was very responsive. Little did she know that her swimsuit would end up in one of Shenseea’s most-watched music videos.
“I was shocked. I didn’t expect a music video feature. I was so happy,” she said.
Simmonds said she even received more international customers as a result.
When it comes to giving her business that edge, she explained that it’s all in the way she markets her pieces.
“Everyone who crochets has a God-given talent but we differ as it relates to our target market. For example, some people focus on making handbags while others do baby clothes and so on,” she said.
Her bathing suits cost $1500-$6000 (JMD) currently, and she offers islandwide delivery.
The former St Andrew High School student will be heading to the Caribbean School of Medical Science to pursue a medical degree but said she will always remain a businesswoman.
“My vision for Crochet Castel is to expand to different aspects of the fashion world, meaning I won’t only be working with yarn as my main fabric or crochet as my only way of expressing my designs,” she said.