Metasebia takes it one knot at a time
METASEBIA TALMA sits quietly on the couch with balls of yarn and a crochet needle. Her fingers work feverishly as she does a series of chain stitches and slip stitches. She is knitting a swimsuit for a client and is deep in concentration.
December will be two years since Metasebia has turned her one bikini top into a lucrative business.
“My mother, who has since passed away, used to crochet bedspreads and these big things and I was always fascinated at how one piece of string could make so many different things. I eventually started fooling around and experimenting occasionally and trying my hand at the different stitches.
“Then one day I decided to make a bikini top. When I made the bikini top I put it on my Instagram page and from there everyone started messaging, asking who designed it, they want one made, and that’s how J’aime Crochet was created,” she explained.
When EASY travelled to St John, Metasebia was in the living room of her home, which is on a quiet plantation.
She creates swimsuits, crop tops, short pants and dresses.
“What I like about crochet is that it is very diverse. It really depends on your creativity and how you envision things, which means you can do just about anything with it. And I don’t think it is something that will ever die or go out of style.
“I always wanted to own my own business but I was never sure in what field, but now I guess this is probably what I am supposed to do.
“Curled up on a couch doing crochet, waking up and picking it up in my time; it helps me to de-stress and ease the burden of the challenges of working every day, and I thoroughly enjoy it,” she told the EASY magazine, all the while looping and knotting stitches faster than the eye could follow.
Adding that her target audience is mainly young females from late teens to mid-20s, she said social media, in particular Instagram, had been the driving force behind getting the word out about her business.
“So far Instagram had done wonders for me. That form of social media has been the main push for the business in terms of advertising and all things associated with the business. And I must admit, from the beginning to now I have seen a rise in the amount of requests I get from clients,” said the 22-year-old past student of Foundation.
And though she only crochets to order, her busiest season is the most active time in the country – Crop Over.
“My busiest season is during the summer time leading up to Crop Over, and last week was awfully busy with Reggae On The Beach.
“I had quite some work to do before the big day,” she said pointing to two large garbage bags filled with crochet thread, indicating the amount of work she had to complete in a mere five days.
Asked how long it took to complete one of her creations, she said it depended on how complicated the style was.
“The size of the person and how complicated the style is determines how long it takes to get the job done. But generally I take at the very least two hours to complete one swimsuit,” she said.
She does not use the standard measurements a seamstress uses to measures her clients, but instead works strictly by the number of stitches needed to determine how wide to make any of her designs.
Curious, I asked about the weight of swimsuits after entering the water.
“It does get a bit heavy but it is not something that would hold you down as the yarn is the breathable type and dries relatively quickly.
“I source the yarn locally, but eventually plan to outsource for variation and to give my clients more options,” she said.
As her fingers kept moving, she continued talking and never skipping a beat.
“It wasn’t always this easy for me. When I began I would get easily frustrated because if I made one wrong stitch I would have to undo and redo it, but I have it figured out now,” she said, laughing.
And while she does have a normal eight to four job, she hoped one day to focus all her energies on her crocheting full-time.
“I refer to this as my main job,” she said with a grin.
“Eventually I would like to do this on a full time basis and showcase some of my work while tapping into other markets like BMEX (Barbados Manufacturers’ Exhibition) or something.”