When Athens businesses report successes from 2020 to 2021, they are mostly of the ‘how we survived’ type, interspersed with details of how a joint effort between owners and the local community helped keep them going. afloat during a historically difficult period.
For Kristen Joseph, owner of Creations by Rise, it was this period that motivated her to start her business. The crochet fashion designer, who goes by name Rise, has planned an event to celebrate a successful first year, but she plans to relax rather than work.
Creations By Rise’s anniversary concert will take place on Friday at the Flicker Theater and Bar. Admission is free and attendees will join Rise for a hip-hop concert featuring Athens artists Convict Julie and Squalle, and Atlanta artists Nicole Nixx and Indigo Bang.
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Originally from Washington, DC, Joseph’s aunt taught her to knit from a young age, and she was able to make simple items like hats and scarves. Six years ago, Joseph’s desire to get into crochet led her to learn by watching YouTube tutorials, but she wasn’t quite sure how to market what she had been doing.
“I left it as a hobby of sorts, doing things for family and friends,” said Joseph, who moved to Athens from Atlanta in 2017 to study at the University of Georgia. “Seeing everything shut down during the pandemic really made me take my business seriously. I was really chasing a goal.”
With a focus on making things that could support her, Joseph founded Creations By Rise in July 2020 and registered it as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Joseph started by taking pictures of his crochet outfits and accessories, and was able to find patterns that would work for free.
Last fall, the Athens Academy holiday market contacted Joseph about setting up a booth at the event. Without any expectations, Joseph said people were immediately drawn to his table, giving him confidence that Creations by Rise was going to work.
Recently, Joseph added Amigurumi plush toys to his skill set which includes everything from headbands and shoulder bags to halters and home decor items. For the anniversary concert, Joseph reached out to local musicians who supported Creations By Rise and worked with her to make it a success.
“What Rise does is creative, innovative and brilliant,” Julie Convict told The Banner-Herald. “It’s rare to find someone who is as dedicated as her to her craft, her business and her community. I am a huge fan of her work and proud of who she is. see where she is going and I am honored to celebrate her. “