This Toronto designer blew up with her crochet bobs

Crochet bucket hats are cute, sturdy, and definitely on trend these days. A Toronto woman recently transformed her lockdown hustle into a fully functional fashion studio.

Jessica Papp is the Founder and Creative Director of HotPot Variety, a brand well known for its trendy handmade crochet accessories and clothing.

HotPot Variety’s most popular item, the crochet bucket hat, comes in a variety of different patterns and colors.

Papp told blogTO that the idea for her side hustle came during the shutdowns in 2020. She was working in advertising full-time and decided to crochet as a hobby on the side.

“I needed a new hobby, I just needed something to channel my creative energy,” she explained.

Papp is completely self-taught and learned to crochet by watching tutorials on YouTube.

After honing her crochet skills throughout 2020, Papp officially launched her brand in November of the same year.

Papp says the popularity of hats has grown over time and she is now branching out into making clothes and swimwear for the summer.

HotPot Variety’s hats are made from 100% cotton and each hat takes two to three hours to make. Papp said she made between three and four hats a day.

As her business continues to grow, Papp says she needs to plan her pieces around the season.

“It starts with a color palette and then from there I think about design,” she said. “I will find inspiration on the prints I like or the patterns I like.”

Last year, Papp was approached by one of Canada’s largest retailers, Holt Renfrew, to collaborate on a deal featuring her crochet hats.

Holt Renfrew was eager to support independent Canadian designers and contacted Papp to place an order for 60 hats. Papp said she spent all summer fulfilling the order.

“I think crochet is a good kind of intersection between using this passion I have for textiles and being able to design my own clothes and create my own patterns, which is really cool,” said she declared.

HotPot Variety’s crochet hats are available to buy online and cost $170.

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