Krochet Kids Int, a company which aims to break the poverty cycle and create gifts with a purpose, continues to grow by huge steps. While crocheting may not have been considered a mainstream hobby for young guys in high school, over the years it has proved an overwhelmingly valuable skill. Hearpreneur sat down with Kohl Crecelius, founder of Krochet Kids Int, to learn more about his road to success and his experiences as an entrepreneur.
Why did you start your business?
We began Krochet Kids
to re-think and re-imagine what it means to do business and to do good.
What was your background and what led you to start your business?
I had a history of entrepreneurial endeavors tracing back to high school and earlier. It was a part of my nature to start businesses and think strategically. While in college, my friends and I traveled a lot to volunteer in different developing nations. While there we met people living in extreme poverty, but this wasn’t what defined them. They were tired of traditional forms of charity and they wanted to be given the tools to pave their own path forward. They wanted to be the ones to provide for their own children and they didn’t want international aid organizations to be doing that. We decided we could help. We would teach them a skill we had (crocheting) and we would set up a brand in the US to distribute the goods and create a sustainable cycle of employment and empowerment. We’ve been doing that for the last 7 years!
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
It means being an agile problem solver and having a vision for how things could be different. Entrepreneurs are not satisfied with the status quo and they look to alter it with every move they make. It also means to provide something of value to the world (not just to yourself).
How do you go from idea to actually executing on a business?
Step by step. People too often try to skip important steps in formulating their business or their idea. Always, take the next best step, learn, and then take another.
Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years I see Krochet Kids intl. leading the conversation around social impact within the developing world and how to do it sustainably.
What makes your business unique?
We are unique in many aspects. First and foremost, we are a non-profit organization so our goals as a brand align differently than others in our industry. We exist to empower people to rise above poverty. Therefore, we have set up our facilities for production within developing countries (Uganda & Peru) and are not only employing those living in the communities where we work, but we also walk them through a education and mentorship program to holistically empower them.
Everyone of our products is hand-signed by the person who made it, so we invite our customers to take part in this empowerment buy knowing WHO made their products. On our website we have the profiles of every woman who takes part in our programs and our customers get to learn more about the woman who made their product
, and they can even write her a thank you note!
What advice would you give for entrepreneurs and business owners?
Think critically about how you can combine your passion for entrepreneurship with ways to help the community (locally and globally). It will add value to every aspect of your business in more ways than you can imagine.