OpoCrochet is an specialist stockist of what are considered to be the best crochet hooks in the world: Furls. However, it certainly did not start out that way.
It first opened on Etsy in early 2018, solely in response to requests received for custom amigurumi. Each creation was completely unique, modelled after a living creature, which meant also that each required an original pattern with intricate shaping and colouring.
The detailed nature of the production of the custom work soon caused very sore hands, wrists, and forearms. There were many sleepless nights. Giving up on crochet was not an option, because I had only just discovered it a few years earlier when my sister, an art teacher, taught me to crochet. It was during a difficult time, and the calming benefits of crochet were greatly welcomed. Late on, the realisation came that pain can eliminate those positive benefits, reducing hook time and interfering with the creative process.
A plethora of crochet hooks were tried, and I learned that many so-called ergonomic hooks aren't very effective at reducing pain at all. The search continued as did the pain.
Enter Furls, a research backed, handmade hook made in the USA. At that time Furls were difficult to find in the UK, so an order was placed via Furls in America. This resulted in steep import VAT to be paid upon arrival. And yes, the cost of the hooks was a factor in me not trying Furls hooks sooner, being just too indulgent to justify, but it soon became evident the only wasted money was that which was spent on all the hooks before Furls. It seems the key to Furls' success is that they have realised that reducing hand pain isn't about putting a soft handle on a standard hook. It is a much more complicated issue.
Knowing that many other crocheters in the UK/EU area were likely struggling with hand pain or just wanting Furls to be more accessible, I was inspired to help make these fantastic ergonomic hooks more accessible in this part of the world.
In the past year, a few British shops have begun following OpoCrochet's lead, but few, if any, will will be supporting charities. Why be a charitable company? Crocheters are caring people, so it is natural that this caring ethos underpins OpoCrochet.
I do give on a personal level as an active volunteer for Guide Dogs for the Blind. So yes, I have chosen this particular charity because it is close to my heart, and in memory of my father who was affected by sight loss. However, at some point in the future other British charities will be supported too. Guide Dogs is just a starting point.
So that's OpoCrochet - a commissions service which unexpectedly evolved into helping fellow crocheters and charities. I hope you have enjoyed learning about our humble beginnings. Thank you for taking an interest in us, and of course thanks for your support!