Born and raised for the most part in a small town in North Carolina, USA, Yolonda specialises in African American doll designs, selling the patterns as well as custom requests – customers can choose skin tone, hairstyle, outfits and more for their dolls.
Yolonda takes a lot of her crochet inspiration from African American hairstyles. “I remember the first time I had the thought to make an amigurumi doll with Afro Puffs, I went through so much yarn trying to find the perfect chunky yarn to give me the texture and look that I wanted,” Yolonda tells us. “Hair is a very important aspect of the designs because often, Black women are told that our hair is not good enough and that if we want to fit in, we need to straighten and manipulate it to fit the European standard. When I get the opportunity to make a crochet design with Afro Puffs, braids and beads, locs, Afros etc, it’s a reminder to us all that not only is our hair beautiful, but we are beautiful exactly as we were created.”
MAYA LUNA CORAZON
Originally from Thailand and now residing in the German countryside, Maya learned to crochet when she was seven at a temple school and has kept at the craft for over 30 years now, going professional in 2015.
Having always been inspired by her surroundings and with a passion for making garments, Maya mainly creates designs that she would love to wear and prefers to work with ecological yarn where possible. “The seasons and nature constantly inspire me,” Maya tells us. “I spend half of my day connecting and grounding with nature; hills, river, forest. For me, the transition of each season is so magical. Everything I see around me, I recreate it in the form of a crochet garment. It is my way of expressing my feelings, my love for nature and myself.”
Maya believes that creating, crocheting, and making things with our hands enhances our love for life and for oneself. “I see many women starting to love their bodies more and more when they see their own reflection in the mirror wearing what they’ve made. This is true magic to me.”
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Continue reading your story in the magazine
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