Episode 34: Living the Niche - Adwoa Cooper's Celebration of Hip-Hop Culture

Don’t just give them something they think they want, give them something they didn’t realize they needed.

Adwoa doesn’t see her products as a way to capitalize on a market or follow a trend. Amigurumi is trendy enough that she could have taken any number of paths down the cute cartoon-y path of adorable animals and beady-eyed dolls. Instead, she found something with immense meaning to her own life and pursued a body of work that honors and celebrates hip-hop culture. She doesn’t just use it as a hook or angle.

As you listen to this interview, you’ll realize that a deep and narrow niche like this is anything but a skyrocketing claim to trendy fame. Just as her work takes time and effort, Adwoa’s DJ dolls are a slow and steady slope to growth. She’s playing a very long game by design, and has a clear vision for what she wants several years down the road. Along the way, she’s leaning on educating her customers and creating highly personalized products as a way to deepen that customer relationship in a way that resonates with her personally.

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Episode Guests

From Active Duty Service in the Air Force to full-time Psychiatric Nursing, Adwoa always appreciated a challenge.

During a lunch break she noticed a group of coworkers stitching, and she asked to learn the basics. Like most beginners at crochet, Adwoa began making scarves and hats. She grew bored and discovered the world of Amigurumi.

She is a self taught (thanks to YouTube) Amigurumi Doll Artist. After starting her Etsy Shop in 2010, she realized she needed to stand out from the other yarn artists, but did not know how but continued her craft. She realized she had a lot to learn and her journey began. She soon niched down to making custom dolls for parents of brown skinned children, but even that had a sea of makers.

After being inspired to stitch up a set of dolls inspired by Hip Hop Legends Run DMC, she found her niche. "Hip Hop from the Stitch Shop" was now a concept that caught the eye of Hip Hop Legend DJ Scratch, who now owns the set and had his own doll made with his turntables. She has also made dolls for Living Hip Hop Legends Dana Dane, Slick Rick and DJ Nabs.

Her hobby turned creative business now recognizes her favorite genre of music. She cares about the legacy of Hip Hop, and chooses to use crochet to express her passion for the culture. This has been a part time venture that she plans to take to the next level.

You can learn more about Adwoa and her creations at her website and on Instagram

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Pricing time intensive work: Adwoa Designs talks about hard business lessons, and Makers using Instagram as a sales tool.

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