Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Croqzine Interview and Giveaway!

I have been eyeing Croqzine for awhile now and finally purchased a few copies several months ago. I thought it was such a great little zine that I decided I would like to interview the editor. So I did. Heather was very gracious and said she would throw in a giveaway. If you leave a comment here we will choose three lucky winners who will get a copy of their latest zine. Croq is full of awesome interviews, information and resources written by some of our favorite crafters. It's something you will keep on your shelf to look at from time to time for information and inspiration. Thank you Heather for this awesome interview and generous giveaway!

S- How did Croqzine come together?

CZ- Several crafty people were brought together via The Sampler. We were all interested in reading a zine about crafts, but we weren't finding a lot of them, so we decided to
write our own!

S- One thing that I noticed was your recent switch over to 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper. Do you have any thoughts or good resources for other crafters that want to keep their business as environmentaly friendly as possible?

CZ- My thoughts are this: it's more expensive for us to go 100% post-consumer in terms of the cost of our paper, but it's too expensive responsibility-wise to NOT got 100% post-consumer. We love the earth and we want to do whatever we can to reduce our environmental footprint. Yes, using 100% post-consumer paper brings the cost per issue up a bit, but it is so worth it in the long run! Since we frequently write about environmentally friendliness, it made sense for us to (um, how to say
this without using a cliche?) practice what we preach and spend a little extra to buy environmentally-friendly paper. We are by no means perfect, but we would like to find other ways to reduce our environmental impact and will seek other ways to do so. Possible ways we will do this in the future: use soy ink when printing (when we start to do larger print runs), donations of a percentage of our proceeds to charitable organizations, other ways we have yet to research and discover.

We encourage all of our readers to do whatever they can to make their lives and businesses more environmentally friendly! And don't forget to recycle your CROQ zines (hopefully by passing them on to others who would enjoy reading them)!

S- What I really love about your zine is the variety of submissions in it. It is a really great resource for a lot of crafters not only for the business side of craft but you guys also give a lot of very helpful tips for kids projects, on the road projects and yummy vegan recipes. How do you guys figure out what the main focus of each issue should be? and what submissions you take?

CZ- In the past several issues, we have come up with random themes (examples: The Trash Issue, and Travelin' Crafty) and given them to our regular contributors as a starting point for story ideas. There's no real method to our themes, we just settle on whatever seems interesting or fun. In every issue, we try to cover the following topics: craftivism, interviews with crafters, craft scene news, parenting, a few craft or DIY projects, and recipes (usually vegan/vegetarian). We accept submissions of all types! Check out our Submissions page for more details ( If you have any
ideas (large or small), feel free to contact me!

S- I really loved #10 issue: Travelin' Crafty. There were some really great articles on crafts to do in the car, traveling for craft fairs, eating cheap on the road and a great interview with Jenny Hart. Does Croq do a lot of traveling for events? How do you guys spread the good word of Croq?

CZ- We haven't done a whole lot of CROQ-specific travel, although our staffers live in all parts of the USA (and also in other countries), so we are represented in different regions by our staffers who attend craft shows and events. Maybe someday when we get a bigger travel budget, we'll be able to do a bit more!

How do we spread the word? Well, lots of online methods (advertising, giveaways, blogging), and donations (goodie bag donations for various craft shows, prizes for shops and other websites). I also leave CROQ at my local hip hairdresser's shop! Ha ha!

S- I feel so lucky to be apart of the craft community. As a kid I would never have imagined that I would actually have a wide community, all over the world, that enjoy the same sorts of things that I do. It is a really great time to be involved and to see it grow. Portland seems like an amazing place to be for the craft community. It seems like a strong place for community and craft events. For people that aren't so lucky, do you have any suggestions for how to build up their own craft community in their local town?

