Local Woman Turns Therapeutic Hobby Into a Business

Amber Vanderjagt sews baby shoes in her craft room. Jillian Danielson/Riverscene

Fabrics, ribbons and a hefty sewing machine is all Lake Havasu resident Amber Vanderjagt needs to bring to life her quilts and baby shoes to sell online.

Before Vanderjagt began selling her crafts, it all started as a therapeutic hobby when her third child endured a brain injury and had to spend several nights in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Phoenix Arizona. Ten months later her baby lost his life. With feelings of grief, Amber turned to quilting to keep her mind occupied.
“Quilting became a very therapeutic thing for me at the time,” said Vanderjagt. “Every year after his death I made quilts in his memory.”

Soon Vanderjagt began donating the quilts to other babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and soon added more crafting projects.
“I began thinking about other projects that I can sell and came up with baby shoes.”

Baby shoes made by Amber Vanderjagt. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Baby shoes made by Amber Vanderjagt. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Vanderjagt began selling her shoes to make money to fund the quilts that she donated to the hospital.

Boys and girls Rockabilly pinup  shoes

Girls and boys Rockabilly themed baby shoes. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

The shoes are not typical crochet style Vanderjagt instead uses patterns and different styles and sews them together.“After looking at other shoes and seeing how they were made, it soon became very easy for me to get carried away and really come up with some great designs,” she said.
Vanderjagt sells her creations through her online store, and has even shipped shoes from Canada to the Netherlands.
“I just feel good doing it. I really got excited when my first shoes began to sell,” she said.
“I don’t expect to making a living with the money I make from this, I’m doing it because I like it,” she said.

Vanderjagt also plans to add more crafts to her collection which would include costumes and feather hair pieces.
If you’re interested in purchasing her baby shoes, you can visit her online store at www.onlylittleonce.net.

amber 3

Hair adornments made by Amber Vanderjagt. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene.

 

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