A Little About Me
My name is Sulaimon Toyyibah. I am the creative designer behind Toyslab Creations. I am a wife and a mum of three.
How It All Started
I learnt to crochet from a friend as a fun activity after school examination while waiting for results when I was twelve years old.
My mum had just given birth to her last child. My first crochet item was a small bag that could take about three notebooks which I carried everywhere I went. The joy that it was made by me knew no bounds. So after the bag, I asked my friend to teach me how to make a hat which she did and then I made my baby sister a cozy earflap hat which my mum really appreciated.
After that session, my friend left our school, so I just crochet once in a while. I make items that I need like phone pouch, bags etc.
Fast forward to seven years later when I was in the University, I saw someone use the knitting machine and instantly I was hooked. I have always wondered how our school cardigan was made. I learnt to use the knitting machine from her and made all kind of items like hats, bonnets, cardigans, sweaters, tops, shorts, pants etc
Four years ago (2017), I decided to learn more about crochet, I started with appliques to decorated my knitted baby dresses and skirts as I did more of machine knitting at the time. The items were mostly gifts. I just made them because I realize anytime I make a new item whether machine knitted or crochet, I realize the joy I felt knew no bounds. It was out of this world, words can’t properly describe how I felt, the thought of me creating beautiful and useful items with my hand and a few supplies, indeed the joy of being creative is uniquely soul lifting. So although I worked full time at the time, I made sure I machine knit or crochet all weekend long.
Taking It A Bit Further
So, in 2018 I decided to publish my first pattern (a baby skirt) it was machine knitted, I was an inexperienced designer but I gave it a shot. I never sold a copy of it but I didn’t give up. In 2019, I released another pattern and this time I sold just one copy.
March 2020 came and lockdown was enforced. I was home with my husband, 2 kids and my unborn baby. Then I decided to market my pattern. Yeah, the one I sold just one copy and then I sold two more, I realized my dream is valid if only I could believe in myself.
I designed another pattern, my first crochet pattern, I published it and sold over 20 copies in 24 hours. I was wowed. I have made about fifty patterns since then. My dream to make a living through my craft is indeed valid.
How I Express Myself Through Craft
I express myself through simplicity. I love to make my crochet patterns more fun and simplified. Although I can crochet booties in the round, I realized a percentage of crotchetier can’t. So I designed different types of babies booties and adult slippers worked in rows, numbering in total almost 2 dozens patterns.
I express myself through wearables. I love to make all kinds of baby and adult items. From booties to hats to romper to tops etc. if it isn’t wearable, it will take me forever to finish. I find my strength in crochet wearables.
I express myself through uniqueness, apart from making booties in a unique way, I derive inspiration from my environment, mostly from peoples’ fashion sense, fashion that I don’t see much of it in crochet. I sketch and sketch until I get it right and at the end a lot of people love the final patterns.
I have learnt that talent and passion is important in crafting, however I need to continuously work on myself and my skill, to learn and unlearn to reach the peak of my dream.