The Hat Shak: Townsend’s crochet business



Shakira Townsend (11) shows off one of her many crochet projects, a handmade bear bucket hat. Townsend was persuaded by her friends to make a business out of her crochet hobby, which she promotes on Instagram.

As Shakira Townsend (11) repeats the same crocheting pattern over and over again, four to five hours and several hand cramps go by until she completes one of her colorful and imaginative hats. From autumn-inspired beanies to strawberry cow print bucket hats, Townsend draws on her crocheting skills and creates various products to sell through her small business account on Instagram.

Townsend’s journey began early in 2020 when she hosted a hotel birthday party where her friend Lauren Hobson (11) came equipped with a hook and yarn to crochet during the party. From there, she began watching videos on TikTok and YouTube showcasing creative crochet projects, which added to her interest.

“I just sat down one day, and I watched a YouTube tutorial about how to do a single stitch, and I did a square, and then I unraveled it, and then I redid the square,” Townsend said. “I did that for like the whole day, and that was basically what I did to learn how to crochet.”

At the start of her crocheting journey, Townsend did not think she would be able to make a small business out of it. However, after multiple people repeatedly pushed for her to start selling her projects, she finally decided to give in.

“Over fall break, she got really into hats, and I was like, ‘girl you’ve got to make these, you could start selling them. People will love them,’” Hobson said.

Creating her own business had been a longtime dream of Townsend since middle school, but she could never settle on what products to sell. Now that she finally made her business, she’s been driven to see it succeed, focusing on customer satisfaction.

“She was very open to … changing something on the design if I wanted like a color change,” Lexie Heath (11) said.

Although Townsend plans to switch her selling platform to Etsy, a site many small business owners use, Townsend began her business on an Instagram account first because of the efficiency it allowed.

“I just kind of wanted to jump in there, so I just did an Instagram [account] first,” Townsend said. “I was just like, ‘I want to do this right now and nothing is stopping me ‘cause Instagram is free.’”

Starting a business is not easy work, especially for a full-time high school student and athlete. Luckily, Townsend’s family and friends have provided her with overwhelming support for her business to flourish.

“My parents definitely helped,” Townsend said. “Especially my dad because he was really the one who was pushing what prices I should make everything, and he’s trying to help me set up an Etsy right now.”

Picking up new hobbies is one of Townsend’s favorite ways to spend free time, and this one has not only been fun for her but has helped her ease her mind from the daily chaos of life.

“It can be stressful sometimes, but for the most part, it is relaxing because I can just sit on the couch [crocheting] for like multiple hours … and I can just empty my mind,” Townsend said.

Currently, crochet clothing items have been rising in trends, and Townsend assures that The Hat Shak’s crochet products are made for everyone and anyone. 

“I think [my intended audience is] people who are looking for a way to spice up their wardrobe,” Townsend said.

Townsend’s business has already sold multiple products in the short time since its creation. However, Townsend is already focusing on ways to make her business even more successful in the future, from learning how to crochet new patterns to showcasing her products on TikTok.

“I’m always practicing just to get better because I always want to have more creative and original things,” Townsend said. “I always want to be more original because I know that there [are] a lot of people who can do the same thing as I can, and I just want to set myself apart.”