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The Day Has Finally Come, Happy May!

Good day Crafties and happy May! I hope that this blog finds you well! My month has kicked off on high emotions and its only just begun. 😅

On Saturday, I officially graduated from Fontbonne University with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts and a Business Administration Minor (BFA). This long journey began in 2016 at St. Louis Community College, where I got my Associate's in Fine Arts - Art Education. It was not without a vast amount of faith and family support that this proud day has come to pass.

Trusting God each step of the way, I was able to work two jobs, volunteer, and attend class full-time while also building a start-up that I am very passionate about.

These recent times have been very trying for me and my family. A couple of years back, I had to sort of black out from everything but class because of the passing of my mother in early 2022. Early this year, my grandmother began facing some physical health issues and it started taking a toll on all of us mentally and physically. In the middle of April, she had to be whisked off to the hospital and undergo corrective spinal surgery.

Naturally, this gave me a high amount of anxiety but I was also trusting God that she was receiving the best care possible. During her extended stay, I managed to get my driver's license at last with a near perfect score, which has been a boon because right after the graduation ceremony, I drove straight to the Rehab center to visit and surprise her. So she's made it through surgery and recovery just fine, now it's just about training and well... rehabilitation! Glory be to God!

Despite these challenges, I was proudly able to walk the stage Saturday as the first college graduate in my family and with the Latin honor of Magna cum laude! I didn't cry in my grad pic this time and I'm really excited to get those ordered. Though I find myself being a bit emotional now as I write this because regardless to all the struggle, all the late nights and long hours, my hard work has paid off in some way; God brought me through!

On top of all this, I've had an ample amount of time to think about the future of my startup, Infiniti Crafting Co., along with the fact that I've been jobless for ... well actually a month as of today. The job search has been lukewarm but I continue to persist on that because due to circumstances out of my control, I won't be able to pay my bills this month. * cue the confetti *

I've already written to the members of my Super Crafty community about how that's going to work out going forward. As for my much larger, public community, I'm sure you've noticed to sudden and drastic reduction of content. And in some ways I am sorry. I simply ran out of steam with all that was going on in my life and with the direction of the community polls.

I will probably make a Channel Chat about this later in May talking more about it but ultimately, it felt (and still feels) like there was no longer a point in publishing content that cannot garner support.

I won't sugar coat this part because I have for so long. I'd also like to point out (again) that this isn't a dig or a "punishment", or ingratitude. The thing that sent me over the edge with this decision was at my lowest low, a magical 3 page roast of an email. Now in earnest, it could have come from a well meaning place but given what I was getting out of the polls and what I was seeing with the business over all; I had to believe that this was the general consensus of my community.

After pushing so hard for over 9 months to continue publishing tutorial content, I was unable to convince 1% of my total community to meet me where I am and help me improve and continue. Much of the content of this email took shots at things that would require that support to change or consider changing and went so far as to compare me to other creators (which I personally try not to do). I've been mulling over this since reading that email over a month ago and taking a step back to gauge whether or not I was just throwing a hissy fit over some constructive criticism.

Fun Fact: I'm a human being!

It's entirely possible that's part of it, still. And again, my whole MO is creating content, creating a product, a brand that is strong with its own merit and integrity. I wish I could operate and function like the other channels I was compared to but I can't. And I'm not going to feel bad about that. Over all my interactions with my community has been overwhelmingly positive and that says something awesome about Infiniti Crafting Co. as a whole. With the way that my mind works, if a community bond of 7 years and right at 67,000 people is not "worth it" in the sense of creating educational content and having it supported financially, then I did something wrong.

What that something is, I don't know. And as I've said in another blog post, I've run out of the time and mental health to figure it out at the present. It also is not lost on me that this economy sucks worse than a lamprey in Louisiana. Groceries, gas, utilities, surprise expenses, all of it is ridiculous and I've not the slightest how everyone else is making it week to week, let alone month to month. And this is why I was skeptical about pushing my products more this year but I also figured it was now or never before I hit graduation.

And that was before I was "furloughed" from my current job. Now more than ever, I am thinking about my near and distant future and am pivoting yet again to find something "stable" and full-time. That being said...

I've worked two jobs and run this business at the same time in the past and it was starting to make me sick. Yes, I'm a workaholic and I like to make things happen with go-getter passion but as a wiser woman, I had to choose. Unfortunately, I was unable to chose myself this time. After 7 years of grinding and building and connecting, it's hard to let go of things as they are right now but that just means that this is not my season to prosper with Infiniti Crafting Co.

The long and short of this section is that:

I will no longer be producing crochet, knitting, or Sentro tutorial videos.

There is one more " Yarns that work with the Sentro" video that I *promised* to Melissa that I'd make but after that, I am moving straight into an early hiatus for all socials, Youtube, and Rumble.

It is with a heavy heart that I make this decision but I suppose it's the only solution for the route I've taken.

