Hello! I'm Iman El-Bawab, a 21-year-old artist living in Chicago and the owner of The Love of Cats Crochet. I'm currently finishing up my degree in computer engineering at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor (go blue!) and love to create all kinds of art in my free time. I have many hobbies including painting, drawing, crocheting, print-making and cake decorating. Thanks to Tik-Tok, I'm constantly inspired to try new crafts and have recently gotten into alpha bracelet making, roller-skating and rug making. I'm so happy to be part of the crochet community. Thanks for checking out my website; continue reading if you want to hear about the founding of The Love of Cats Crochet
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I started my crochet buisness in 2014 as a middle schooler with a passion for buisness and animals. After cat sitting, dog walking and treat baking buisnesses never panned out, my great aunt taught me how to crochet and from then on I was hooked. I watched tons of YouTube videos and learned how to make crochet cat toys for stray cats (as well as gifts for the cat owners in my life). Thus the name "The Love of Cats Crochet" was born. With the help from my father, who also owns his own buisness, I set up a profile on Etsy and spent months working on Search Engine Optimizaiton (SEO) before I even got my first sale. I learned to communicate professionally, fulfill orders on time and manage my own finances. My buisness really took on a life of its own in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. I began filming process and packing videos on Tik-Tok and my platform quickly grew to the point where I would sell out within minutes of releasing crochet plushies. My first video, and item, to go viral was the "giant crochet bee pillow" that was popularized by Tik-Tok. As my classes got more demanding, I worked to pivot my buisness to DIY kits and crochet tutorials rather than 100% hand made items. This is more sustainable and scalable for me as I finish college and enter the workforce. However, I still sell crochet plushies whenever I can as there is a special place in my heart for sharing these toys with others.