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Meet Meghin O’Brien of Ghost Eye Designs in Culver City Adjacent

Today we’d like to introduce you to Meghin O’Brien.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Meghin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been crocheting since 2014. A really close friend of mine taught me, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. The first thing I ever crocheted was a really thin strip of acrylic fabric with uneven stitches. I couldn’t call it a scarf, long headband, or even a belt in good conscience. It was… not good. When I returned from my weekend with my friend, it felt like I had a fire lit under my ass. I bought my own hooks, found some cute yarn, and kept practicing until I found my rhythm. I started making hats, then moved on to granny squares and other blanket squares. Practicing crocheting in rounds kept my attention. It’s that feeling of watching something so tiny bloom into this larger piece, slowly but surely. It was meditative and calming.

Crochet has been a very powerful form of meditation and relaxation for me. A few months after I had moved to Los Angeles from Antioch, IL (2015), I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis. I thought I had food poisoning, but it didn’t go away after a couple of weeks. Throughout the process of diagnosis, trying different treatments, some of those treatments sending me to hospital, changing doctors, leaving my job, more failed treatment, going to the hospital again- just, all of it, I was crocheting non-stop. As long as the RA wasn’t preventing me from holding a hook, I was making things. It felt like a sanctuary for me during years of extreme change and pain.

I had made blankets for friends and family over those years, and a few of them had Etsy shops. They suggested that I look into making my own shop and selling whatever I make. I was getting a bit stir crazy being sick at home. I was a classical musician and a healthcare worker before the chronic illnesses, so I’m more accustomed to being busy, collaborative, and productive. Suddenly having to take time to rest and recover, mostly alone, was jarring. So in 2017, I opened an Etsy shop for crocheted home decor and blankets.

The name took a while. I went through a few different ones before Ghost Eye Designs finally sprung out at me. Thank my dog, Zoe. She has heterochromia, so her eyes are this swirl of brown and blue. Next to her larger-than-life personality, her eyes are my favorite feature. It’s my logo.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No. Chronic illness gets in the way. My joints don’t always like to do as they’re told, thanks to rheumatoid arthritis. Plus my colon can be a bit of a troublemaker. I love Christine Miserando’s Spoon Theory. It definitely applies to my life.

I had to take time to figure out who and what Ghost Eye Designs is. I changed the shop’s name on Etsy a couple of times until I found something that felt like me.

Please tell us about Ghost Eye Designs.
Ghost Eye Designs is a crocheted decor shop on Etsy. I crochet every item listed, and I welcome custom orders. It’s important to me that my wares are adorable, whimsical, and useful. Custom orders are so much fun. I love collaborating with my clients to create and build something that we’re proud of and love.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have really meditated on my shop name and picked something that was right for me, not for potential outside sources that might judge me or whatever. I tried to fit in with the crowd too much and went with a cutesier name, then a more generic name. Neither of them felt good or like me. You gotta own who you are and then fly with it.

I’d also be more forgiving to myself, especially early on. I was getting used to a new normal that meant I had some unexpected and sometimes unpredictable inconveniences and slowdowns. However, I was still holding myself to a standard that was pre-2015. I couldn’t physically meet that standard anymore due to a number of factors that were out of my control. Despite knowing that, I became really frustrated and, for lack of a better word, hypercompetitive with myself, It was not a healthy combination.

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