I don't want this to be a sad thing, I'm not going to totally disappear from the craft scene. After I get back on my feet financially, and it no longer feels like I desperately have to have the financial support, I would like to come back and make more podcast episodes and work more on community building. I think in a lot of ways, but mainly doing tutorial content, I've not given people enough room to get to know me, personally.

I know this big break and restructure is going to hurt my views and whatever but I... (this is going to sound rough)...don't care. I'd rather come back and build up community that watches my content because they're there for me. The person. There are already some AMAZING people in my communities that are like that and I love you all to death. I'll forever be grateful to people who reach out and support like Anne and DK from Politically Incorrect Knitters, and for the constant viewership and engagement from people like Lyndsay from my YT community. I appreciate the other plethora of small business peeps that reach out to network or to try to help also. More than anything I appreciate all those who have given me their time and viewership for nearly a decade because I'd be nowhere and nothing without you all as well. Even if it was only for a short while, I was able to live part of the life my younger self wanted, and for that I am blessed.

For me, it was never truly about the money, I loved to teach and still do. Unfortunately now, with the course life is taking for me right now, I need funding to continue. And I absolutely abhor sharing a bunch of personal details or having to ask for help because I was raised to see that as begging. So I'm sure you can imagine that the last few months have felt particularly icky for me personally.

If that one email was anything to go by, y'all hated me asking too. So I'm thrilled to relieve us all of that.

What I don't want to do is shoot myself in the foot over a few rough patches. I can't possibly bare to ask anymore for and have hope that maybe something will fall through. Plus right now, it would not feel as though I've earned it as opposed to a form of sympathy. I don't want to be a sympathy business, ya know? 😅 I see it all too often and I'd rather tough it out and earn some longevity in whatever form that takes.

I'd always intended to take my normal summer break and this year, I even planned to extend it so I could have more recording time. But I think that we'll all benefit from me drifting off into the void for a while. My Super Crafties already have the rundown on new pattern releases going forward. If you did miss that update, you can find it here.

This extended break is just as much for you all as it is for me. Not a "chastisement" but a chance to refresh and pivot. I've truly not taken time for myself since I started working and it is high time that changes 😁.

In the mean while, I am happy to reiterate that I'm not totally evaporating from the space. There's a metric butt ton (accurate unit of measurement 😎) of ceramics that I have not unpacked or photographed, with more coming in this week from my final semester. That means, I'll be continually adding to the Handmade Shop going forward.

I'll be entirely transparent here and state that pricing is going to vary and go up with the last load of things as I will have to start paying for firing services whenever I do have the opportunity to make again. This means that batches of my pots (not the pots themselves lol) will be smaller and more limited edition as well.

I plan to get more into writing blogs again and taking on certain sponsorships if that is something the Lord leads me to do. Local outreach is also something I'd be interested in, perhaps sharing my classes with local workshops or something. That vision isn't clear yet but it feels like hope so we'll roll with it!

When I come back to podcasting, the goal will be to earn a YT audience of 100k and a Super Crafty membership of 500 folks out there. And I know, here I go with those numbers again. But my rationale behind this is simply that I know that this will take more time. Time that feels less pressured, will allow me to connect more with others, and build a stronger base while working on pattern design.

My patterns are easy to follow and many of them now have videos accompanying them. But I haven't had enough people to try them out yet for the world to know that 🤣. I can't do much about that, save for continuing to produce and share them.

Anyhoo, I'll quit this long ramble and end on this note:

Thank you to everyone who has followed me over the years and has cheered me on. It's been a wonderful experiment and growth experience that I will cherish for years to come. I love all that we've accomplished together and I love teaching the fiber arts! I can't wait to see how this new course will allow me to serve you all later but I hope that you enjoy the journey along with me.

Happy Making!

-Infiniti Whitley

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Dear Infiniti--Warmest congratulations on your graduation & having the courage to step away from a business model that isn't working for you. That is using what you learned in your business degree! I just signed up for a quarterly membership, having discovered your tutorials a few days ago. They are fantastic & I'm happy to pay a small amount every quarter to learn from what you have already done. I will also enjoy reading your previous posts. We (all of us crafters) are laborers worthy of our hire. May God continue to watch over you & lead you to the next level in your life.

4 days ago
Replying to

My goodness, I'm sorry I'm just now seeing this! Thank you so much for your kind words and new membership!

Stepping away is the hardest thing I've had to do but I know it is for the betterment of myself and that it will lead to the outcome that the Lord has given me ultimately. I hope to serve you and the rest of my community well in the coming months. Thank you so much again for being here 💖 Happy Making!


May 07

Hi Infiniti, Congratulations on graduating. It’s a huge accomplishment you should be very proud of. I hope you will leave your YT videos up. I started watching them when I got my small Sentro knitting machine hoping to learn how to make socks on it. I work every day of the week so haven’t been able to make any yet. I want to try your method if it remains available. Good luck to you.

May 07
Replying to

Hi Bas!

I wouldn't DREAM of taking down my channel! All the tutorials that are there will remain. I just won't be making any additional tutorials for quite some time. I appreciate you being in my community and I hope my content can help you with your new machine! Also many thanks 💖😁

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