S - You've been crocheting as Mr. Funky since 2003. How long did you crochet as a hobby before you decided to make the leap to business?
MF - It probably took me 1 year to establish Mr.Funky. I had never crocheted in my life until year 2002. I started going to crochet class at yarn shop every Saturday for 2 months. I was crocheting ALL THE TIME!
S - Since you began, have you been able to turn Mr. Funky into a full time job, or do you have another profession you balance as well? Do you have any advice for people who want to make their craft their business?
MF - In 2003, I started showing my Amigurumi dolls to store owners. I also showed my creations at parties, clubs, art walk and sample sales... basically anywhere I went. There were so many events in Los Angeles, and I just took advantage of the opportunity of living in La La Land. I talked about Mr.Funky to every single person I met. At that point, I was working as a movie editor for a small company and a model scout for movies. I didn't think Mr.Funky would turn to be my full time business, but I participated in 2 trade shows in summer 2003, and I received huge orders from the shows. After that I started working with sales reps in California, Texas, Georgia, and Massachusetts.
S - You grew up in Tokyo, Japan. A lot of the cutest Amigurami books and patterns I've seen come from there. Do you think growing up in Tokyo had a large influence on your work and style?
MF - Most definitely, and I am lucky to be born in the 70's. I LOVE 70's culture. I am inspired by the cool Japanese animations, cartoons, TV shows, and music and they are mostly from 70's. Also my dad was musician, and he's taken me to see lots of Jazz concerts and live music since I was a little kid. I often create Amigurumi dolls by listening good music.
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