ST. ANTHONY — A Teton mom who learned to crochet six years ago now teaches the craft via her business Amanda’s Cute Crochet. She also adds what she calls “mind set” to all that stitching in hopes of helping clients relax and to overcome various mental health issues.
Amanda Woodbury recently showcased her talents during the St. Anthony Art Lab’s recent Big Art Expo where she demonstrated her crocheting skills. She also displayed some of her late grandmother’s crocheted artifacts.
“I take custom work, and I’m also an instructor. I’ve also started dabbling in pattern design. Now I design my own patterns and am writing the patterns. From the day I was inspired to crochet, I ran with it and now do everything crochet,” she said.
Woodbury says it’s her hope that young people will want to learn the lost art of crocheting.
“That’s part of the reason I instruct, so that people starting to learn now can learn in a proper manner,” she said.
Woodbury doesn’t only know how to crochet — she’s a skilled teacher who has received professional training in doing so.
“I’m certified by two different companies. It was definitely an investment,” she said.
While teaching clients how to crochet, Woodbury noticed the mental health benefits associated with them doing so.
“There’s stress relief. It helps with anxiety. It can help in tandem with other avenues of therapies when it comes to depression and serious mental health issues,” she said.
It’s via Woodbury’s “mind set coaching” that she helps clients relieve depression one stitch at a time.
“Some of my lessons are project-based, other times they’re skill-based. They apply it to themselves with my coaching. What happens when learning a new skill, you get those rewards – you’ve accomplished something. You feel those accomplishments. Doing so regularly every month, it’s going to start benefiting your brain in that way,” she said.
Woodbury says that doing so taps into the brain’s reward system.
“It could be just learning one stitch. I just showed them how, gave them the skill, and it brings up their spirits,” she said.
By activating all the parts of the brain, it helps a person reach a higher level of confidence and empowerment, Woodbury said.
“You can cope with daily stresses. You see things from a different perspective when it comes to a situation that you feel is out of your control,” she said. “It helps you to maintain, to think outside the box and to relieve that situation in a way you probably wouldn’t have thought about before.”
She noted one client taking her class who suffered from severe depression. At one point, the woman planned to complete suicide and had written love letters to her family.
“I gave her a homework assignment to complete a certain size of a crochet project. Her having to sit down and create that gave her mind the opportunity to slow down, and have her medication to kick in. It literally saved her life,” she said. “It just makes me cry. I knew the benefits. I’ve felt it myself. It really became real.”
Woodbury experienced hints of Attention Deficit Disorder as a child and found that crocheting enabled her to focus and to organize her brain.
“I never found that with anything else. When I was teaching, I wanted to spread the legacy of it,” she said.
Whenever teaching a student to crochet, Woodbury picks their brain to see if they have any mental health issues. During each crocheting session, Woodbury asks clients if crocheting helped them in any way during the week.
Though she’s willing to teach men how to crochet, many of her clients are women in professional careers or are entrepreneurs.
“They get burned out really quickly. If they’re moms on top of that, I give them something they can do and distress at the end of the day. I highly encourage journaling in my programs. It allows them not to hold anything in and not to hide things,” Woodbury said.
Women too often put on a brave face and especially so in the corporate world, Woodbury said.
“That’s why I bring crochet to women who are high achieving. They see tangible results in their personal and business life when they start to crochet a couple times a week,” she said.
Woodbury started crocheting after coming across some crocheted items left by her late grandmother. The older woman died when Woodbury was two years old, and she never had the chance to get to know her. Yet, thanks to those artifacts, Woodbury started her own crocheting career.
“I found her crochet work, and then I was just amazed by it. I instantly wanted to learn what it was and how to do it,” she said.
Fast-forward to 2017, and Woodbury started her business. Today she serves as the president of the St. Anthony Art Lab’s Fiber Arts Club. Formed in 2018, the group is open to anyone working with, as the name implies, fiber arts. Such includes crocheting, knitting, spinning, quilting and papermaking.
The group meets from 6 to 8 p.m., the second Thursday of each month at the Art Lab. There is no cost to attend.
“Come and chill, chit chat, have a snack. It’s so much fun,” she said. “Come and hang out.”
For more information on Woodbury’s crocheting business, visit Amanda’s Cute Crochet Facebook page. For additional information, call her at 208-716-0621.