CZ- Before I answer your question let me just extol the virtues of the internet! Without it, we would not have this awesome craft movement! It's the juice that makes the craft scene go. Next, let me say how great of a craft scene Portland is... on ANY given day there are multiple crafty things happening. We have so many things happening that we have our own email list that emails us about every week's events ( - it's AWESOME!). I wish I was twenty again so I had enough energy to go to every craft event... there are so many great things happening in Portland.

Okay, so now to answer your question. How do you build up your craft community in a town that isn't so craft-crazy as Portland? Use the internet to find others like you in your community. If you can't find any, make sure you post around on all the crafty sites to let others in your community know that YOU are out there (sites that come to mind: the regional boards on,, and Create groups on your blog site, Facebook, or Myspace. Post notices on Participate in any small craft happening that happens within reasonable driving, biking, or bus distance. Put on your own events - organize a knitting group, a Church of Craft, or a Dr. Sketchy's. These can be done with as few as two or three people. Once you establish a regular routine, more people WILL come. Organize classes or a craft show. Again, these can be done with a few people working together.

Not to tease, but we have an excellent article about "Crafting in a Small Town" in issue #11 of CROQ... it addresses this question better than I have here.

S- Dayna Mankowski of had a great idea she mentions in Issue 10 to be a crafty ambassador. I thought that was a great idea. Do you know if anything happend with that?

CZ- Actually I don't! I need to find out.

S- Do you have any suggestions for someone that might like to start up their own zine?

CZ- Yes, I have a LOT of suggestions. DO IT! It's so fun and worth it. Regarding starting a zine, the first issue is always the hardest - it's hard to try to define the look, content, etc. Keep a notebook - I usually keep a running list of stories that I would like to see in the zine.

If you are going to accept contributions from others, it might help your contributors to know if you have any specific vision about your zine and whether there is anything that you are not interested in including (for us, we don't include poetry or personal promotional stories.) You should also let them know what's in it for them. We give each story a byline with name and website, and then we give a complimentary copy of the zine to contributing writers.

If you don't know anything about making zines, check out the book "Stolen Sharpie Revolution" by Alex Wrekk. You can get it at (it's a zine distro). It will get you started, and it's really inexpensive (like less than $5).

Also, a special note to parents: making zines could be a GREAT creative outlet for your kids (any age, although the younger they are, the more you will need to help them!), as well as bringing them some pocket money. Just a thought. If you are interested, give me a shout and I will discuss this more with you!

S- If someone lives in the Portland area and would like to volunteer some time to help what should they do?

CZ- Well, I just moved about forty minutes south of Portland, so if you live in Salem (or you don't mind driving), email me! I can always use help! If you want a crafty friend to hang out with, I'm your gal!

S- If someone has an idea for an article, how do they go about submitting their work?

CZ- Check our aforementioned submissions page, and email me your query.

S- What's on the horizon for Croqzine?

CZ- Well, I just re-opened the CROQ shop after a two month hiatus in which I moved, had a baby, and went insane. Now that I have found my marbles, we're planning to collaborate in some way with our sister craft zine, Australia's "Mix Tape Zine." (If you like CROQ, you must check them out!) Other dreams include podcasts, video casts, and possible a book version of our back issues. The dreams don't have any specific dates attached to them, though! In the meantime, look for our issues to come
out quarterly, with the seasons.

Thanks Heather!

Thank you so much for asking me!

* Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of the latest Croqzine! We will choose winners on March 19th.


IZA said...

Awesome!!! I hope I have a chance to get some of that goodness right there!!!

Jenn said...

Croq is the coolest!

Sean said...

Thanks Schmancy for showing me all the kool stuff!!

mwright said...

thanks for introducing Croq to us! i never heard of it before. i'll sure be looking for the next issue.

Votiv said...

I need this. I didn't know that Croq was out there. I need to pick one up.

ikkinlala said...

This sounds like a great zine - I'm surprised I haven't heard of it before!

Sandra said...

Artisans and crafters are such a generous group, sharing their ideas, precious time, and support with newbies. I can't wait to see Croq.