Yelm resident Ronda Harris has been creating baby booties, coffee sleeves, ear warmers, plushies and many other crocheted products for people in the area to enjoy for over 10 years.
But the business, Fox Heritage Farm Crochet, has a special purpose.
“Everything I do goes to support my four kids and our farm,” Harris said. “Each sale helps pay for 4-H activities, basketball gear, Christmas/birthday gifts, trips to the zoo, feed/hay for our chickens and goats and anything else they may need.
“Everything in my shop is handmade by me and me alone, and I take great care in providing the absolute best product I can,” Harris continued. “I take a lot of pride in my shop and would love to see some Fox Heritage Farm hats on the heads of every fellow Yelmite I meet.”
In 2011, when Harris was pregnant with her daughter, she was put on bed rest for hyperemesis gravidarum.
“I have a very short attention span and hate sitting still doing nothing, so I ordered ‘Crocheting for Dummies’ off Amazon and taught myself to crochet,” Harris said. “I started posting things I was making in the birth club mom group I was in on Facebook, and other moms started ordering things like baby booties for the babies they were expecting at the same time.”
Harris then created a Facebook page Yarning for More, which she rebranded as Fox Heritage Farm Crochet and began gaining followers through customer word of mouth.
“Once I seemed to have a system down, I created an Etsy shop and got my sole proprietorship business license in order,” Harris said. “Early on, I primarily did custom orders, but as my shop grew, I had to switch to limiting my custom orders and focusing on ready-to-ship items in order to make sure my home/work-life balance didn’t take too much time away from my now four children and our farm.”
Harris has also designed her own crochet patterns and began selling sample items created from those patterns.
“I created a football ear warmer in July 2013 that went viral and became my top seller,” Harris said.
In 2016, Harris and her husband lost their baby, and she was diagnosed with a heart condition. She took a break from crocheting and started making bookmarks and embroidered felt plushies or “felties.”
“Once we bought our house in 2019, my urge to crochet came back, and I reopened my fiber arts shop,” Harris said. “I started expanding and making stuffed animals and a lot of cup cozies! I tend to slow down on my Etsy shop in spring and summer because the farm gets hectic since my primary income comes from my poultry breeding, but I am pretty much creating something every time I have some downtime.”
Once fair season winds down, Harris is back getting her Etsy shop in full swing to help fund back-to-school shopping and kids’ birthdays.
“This year, I have added the knitted hats to my shop, which have been a hit,” Harris said. “I also offer keychains, magnets, badge reels, bookmarks, hair bows, fingerless gloves and vinyl decals.”
Harris advertises in local Facebook groups more and has done the Tractor Supply Farmer’s Market twice. She’s found that her most popular items are chicken plushies, hats and keychains.
“I do this because it helps me stay home with my kids and, honestly, because I just fully enjoy creating,” Harris said. “I love the colors. I love the soft yarn. I love designing, and the absolute best is the faces of those who buy them when they love the items as much as I do.”
Harris said each piece varies in creation time from 10 minutes to several hours. Sometimes, the plushies can take several days to complete. Harris said she loves putting together color combinations to go with a specific feltie and watching the plushies get created or challenging herself with hook and yarn.
Those interested in Fox Heritage Farm Crochet products can go to foxheritagefarms.etsy.com. Orders can also be placed with Harris herself.