It was such a joy to meet and interview Monique Misha Wiles of Amazing Hats UK, who makes cute little dragons, rats, and hats! She crochets them as small as 1″ high often using hand-dyed thread by Sophie Abell of The Stitchy Ferret, who I must thank for connecting Monique and me.

Monique has been crocheting for 20 years and started her business in 2010 making hats. She then branched into dolls, and now mainly makes dragons. It’s a niche market, but she loves that what she makes brings joy to people. Her enthusiastic fans/friends inspire her and motivate her to keep doing what she does.

We chatted over a mocktail Tequila Sunrise about business, making, and ourselves. Grab your own drink and listen now!

Mock Tequila Sunrise

3 parts orange juice

2 parts peach juice

1 part lemonade

1 part grenadine

Pour into a highball glass in order. Garnish with a twist of orange or with cherries, if desired.

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Highlights in this episode include:

  • Misha’s journey through hats, dolls, and dragons
  • Using sale dates instead of making to order
  • Building a community for fans
  • Getting inspiration from looking at artists working in different media
  • Meeting Misha’s pet rats
small crocheted dragon in purple and green holding a tiny crocheted elephant by Amazing Hats UK

Connect with Misha:

People and resources mentioned in this episode:

This is episode 8 of my Cocktails & Chat series, a community-building project for makers and artisans to share the highs and lows of business and making and make it a bit less lonely. 

  • 0:52 – Introducing Mishacrocheted hot chocolate dragon in a mug with tiny mouse-mallows
  • 3:28 – Misha’s journey through hats, dolls, and dragons
  • 6:58 – Misha’s claim to fame
  • 8:38 – Why did you start selling your hats?
  • 9:46 – Did you always want to run your own business?
  • 10:55 – What do you wish you had known when you started your business?
  • 13:56 – Products that surprised Misha by selling well and sitting around unloved, which led into a different way of selling: sale dates instead of making to order
  • 17:00 – Misha’s thoughts on custom makes
  • 18:29 – Dragon inspiration
  • 20:10 – Misha’s adventures in crocheting and pattern-writing
  • 25:01 – What is the difference between crochet and knitting?
  • 25:47 – Underrated indispensible tool
  • 26:46 – Other making that Misha does
  • 29:00 – Misha’s micro dragons – just 1″ tall
  • 32:13 – What do you like most about running a business?
  • 34:15 – What do you like least about running a business?
  • 35:58 – Building a community for fansMicro dragon one inch tall in green and yellow sitting on a sunflower made as a fundraiser for Ukraine by Amazing Hats UK
  • 39:03 – Meeting Misha’s pet rats
  • 44:33 – Favourite genres
  • 45:26 – Some practicalities about the elusive work-life balance
  • 48:02 – What fellow artists inspire Misha?
  • 51:30 – Misha’s amazing around-the-world in 80 days trip
  • 54:33 – Misha’s favourite dragon that she’s made
  • 56:27 – How do you know when a work is finished?
  • 57:29 – Misha’s exciting Easter dragon plans