Pam Grice was like a lot of people who love to crochet. She never thought you could make much money crocheting.

She did the Etsy shop thing and sold her items at events, but thought of her lifelong hobby as just that: a hobby meant to make her happy and meant to make a few extra dollars. She had a full-time job, anyway, as a psychotherapist.

Then, she struck crochet gold. In 2016, she saw somebody on Instagram post a photo of a “bun hat,” a hat that comes with a hole for a ponytail or messy bun hair style. With the post was a question: “Who can make this?”

Grice instantly thought, “I could.” For years, she had been designing crochet patterns for sellers under her business called Made with a Twist. So it was pretty easy for her to whip up a crochet pattern for a bun hat, which ended up being the first pattern of its kind to be available for purchase online.

She shared her work on Facebook. Within a week, she sold 16,000 patterns and 2,000 hats. Orders kept coming. A 15-second video of her creation got 100 million views.

“Yeah,” she says now. “Business just exploded.”

After filling those orders and hiring lots of people to help, Grice got to a point where she never wanted to make another hat.

She also got to a point where she was hearing from people, women specifically, who were profiting off that pattern she made. As they were selling their own bun hats, they were able to pay off car loans and mortgages and keep their families afloat.

Another instant thought came up: “I want to help these people.”

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Pam Grice designs crochet patterns for sellers under her business called Made with a Twist. She also has a crochet coaching business and recently launched a third crochet business.

Grice decided to help by starting a crochet coaching business, which she calls The Crochetpreneur. Her mission, as she states on her Instagram, is “to empower women to build financial freedom through crochet.” She has 500 people in her coaching program.

“I know that I never thought you could have a crochet business that could provide for your family,” she said. “I thought it was just something grandmas do.”

On her own, she learned how wrong that was. As a coach, she tries to spread that message to others.

The 57-year-old retired from her psychotherapy practice, based in Colorado Springs, two years ago. She now spends her days working on her two crochet businesses while living in a camper with her husband on their property in Penrose, where they’re building a house.

She’s a grandma who loves to crochet. Also, as she said, “crochet is paying for our life.”

She’s so passionate about correcting the “you can’t make money on crochet” message that Grice is starting yet another business.

On Sept. 1, she launched White Winter Hat Co., where she’ll sell “the softest, chunkiest winter hats for your wild, wonderful life.”

Grice started it partly because she noticed a need herself for such hats while on hikes or other outdoor activities.

“I’m making these for women who are like me, who love to be outside and who still want to look cute,” she said.

There’s another reason for the third crochet business. She wants to prove a point to those she coaches and the more than 30,000 people who follow her on Instagram.

“I just decided I’m going to start a business blind, without telling any of my followers, and I’m going to make some money and then tell them how I did it,” Grice said. “I want to show them it’s possible.”

As she says, it’s possible because “people will pay money for crochet things.”

Like people who pay money for crochet baby blankets, dog sweaters or wall hangings. And people who will buy Grice’s hats, which she makes with 100% acrylic fabric so they’re easy to wash after an adventure.

It’s been several years since Grice has spent this much time crocheting.

“I remember why I like it so much,” she said. “I’ve gotten to a place where I can love it again.”

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