OpoCrochet is an Oxfordshire based 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.
OpoCrochet 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 I ordered direct from Furls in America, paying the steep duties & VAT upon arrival. I freely admit that the cost of the hooks was a factor in me not trying Furls hooks sooner, just too indulgent to justify, but I soon learned the only wasted money was that which was spent on all the hooks I tried before Furls.
It seems the key to their success is that they have realised that reducing hand pain isn't about putting a soft handle on a regular 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 none will give you a better price and few, if any, will will be supporting charities. Why be a charitable company? Crocheters are a caring lot, and to extend the caring ethos, I felt it important and apt that the business should support charities. Each OpoCrochet purchase earns a donation. I give on a personal level as well, as an active, behind the scenes volunteer for Guide Dogs for the Blind. 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. We will have new charities in the future: 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 the humble beginnings. Thank you for taking an interest in the shop, and of course, thanks for your support!
All the best,