The exhibitor lineup GeekCraft Expo Midwest's Fall Mall is incredible! Make sure to mark your calendar October 14 and 15 for this free, family-friendly geeky craft show at the Madison Masonic Center.
We caught up with Niina Konz of Niinapolitan, who crochets adorable geeky amigurumi dolls based on characters from Star Wars, Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more. Read on for a peek inside her process and see what she'll be bringing to the show!
GeekCraft Expo: How old were you when you learned to crochet?
Niina Konz: I was around 9 or 10 years old when my mom taught me to crochet.
GCE: What made you decide to start selling to the public?
NK: Strangely enough, I had made some drawings for friends who encouraged me to sell on Etsy. The drawings never sold, but since I've always crocheted for fun, I had a stash of finished items. I gave a lot of my pieces away as gifts, but I was starting to run out of people to gift them to! So I put my crocheted items on Etsy and they sold more easily than the drawings. I started doing craft shows about four years ago, which I discovered is the most enjoyable way to sell my crochet because I get to interact with my customers face-to-face and see them react to what I've made.
GCE: What was your favorite part about last spring’s GeekCraft Expo Midwest?
NK: Meeting all the other vendors and support staff! Everyone was so warm and inviting, and GeekCraft has more comradery than other shows I've done where it feels like vendors are eying their competition. Since GeekCraft is curated, we all had something unique to sell and it eliminated that feeling of competition, so the vendors were much more supportive of each other.
GCE: What kinds of pieces do you like making the most?
NK: I really enjoy creating new amigurumi dolls with my own patterns. I usually start with an idea, such as making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and experiment with the stitches until I get it looking just right. It's really fun seeing something come together into crocheted form.
GCE: Which items are your best sellers?
NK: My Star Wars amigurumi dolls, especially the more popular characters like Yoda, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader.
GCE: Who are your favorite nerdy characters?
NK: I like to think I embrace all nerdy characters in some way, but I have a soft spot for My Little Pony (I'm a child of the '80s!) and Deadpool.
GCE: What kinds of things will you be bringing to GeekCraft Expo Midwest this fall?
NK: Amigurumi dolls mainly, with some crocheted play food for fun! I'll have characters from Star Wars, Star Trek, Pac-Man, TMNT, and others, as well as some general amigurumi animals like jellyfish and bunnies.
Our thanks to Niina for answering our questions. Don't miss GeekCraft Expo Midwest October 14 and 15! Interested in joining as an exhibitor? We are still taking applications for a limited number of spaces: fill out one now!