It All Began with a “Thank You”

Written By Neha Seenarine

Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Hanna Edison, (@h.h.hooks), accidentally started her small business creating a ‘Thank You” gift.

Two years ago, Edison spent time in New York with her brother and his friends.  During her visit, she became sick “I felt terrible, obviously,” Edison said. “I left, but I wanted to thank them so I rug-hooked them a portrait of their dog. They shared it on social media and I got requests to make more. It snowballed from there.”

So, what is rug hooking? According to Wikipedia, Rug hooking is both an art and a craft where rugs are made by pulling loops of yarn or fabric through a stiff woven base such as burlap, linen, or rug warp. The loops are pulled through the backing material by using a crochet-type hook mounted in a handle (usually wood) for leverage.

Before the pandemic struck, Edison was a bartender, she lost her job which gave time to pursue her hobby which is creating art. “I suddenly had a lot of free time,” Edison said. “I was like maybe it will go well. Maybe it will keep me entertained for the next six months or how long I can’t leave my house. I feel like I got lucky. The timing worked out where I never had to sit down and make a decision of quitting my job and starting a business.”

Edison’s projects have had a fast response on social media. Her messages were flooded with requested commissions. “It feels like a lot,” Edison said. “I open my DMs and there are a hundred people yelling at me. I’m so thankful that so many people want to talk to me. It grew so quickly, and suddenly had a lot of demand. I was overwhelmed for weeks. I am getting better at managing it.”

Edison appreciates the engagement on social media. “I’ve done portraits for people that have just seen my Instagram,” Edison said. “It’s very cool to have a positive reaction or people that’s like ‘Oh, your post brightened up my day’ or whatever like it makes me feel so nice.”

Her small business is a one-woman show. Edison tackles her projects on her own at her own pace. “I can make so many at a time,” said Edison. “It will happen at the pace it happens.” Edison’s rugs feature fruits and vegetables. There are other projects reacting to political issues and simplicity, the beauty of dogs for example.

“It was never really like a ‘this is going to be my brand’ decision,” Edison said. “It was sort of more like — I think this would be fun to make, and I want this in my house so I’m just going to make it and then I got a very positive response online.”

Edison plans to continue her passion for art regardless of having a business.

“I love the act of creating like it’s very meditative,” Edison said. “The world is scary it’s like a way to slow your brain down and like you’re very focused on a very simple task like knitting or crochet.  Selling art is something I was really apprehensive about doing for a long time, but it’s been really positive and lovely, and I’ve gotten so many like lovely messages from people.”

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