The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

The Student News Site of Marymount Manhattan College

The Monitor

Student Spotlight: El Marsh and the Cat-Hats of MMC

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The 2023 fall semester at Marymount Manhattan College saw a significant increase in cat-hat-adorned students walking the halls on campus, all thanks to one creative freshman; El Marsh. 


Marsh is studying dance with a jazz concentration, but her artistic talents are not limited to the stage. “I like to think of myself as a crochet artist,” said Marsh. 


Marsh began crocheting for fun, but she also sells what she creates, which is mostly hats and scarves. Her crochet experience started in high school with an extracurricular class offered between lunch and second period. “I always wanted to crochet, so I signed up for the class, but my teacher didn’t really teach us,” said Marsh, “We were encouraged to do our own thing, so I basically taught myself how to do it.”


Soon after teaching herself the art of crocheting, Marsh was encouraged by friends to sell her products. Her friends were actively selling their work through art markets, so Marsh decided to take their advice. Marsh crocheted and sold a range of items including plushies, tote bags, and cat hats. “I thought it was really cool and that I could make a bunch of money off of it, so I did it and I had so much fun,” said Marsh, “I got to work with a lot of my friends and meet different people, it was a really fun experience.” 


Three years later, Marsh is still crocheting, and she has a whole new set of clientele: college students. When she first came to Marymount, Marsh wasn’t thinking about selling her crochet pieces, but about halfway through the semester, she realized that her fellow classmates would likely be interested customers, and she was right. By December of 2023, Marsh already had 24 made and delivered orders. 


To adjust her business to her new college lifestyle, Marsh has kept her product options limited to scarves and hats; items that don’t require measurements and allow for a simpler turn-around process. “I feel like my specialty has turned into cat hats,” said Marsh. 


Generally, the process of making these hats goes like this: Marsh receives an order, consults with the individual to customize the design, creates the product, and delivers the item. “Someone will message me asking to buy a hat and I will figure out what color they want and the style they want, then I will start making the hats,” said Marsh, “sometimes I will work on a few at once. It takes me around an hour and a half to two hours to make one, so usually I go through them pretty quickly.” 


In addition to adjusting her available products to her new college lifestyle, Marsh has also discounted her products, for now, but with the demand for cat-hats rising, Marsh is considering adjusting her prices.  “Originally back home I sold my cat hats for 20 dollars each but then here I thought, these are college students, I know they are not going to want to spend a bunch of money, so that’s why I sell them for ten dollars here,” said Marsh, “but I am thinking of upping the price to fifteen because it does take me a while to make them and I do have to go buy all the yarn.”


At the end of the day Marsh continues to crochet not only for the money she makes, but also for the joy it brings to herself and her customers. “Whenever I see people and give them the hats they are so excited about it and that’s the best part for me, seeing how happy people are whenever I give them the hats,” said Marsh. 


To Marsh, what her art brings to her life and the lives of her fellow classmates is not only monetarily valuable, it is something she also enjoys. Currently, Marsh has an instagram for her crochet art that can be found @c0mfort_cr0chet_, and her contact information is also linked on MMC Engage in posts she has made for interested buyers. 


“I’m trying to find more ways to let people know about the hats,” said Marsh, “I’m hoping my business grows and I can give more people access to my hats in the future because it really does make me happy to be able to create them and give them out to people, to have people be so happy to receive them just makes my day.” 


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About the Contributor
Joanna Insco
Joanna Insco, Staff Writer
Joanna Insco is a junior at MMC majoring in Digital Journalism and minoring in Environmental Studies.

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