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The Story Behind Storyland Amis! Interview with Storyland Creator Holly Salzman


Holly is an experienced crocheter and pattern designer who started her crochet business, Storyland Amis, in 2015. Her adorable ami creations have won the hearts of many crafters and crochet-lovers alike, and as the name suggests, carry the whimsy and wonder of characters right out of a fairytale storybook!

What inspired you to start crocheting and create Storyland Amis?

My family has always been very crafty, so I learned how to do all sorts of crafts when I was a little girl. Actually, I was pretty sure from a very young age that this was what I wanted to do! We sold our crafts at craft fairs for years. My older sister, Heather, taught me how to crochet to help with the crocheting end of the business back in 2012 and I just really took off from there. My sister already had an Etsy shop so I had a lot of help there and I already had experience in ecommerce and customer care. It was pretty smooth sailing getting started—I’ve been incredibly blessed!

What is your favorite project to make?

If I absolutely had to choose a favorite, it would have to be my Sugar and Spice Gingerbread Twins pattern. They hold a very special place in my heart and they are really fun to make! I also love my giraffe design and enjoy making those!

Do you ever experience crocheters-block when designing a new pattern, and how do you get over it?

I definitely experience crocheters-block! I think the very best way to cure it is to just plow right on ahead and not give up. Maybe the end result won't be exactly like you wanted it, but at least you’re still working and moving forward. It’s different, though, if you’re just crocheting for a hobby. In that case, I would definitely recommend a break to refocus and recharge as you don’t want to get burnt out further by doing something you’re not enjoying anymore. Chances are, you’re crojo will come back soon!

One of the projects you’re definitely known for is your giant amigurumi! How did you approach this idea and were there any obstacles along the way you had to overcome?

I honestly didn’t think that I would become well-known for my giant amis because I actually started out Storyland Amis designing miniature crocheted creatures! But about a year ago, I started seeing giant yarn (wool roving) really taking over the crochet and knitting world. I really wanted to try it but everything was blankets or household items. Since my main focus is solely amigurumi I thought how cool it would be to make a giant ami instead! I think the biggest obstacle was the fact that no one else had ever done it before, so it was a bit intimidating. The other obstacle would be the price of buying the yarn. Now thankfully, there are so many companies that offer giant yarn that it’s not too hard to find it at an affordable price! I’ve never regretted taking on the challenge! It’s been fun!

You’ve been able to turn a passion for crocheting into your main job! Do you have any advice for other crafters looking to turn their hobby into a dream career?

Stay true to yourself. That is my very best advice. Don’t be afraid to be different from others and stay true to your own unique style of creating, whatever that may be. Yes, pay attention to trends and popular characters/animals, but put your own unique spin to it. That is where you will find success. Giving people what they want, but doing it your way.

What is next for you in your crochet journey?

I want to keep adding new designs to my pattern collection! I have SO many ideas that I don’t think I’ll ever lack for inspiration! The real problem is figuring out where to start! Right now, I think that’s going to be my main focus. I do enjoy collaborating with yarn companies, but I’m very free spirited and prefer to have all the freedom I can have without having specific deadlines and commitments. My plans don’t always go exactly my way, though, and over the past 2.5 years my business has gone places I never imagined it would go, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!


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