Several months ago, I began to feel the need for a change in my creative life. Up until now, my business name was Melmaria Designs, and it wasn't working. I began selling my handicrafts in early 2011, along with patterns to make them. My blog grew over the past 6 years, but I felt unfocused and stretched. Melmaria Designs wasn't working for me anymore - I didn't like the name, and I needed to figure out what I was going to do with my business. 

After this realization, I began to work on a rebrand. What you see here, on this website, is the result of that hard work! The first to change was the business name - I decided to remain myself, Melody Fulone, working with fiber and textiles. This venture is more of an extension of myself than anything I've done so far, and I'm excited to practice authenticity in everything I make and do here. 

crochet doilies

For those of you who are new here, here's a bit of my creativity story. Around age ten or so, I began to develop a strong affinity for all things yarn. My mother taught me simple crochet stitches, and I soared. There was nothing I could not crochet! The sky was the limit! (Okay, I did have to rein myself in a little bit. There's a limit. Crochet toilet paper covers? I draw the line.)

In my late teens I began to design my own patterns, and eventually opened an Etsy shop selling my creations. I gained a lot of experience, and over time was able to narrow down what I really enjoy doing. At the same time, my skills increased, and I had a hard time sticking to just one medium. I now enjoy weaving, macrame, and embroidery, along with knitting and crocheting. 

From my first giant commission for  Nando's  on College Park in Chicago (go see it!).

From my first giant commission for Nando's on College Park in Chicago (go see it!).

In the spring of 2015, I received a commission to create lampshades for a Nando's Peri-Peri location. I created over a dozen jute lampshades and painted them all by hand. It was an amazing experience and one that solidified my desire to be a fiber artist.

In the summer of 2016, I was asked to display my work at a local coffee/flower/art shop. I was taken aback. Me? Display my work? But I'm not an artist...am I? My beautiful friend Liz begged to differ. It was she who helped me realize that I am indeed an artist, and I have slowly begun to change my way of thinking. She helped me put together a beautiful gallery there, and I even got to teach a weaving workshop.

apotheca fiber art display

Today I am striving to further realize my dream of being a fiber artist. I want to further explore the world of textile art and continue to hone my skills to create beautiful, innovative fiber artwork. 

mountain weaving

So, welcome to the newest step! I have a pattern subscription program, a how-to-crochet course via Skillshare, a shop for my artwork, and so much more coming. Thank you for stopping by!

How to Get Followers

How To Get Followers Let me preface this with a statement: this isn't a get-instant-followers scheme, nor is it a self-serving attention-getting tutorial. Also, I'm not an expert and my brand isn't something huge or special - I'm still figuring it out! But I'm learning along the way, and I want to share what I learn.

This is about people. Yes, people.

We all want to market our products and niche and brand in the most lucrative way, and one of those ways is learning how to get followers. Unfortunately, you can't just sit back and wait for them to find and follow you. You need to take the initiative and get out there!

5 things you can do to get started are:

  1. Find some creative blogs, Twitter accounts, and Instagram feeds, and start interacting!
  2. Leave thoughtful comments, encourage these people to continue doing what they're doing, contribute to the conversation.
  3. Don't be negative or argumentative - rather, speak positive words of encouragement and kindness. This means a LOT, and you will almost always get a positive response.
  4. Use relevant hashtags. Check out those photos you love on Instagram and pay attention to the hashtags being used. If they apply to your stuff, by all means, use them! This will help people find you, especially the people you WANT to find you.
  5. Share share share! Make a style post combining products from your favorite shops, write a blog post sharing your favorites, etc. Tag all the people involved and link back to them as much as you can.

I recently wrote a blog post where I shared 10 of my favorite creative people to follow on Instagram. I love sharing posts like that. This gesture earned me 3 new followers from the people I shared and admired, and I got comments of excitement and gratitude! The creative community is about sharing and helping each other out - not who can get the most followers, make the most sales, or take the most beautiful photos.

So if you're looking for loyal followers and people to help you, be prepared to help others first. Good rule of thumb for life, too.