Konesky crochets critters for a cause

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Konesky crochets critters for a cause

Riley Konesky shows off some of her projects. Konesky hand crochets these animals for her business.

Riley Konesky shows off some of her projects. Konesky hand crochets these animals for her business.

Brooke Scanlon

Riley Konesky shows off some of her projects. Konesky hand crochets these animals for her business.

Brooke Scanlon

Brooke Scanlon

Riley Konesky shows off some of her projects. Konesky hand crochets these animals for her business.

By Brooke Scanlon and Mason Hurley

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Crocheting hooks might remind some students of their grandmas, but for senior Riley Konesky, they are a tool for business.

Konesky manages her own online toy business, Crayon Crochet Critters, where she sells crocheted animals for prices ranging from roughly $3 to $25. The website can be found at https://crochetcritters.webnode.com/.

Konesky started crocheting last April when a friend showed her how to make basic stitches. From there, Konesky taught herself how to make small animals.

“The first item I made was this hideous bunny,” Konesky said. “After finishing that I started making little octopuses. I made a ton of them at first and gave them away to kindergartens at my old school.”

After about a month of crocheting, Konesky realized that she enjoyed making animals the most, and decided to launch her own online crocheting business to sell her creations.

Her business showcases stuffed animals she has made. It also gives customers the option to customize their own critters.

“I love getting requests and being able to bring them to life,” Konesky said.

“Crayon” is in the company name because a box of crayons is often used to symbolize autism awareness, which ties into Konesky’s mission. For every animal sold, Konesky donates one to a child with special needs.

“My mom works at a school for special needs children. I volunteered there over the summer and loved seeing the kids’ expressions when they receive an animal,” Konesky said. “It’s inspiring to see how something so small impacts children and brings them joy.”

Konesky’s successful business can be used as an example for other aspiring students, Baldwin counselor Caroline Babik said.

“I love students being entrepreneurs,” Babik said, “Students taking charge of their interests and skills is exactly what we want everyone to do, no matter what they enjoy.”

Babik said that other students who have their own dreams should act on them as soon as possible and that the consequences of trying to achieve one’s dreams are not as harsh as people might think.

“What’s the worst thing that can happen?” Babik said, “If you fail, just move onto the next thing and learn from the past.”

Konesky’s advice for young entrepreneurs is to not be easily discouraged.

“Sometimes I find myself scrolling through social media pages of more established crocheters and talking down on myself,” Konesky said. “It’s important to not compare and to not be discouraged by looking at other people you aspire to be like.”

Konesky plans on attending Carlow University to study special education.

“I would like to use crocheting in my career as a teacher of special education,” Konesky said. “I want to continue to make animals for the kids around me and my future students.”

Counselor Caroline Babik said she always supports students who strive to achieve their dreams and those who pursue entrepreneurial paths of life.

“I love students being entrepreneurs,” Babik said, “Students taking charge of their interests and skills is exactly what we want all students to do, no matter what they enjoy.”

Babik said that other students who have their own dreams should act on them as soon as possible.

“The older you get, the more conservative and nervous you become about doing adventures like this,” Babik said, “If you have an idea now, go after it.”

Babik went on to say that the consequences of trying to achieve your dreams are not as harsh as people think.

“What’s the worst thing that can happen?” Babik said, “If you fail, just move onto the next thing and learn from the past.”

Konesky’s advice for young entrepreneurs is to not get discouraged.

This story was originally published on Purbalite on February 5, 2020.